Day 20: Léon to Mazarife 21km

We loved Lèon.

In fact, we considered staying an extra day except we’ve already booked our accommodation for the next 12 days…

We have 12 days left until Santiago and about 290 km left!

The night before last we had dinner with two French pilgrims. One started the Camino in Paris and had been walking for 55 days.

He told us there are two types of people in Spain when it comes to the Camino.

The first embrace the Camino de Santiago Compostela. They believe in its history, the spirituality of taking the pilgrims’ journey to Santiago and value both the cultural and economic impacts it has.

The second resent pilgrims. They see them as disrespectful, messy tourists walking for their own reasons and they don’t like the transactional nature of the relationship between pilgrims and Spain.

I see both sides.

We’ve been taken care of by people along the way, particularly in pensions and hostels. Other times we’ve dealt with rude people who may even charge us a “pilgrims tax”.

(Though honestly it’s so much cheaper here than in Australia for most things)

We are disappointed at times to see the way some pilgrims treat the environment and our hosts. (For instance leaving their soiled toilet paper on the side of the path.)

The other thing they told us is that older Spanish people do not believe women should wear shorts.

Eeek! That’s a third of my available wardrobe.

I wore shorts today and noticed that I was the only woman wearing them and often got scandalous/contemptuous looks.

Who knew?

Tomorrow: Astorga 31km…

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