Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

April 30

May 1st, 2016

April 30

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Leon to Hospital de Orbigo 32 km. Enjoyed my hotel room with a late start for an uneventful day. After making my way out of the city which had stark shadows from the bright morning sun, and then some suburbs, the path moved out into the fields, first on a muddy track but finally just a long straight road that looked very much like the road to nowhere Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard walk at the end of Modern Times. It was a Saturday and one small village had a table with fruit and juice set up for pilgrims. The orange juice here still amazes me. My new shoes kicked up a blister — first I’ve had in many months–but completely expected. An early lunch in Choses de Abajo and watched a German Shepherd follow a couple of pilgrims for at least 5 km. They disappeared and soon he was following me. Very sweet dog, but every step took him further from his home. Midday and I crossed paths with Gloria and we walked together the rest of the day, finding ourselves late afternoon at Albergue Verde, a very strange place with lots of guitar playing, pseudo-spiritualism, and assorted mumbo-jumbo. The place was very noisy and busy. They grow a lot of their food and served a great meal. The place was full of many of the pilgrims I’ve hiked with, but was, in a word, crowded.

T. Hugh Crawford

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