Day 25 – Leon to Mazarife

Posted from Villadangos del Páramo, Castile and León, Spain.

I woke up, enjoyed my buffet breakfast and started out of Leon. I approached the Parador (a fancy hotel in old monetary). I saw some pilgrims I knew and one took a picture of me by a great pilgrim statue.

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The Parador is a great looking (expensive) hotel. It is the one in the movie The Way where the pilgrims stayed.

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Right after the Parador was a great old bridge.

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So then I headed out of town. It was an interesting slog through the fancy shopping section, the new apartments, the old apartments, the car dealerships, the warehouse section …. Kind of like walking out of Arlington.

After a while the path reached the end of town. And a choice. Just last night mother sent me a reminder of the poem by Robert Frost. I had actually thought of the poem often when I reached a choice but couldn’t remember the poem. Mother sent me the poem.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

by Robert Frost

So I stopped, read the poem and knowing what mother would have me do I choose the road less traveled. Of course a good decision.

The way entered a small village with another nice pilgrim statue.

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As I walked along I came upon another pilgrim I knew from New Zealand, she was just laying there swinging in a playground.

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We talked and I continued. I ended up in a small village for the night. I checked in, selected to have dinner, breakfast and my clothes washed and dried for me. All for €27. The albergue had a great front lawn so I sat out and had lunch.

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While I sat there Martin (of Martin and Jane) came by. Unfortunately Jane has had a foot problem requiring a hospital visit. She had been told to keep off her feet for 5 days. She is busing ahead while Martin continues to walk. They are trying to move more quickly so I may not see them again until Santiago. I’ll miss them. They are really nice people.

I walked into the small town and as usual they had a cute little church with stork nests on top.

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As I sat there I saw the German woman (Helga, Heidi, ????) that is in the bunk above me tonight. We talked and she gave me a big black plastic bag to put my backpack in when sitting on the floor to avoid bed bugs. She seemed concerned.

I headed back to the albergue for dinner. It was delicious, better than most pilgrim dinners.

An especially good salad, cold pumpkin soup, vegetable paella, chocolate crepe, great bread and wine.

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I’m now sitting in the only bar in town. I’m charging my phone and blogging. I’m sitting under the TV and an old woman is watching some American show in Spanish.

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The road less traveled. Always a good choice. Thank you mother for sending me the poem. I will use it every chance I get and think of you as I take that road.