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Leaving Leon - take a taxi to the outskirts????

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Natique2

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Time of past OR future Camino
August 2023
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I have walked out of Leon several times. Most recently in January this year. It is not a specially attractive part of the Camino but it is part of the total experience. As far as signposting goes it could certainly be better but once across the river the route is mostly along one major road and easy to follow. There was nothing "sketchy" as far as I could see.
 
The way out of Leon is very well marked, but you are right: the continuation is VERY bad: Highways, thundering traffic, etc. Almost all the way to Astorga. Disgusting. But 7 kms after Leon there is an alternative: Take left at the end of La Virgen del Camino and walk to Villar de Mazarife. Stay there. Next day is a peaceful walk all until Hospital de Orbigo, almost in Astorga. Highly recommended. No need for a taxi: Just walk out of town and take the alternative route.
 
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I used the alternative route both times leaving Leon. I think you would miss some quite interesting urban walking on the way out of the city, albeit even walking to Villar de Mazarife there is still some rather mundane areas one has to walk through after that. I don't recall any issues with the waymarking, other than at the point where the two routes divide, which seemed to have a plethora of signs, flechas, etc that I found confusing at first sight.
 
Seven km from Leon on the CF is
La Basilica de La Virgen del Camino
Designed in the 1960s by a Dominican monk, Francisco Coello, a follower of the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier, this is basically a glass box; giant metal sculptures of the Apostles adorn the west façade.

The town is named for a famous 15th c. figure of the Virgin holding the dead body of Christ. Today the figure is within the contemporary church

Opposite the church you can either continue on the CF or follow the peaceful alternative camino route towards Villar de Mazarife thus escaping the N120 highway noise/ suburban sprawl while crossing flat plains.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Where did you read that? I’m struck that there are, seemingly, some very strange assertions about the various Camino routes that bear little resemblance to the realities but are becoming internet facts.
Leon is a city. It has an historic centre, some suburban sprawl and some industrial areas on its outskirts. The pilgrim’s path passes through all of them.

If you’re really worried about “sketchy” bits take a taxi from Sarria to Santiago.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.
“ be sure to go left toward
Thank you,
Maryanne
I have walked out of Leon half a dozen times and thought it was fine. There a a few cafe/ bakery’s on the track and even a couple of “hobbit houses” where they store wine and veg. When you get to “ virgin of the Camino” so you can arrive at “Marashrife”
 
Seven km from Leon on the CF is
La Basilica de La Virgen del Camino
Designed in the 1960s by a Dominican monk, Francisco Coello, a follower of the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier, this is basically a glass box; giant metal sculptures of the Apostles adorn the west façade.

The town is named for a famous 15th c. figure of the Virgin holding the dead body of Christ. Today the figure is within the contemporary church

Opposite the church you can either continue on the CF or follow the peaceful alternative camino route towards Villar de Mazarife thus escaping the N120 highway noise/ suburban sprawl while crossing flat plains.
From previous posts on this subject, there was a suggestion that it was cheap and easier to take a local bus from Leon to La Basilica de La Virgen del Camino.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
I walked from Leon last week ....just turn left from bus station and walk along the river....until you come to an old bridge ...about one km along .that's the Camino....straight up the road from the bridge....just stay on that busy road until signs show Camino path
 
Twice I followed the “advice” and took a bus into Leon from Mansilla de las Mulas and another out of Leon to Virgen del Camino. The third time I walked into Leon, stayed for two nights, and walked out. I really enjoyed seeing everything I had missed before! I don’t recall any sketchiness either. I found the waymarking into Leon to be much better than into Burgos.
 
You can see that hike here:
It's just part of the camino. Sorry that not every minute of the
camino is not a beautiful experience. I didn't find it dangerous
at all. You are always hiking on the sidewalk or on your own path.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Seems that most agree that you can walk out of Leon. Tedious? Perhaps (although there are some beautiful sights along the way, if you look for them). But if you aren't used to the "tedium" of walking by yourself by then, it may be time to get used to it.
 
Walk along the river and just keep going until it meets up with the Camino as you leave Leon. It is pretty. I walked in the early morning and I passed a few people jogging and walking their dogs. Not too much traffic at all (It was in early December and the sun was not up yet).
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
I've walked out of Leon. Waymarking was fine. Nothing sketchy. You will walk through an industrial area which, while not beautiful, was exceptionally clean. I do recommend, like others on this post, that you go by way of Mazarife.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Personally I never understand why people complain about the route out of León. It's not beautiful but then again there are plenty of other stages that aren't either. Does that mean that I would skip them? No way! It's all part of walking the Camino. And I never found it poorly marked.

I've taken the alternative route at Virgen del Camino at least three times and would highly recommend it. Once during a winter Camino I thought I would walk León to Hospital de Orbigo along the "official" route along the highway. OMG, now that's something I wouldn't do again. I find it curious that people choose to walk along the highway when there is an alternative, also when leaving Hospital de Orbigo. The route through Santibañez and into the woods to Astorga is delightful.
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
You can - some do. As other have said, Leon is surrounded by a light industrial belt. In this 7-10 km belt are light industry, big box stores, warehouses, etc.

It is not an especially 'pretty" area. But, I accept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, when I leave Leon, I do it on a local bus. I get off at La Virgen del Camino. There I have a coffee and continue walking. This is what I do. I do not impose this thought on others. But, as I see what I leap-frogged over coming out of Leon, I am not sorry I made this choice - three times.

If you choose to skip over the grey industrial area, you can easily get a bus at the Estacion de Autobuses on the other side of the river from downtown.

I hope this helps.

Tom
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Since I had walked into Leon through the large commercial area, I felt no need to repeat the long urban walk as I left. As someone said, there is a bus from the main commercial square to La Virgin del Camino. It shaved 7 km off my walk that day which ended up being a very reasonable 25 km walk through the countryside to a lovely casa rural in Villavante. It's the only part of the Frances that I skipped and feel no regret.
 
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have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area.
Not my experience. @LTfit says it better than I could:
Personally I never understand why people complain about the route out of León. It's not beautiful but then again there are plenty of other stages that aren't either. Does that mean that I would skip them? No way! It's all part of walking the Camino. And I never found it poorly marked.

I've taken the alternative route at Virgen del Camino at least three times and would highly recommend it. Once during a winter Camino I thought I would walk León to Hospital de Orbigo along the "official" route along the highway. OMG, now that's something I wouldn't do again. I find it curious that people choose to walk along the highway when there is an alternative, also when leaving Hospital de Orbigo. The route through Santibañez and into the woods to Astorga is delightful.
You can cherry-pick the camino, people do all the time. Whether that's 'ok' depends on your motivation - but regardless, you'll be missing out on the totality of the experience.

If you're walking the camino, why not just walk it ?
Exactly.
I loved this stretch - feeling the rhythm of life early in the morning, as people were heading to work, or home. Looking down on this neighborhood where real people live always strikes me as a bit dismissive.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
You'll probably get a lot of different opinions. I've done the Frances twice - the first time I walked out of Leon, the second time I took a taxi to La Virgen del Camino. It is not the most attractive and interesting walk, but I never felt it was "sketchy"....mostly industrial, car repair shops, etc., but it is a small part of the day. I only took the taxi on trip #2 because I had walked it before. It's a personal decision - if your goal is to walk every step of the path, then walk it....it's not that bad. If you don't mind missing a small part, maybe the weather's crappy, or you don't feel comfortable, then take the taxi.
 
Seven km from Leon on the CF is
La Basilica de La Virgen del Camino
Designed in the 1960s by a Dominican monk, Francisco Coello, a follower of the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier, this is basically a glass box; giant metal sculptures of the Apostles adorn the west façade.

The town is named for a famous 15th c. figure of the Virgin holding the dead body of Christ. Today the figure is within the contemporary church

Opposite the church you can either continue on the CF or follow the peaceful alternative camino route towards Villar de Mazarife thus escaping the N120 highway noise/ suburban sprawl while crossing flat plains.
Could not agree more. Take cab to la Basilica
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
I walked the 30 km (mainly along Highway N-120) between the Leon Cathedral and Hospital de Obrigo in September 2021 during my Camino Frances. And it was definitely my least favorite/most "skipable" day. The first 10km felt like "new", undistinguished, big-city suburbs (but it did not feel dangerous or unsafe). The next 15km, on the path about 5-10 meters from N120, was flat and safely away from the highway, but it was "meh" for sights&scenery and there was a constant stream of traffic (I was sufficiently bored to count a few times, and it was about 10 cars a minute, hour-after-hour. The Camino Real route leaving La Virgen del Camino is probably better, but I didn't go that way. Anyway, it wasn't that much of a low point, and really liked staying at Hospital de Obrigo, and loved Astorga.
 
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As others mentioned and as I will chime in: not sketchy at all.
I actually liked the stretch as it was yet again a different mood and aspect of the whole journey. It is not so much likeable from a touristy/aesthetic point of view, but it was an interesting contrast to some more picturesque stretches of the way and I consider it an important part of the whole Camino experience, the whole journey.
To me, a camino only becomes a camino when I take on the good, the bad and the ugly alike.

Oh, and talking about ugliness, the ugliest and most annoying stretch of the whole way was the last 10k into León, not the stretch leaving out again. 🤣
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
It looks a very dreary industrialised route. I took a bus from the centre to Virgin de Camino - not expensive and only.took 20 miutes or so. From VdeC you have a choice of two routes. I took the more rural one ( still wasnt a very beautiful stretch.) Your reward is that Astorga awaits you. Lovely place.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
In May 2022 I took the city bus to the outskirts of town when leaving Leon. I felt it was the right choice for managing my limited time and physical stamina at that point in my Camino. I did not regret that I missed walking those 4+/- miles. I did not feel that I had cheated or missed the full pilgrim experience. This was the only time I rode a bus. I was grateful to the guidebook author whose suggestion gave me "permission" to opt for the bus.
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
I also found that area to be run down and, as a female, I personally would make sure I'm walking with someone, or near another hiker. But it wouldn't keep me from walking it.
The alternative route through Mazarife sounds wonderful (but you still have to go through some of the industrial area).
 
You can - some do. As other have said, Leon is surrounded by a light industrial belt. In this 7-10 km belt are light industry, big box stores, warehouses, etc.

It is not an especially 'pretty" area. But, I accept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, when I leave Leon, I do it on a local bus. I get off at La Virgen del Camino. There I have a coffee and continue walking. This is what I do. I do not impose this thought on others. But, as I see what I leap-frogged over coming out of Leon, I am not sorry I made this choice - three times.

If you choose to skip over the grey industrial area, you can easily get a bus at the Estacion de Autobuses on the other side of the river from downtown.

I hope this helps.

Tom

Agree, I've done this twice. Lots of buses can drop you at la virgen. I like to visit that church. If you take brierley's green routes you can easily make up the kilometres for that bus
Really like the albergues in mazarife and enjoyed the walk to astorga from there.
I can't comment on whether it's sketchy areas or not as I don't know. I live in central/east Manchester in the UK. I love my city but am likely safer when I am on the Camino! So I suppose it's just what you are used to
If you have concerns about safety and walking alone, maybe carry a whistle? That's what I do and I like to have this with me
Buen camino
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Baloney! I have walked into and out of Leon 5 times, and bicycled once. No areas are sketchy, and I found none of it ugly. It is plenty well marked, although I did get lost in the dark early one morning; but that led to a miraculous adventure. All part of the Camino. I have also cycled and walked the N120 to Hospital de Orbigos, but prefer the country walk through Villar de Mazarife; much more peaceful than the highway. I would never recommend anyone take a taxi to skip any part of the Camino unless they were extremely sick or injured.
 
Not sketchy, but some rough looking people when i did it, but I think it was mainly the part of town. The section I didn't feel 100% comfortable in was the last maybe half a mile before you climb the hill to Virgen del Camino. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it was like walking though a really bad area, but it had a weird feel to it, a feeling I only had a in a handful of places while on Camino (Ponferrada if you ignore the massive Camino detour and walk straight in on the main road, the area outside Astorga where Denise disappeared, some of the wilder parts of the Sarria-Santiago section).

My main complaint (if you want to call it that) had nothing to do with sketchiness, it was just the complete pollution level when you walk up the hill, exacerbated by the fact the main road is basically off to the left of you. You know it's bad when you can taste the diesel fumes in the air. If you have asthma or even bad asthma, then i would avoid the hill when it's warm/hot. The pollution was hard on my lungs.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
We took a Leon city bus out of the city. we
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
We met a fellow perigrino at the Leon cathedral before we set out from Leon. She advised taking the city bus out of Leon which we did. It certainly made the stage easier
 
Not sketchy, but some rough looking people when i did it, but I think it was mainly the part of town. The section I didn't feel 100% comfortable in was the last maybe half a mile before you climb the hill to Virgen del Camino. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it was like walking though a really bad area, but it had a weird feel to it, a feeling I only had a in a handful of places while on Camino (Ponferrada if you ignore the massive Camino detour and walk straight in on the main road, the area outside Astorga where Denise disappeared, some of the wilder parts of the Sarria-Santiago section).

My main complaint (if you want to call it that) had nothing to do with sketchiness, it was just the complete pollution level when you walk up the hill, exacerbated by the fact the main road is basically off to the left of you. You know it's bad when you can taste the diesel fumes in the air. If you have asthma or even bad asthma, then i would avoid the hill when it's warm/hot. The pollution was hard on my lungs.
If you survive the Paris metro after 10pm anything on the Camino is a breeze.
 
Yeah i have no issue walking through an area in my city well known for murders and gang violence, at 2am in the morning. Been to some seriously sketchy places in my life and survived. This wasn't that, it was almost like a bad vibe type of thing. Once I got to the top of the hill, it was fine. I did wonder if that part of Leon was one of the poorer neighbourhoods. It's very dirty and the houses aren't well cared for and it seems to get worse the further up the hill you go, but once you hit Virgin del Camino the atmosphere changes completely.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Not sketchy, but some rough looking people when i did it, but I think it was mainly the part of town. The section I didn't feel 100% comfortable in was the last maybe half a mile before you climb the hill to Virgen del Camino. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it was like walking though a really bad area, but it had a weird feel to it, a feeling I only had a in a handful of places while on Camino (Ponferrada if you ignore the massive Camino detour and walk straight in on the main road, the area outside Astorga where Denise disappeared, some of the wilder parts of the Sarria-Santiago section).

My main complaint (if you want to call it that) had nothing to do with sketchiness, it was just the complete pollution level when you walk up the hill, exacerbated by the fact the main road is basically off to the left of you. You know it's bad when you can taste the diesel fumes in the air. If you have asthma or even bad asthma, then i would avoid the hill when it's warm/hot. The pollution was hard on my lungs.
If you survive the Paris metro after 10pm anything on the Camino is a breeze
We took a Leon city bus out of the city. we

We met a fellow perigrino at the Leon cathedral before we set out from Leon. She advised taking the city bus out of Leon which we did. It certainly made the stage easier
It's all relative. You can take a series of buses, trains and taxis from SJPdP to Santiago making things a bit easier?;)
 
We found the León to Virgen walk dreary. Peg, who had already walked halfway across Spain, had some foot problems by Virgen but decided to walk to Mazarife anyways. She couldn't walk for another four days. We got a ride to Astorga where we managed to borrow a wheelchair to sightsee in town.

The way to Mazarife was nice though, a combination of agricultural fields and natural meadows
Q10600-HOR.jpg
 
also found that area to be run down and, as a female, I personally would make sure I'm walking with someone, or near another hiker.
Solo woman here. It was fine. No sketchy people, no 'weird vibe,' just not particularly pretty. People are making it sound worse than it is. I was nervous about this part, having read posts like the ones here and was pleasntly surprised. It's definitely not scenic, but it's not awful or remotely scary, either
IMG_7951.JPG
So sure - take the bus of you don't want to experience 'dreary' but you're missing the aspect of the camino that challenges and potentially uplifts. By the time I got to VdC, I had another notch in my belt, one more victory against habitual angst, aversion, and judgement.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
We took a taxi to La Virgen del Camino and walked from there. We're pretty fanatical about walking every part of the Camino, but this one section we are happy to have skipped.
 
but this one section we are happy to have skipped.
I am not sorry I made this choice - three times.
It's the only part of the Frances that I skipped and feel no regret.
I did not regret that I missed walking those 4+/- miles.
I did not regret that I missed walking those 4+/- miles. I did not feel that I had cheated or missed the full pilgrim experience
These quotes are not meant to be personal - they're just examples from this thread, and eady to find. But I've lost track of the number of similar posts I've read here on the Forum - now it seems to be an established thing to do, enshrined in the same way as 'you have to start in SJPP.' So I may be Canute facing the tide.

But an honest question: how can you know what you missed when you missed it? It might seem from a bus to be a certain way, but walking is a different thing.

As Rowena's experience shows, you can't tell what it's like to walk this until you've actually walked it.
Twice I followed the “advice” and took a bus into Leon from Mansilla de las Mulas and another out of Leon to Virgen del Camino. The third time I walked into Leon, stayed for two nights, and walked out. I really enjoyed seeing everything I had missed before!
Yes, it's not tourisically pretty. But people live here. It's their home. And if we can actually connect with that, and with them, dreary becomes joyful.
 
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I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Maryanne, I see you are being thorough in your preparation. You do not say where you found the information, but you have given me a new meaning for sketchy. I have been under the misapprehension it meant under-done. As in, a lazy piece of research on a topic for school. Or hazy, as in vague memory.
My own memory of walking from Leon is hazy - it was in 2006.
You will be walking with your husband, so it seems you will not need to be concerned, and once you are actually walking, everything you have researched will fall into place, you will 'get' the message.
You will be making your own experience, walking your own pilgrimage.
There are very few places during my life that I have found to be sketchy in the sense you seem to mean, and I am rather long in the tooth! (One of them was the scene of a massacre in long past history.)
The only sketchy thing I recall on leaving Leon was a barking mad dog that was stopping other pilgrims out of fear. My walking companion let the creature see she was not afraid, and all benefitted from the manoevre, making safe passage onward.
The choice will be yours, on the day. Give it a chance.
As you asked for thoughts and suggestions, my final word is this one: I learned that on the camino there is no way back.
I offer you that, it is over to you to see if it means anything on your own camino!
👣 👣
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Sketchy? Huh...Walking out of Leon, I got to chat and laugh with school kids loudly wishing me a "buen camino." I also met an absolutely lovely woman from Barcelona who was just starting her first camino that morning; we had the best conversation! I don't recall the morning as anything other than joyous, but then again, the people were so engaging, I didn't pay that much attention to the views. Spent some time in the basilica de la Virgen, which I LOVED. The doors alone are worth a visit. buen camino!
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Bus is good, cheap and works well. We boarded at 8:30 am and we started at Virgin Del Camino by 9:00. The route we drove along through Leon didn’t look very appealing, industrial, busy traffic.
 
These quotes are not meant to be personal - they're just examples from this thread, and eady to find. But I've lost track of the number of similar posts I've read here on the Forum - now it seems to be an established thing to do, enshrined in the same way as 'you have to start in SJPP.' So I may be Canute facing the tide.

But an honest question: how can you know what you missed when you missed it? It might seem from a bus to be a certain way, but walking is a different thing.

As Rowena's experience shows, you can't tell what it's like to walk this until you've actually walked it.

Yes, it's not tourisically pretty. But people live here. It's their home. And if we can actually connect with that, and with them, dreary becomes joyful.
It never occurred to me to skip that part, or any part of the Camino for aesthetic reasons.
If injured I would use transport, but see that stretch as just part of the Camino . The Camino weaves its way across a whole country - a mix of rural, village, towns and cities, and moving along it means you encounter all of these things.
There's nothing wrong with the area, its like any other city.
The walk into Leon was worse I think, and I'm not fond of walking out of Logrono.
In fact last time when we left Leon, the flatness of it was a great first day introduction when we walked from Leon to Santiago with our grandson. He liked the hobbit houses, and chatting with other pilgrims, he was so excited to be starting an adventure.
If you ask him about anything he didnt like, he will say it was the wasps hanging around the cafes, and the trail to Molineseca. The walk out of Leon doesnt rate as a dislike.
 
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3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
The route we drove along through Leon didn’t look very appealing, industrial, busy traffic.
What it looked like and what it actually is when you walk it ard 2 entirely different things. The OP asked
Does anyone have insight about this?
Lots of people who took a bus say it was 'unappealing;' no doubt that's what they thought while looking out the window. But their feet and senses and hearts didn't actually experience the neighborhoods they drove past. Opinion and judgemental perception don't count as insight.
 
I would say to walk it. I've done it twice. But I don't tend to stay in Leon genrally, as i found it be a bit like London. Very touristy in the centre. Everything seems to cost a lot. Even going in the Cathedral costs.

If you follow the river south, there is a Lidl which gives the possibility of slightly cheaper food and the ability to restock on anything you might be running low on (or a few cans of Voll Damm/Mahou). :)

The second time I went through I stopped at an albergue outside Leon and stopped at VdC for the next night.
 
In 2011 I walked the CF or should I say I nearly walked the CF. Following advice, I took a taxi to the outskirts of Leon. The result was that I felt I hadn’t walked the Camino and the following year I returned to walk the full Camino!

If you’re happy walking out of Logrono in the morning you should be happy walking out of Leon. You may have regrets if you don’t. If you’re fit enough do.

I know, wait for it, “it’s your Camino”. Mine happens to be walking every step from SJPdeP to Santiago with my pack on my back. My greatest admiration and respect goes to those whose Camino is from home to Santiago or Le Puy etc. Sadly I’m getting old and tired so the next one will be from SJ.

Score Incomplete CF 1- Complete CF 8.
 
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It's a bit of an urban slog for an hour or so out of Leon, like many other cities, but it's no big deal, is interesting in it's own way and you can find beauty in everything.

Describing it with terms like sketchy, bad vibes etc is a bit unfair and puts a bad picture in the mind's eye of those reading this and intending to pass that way. People live there.

Go ahead and take the bus if that's your way of walking a camino.
 
In 2011 I walked the CF or should I say I nearly walked the CF. Following advice, I took a taxi to the outskirts of Leon. The result was that I felt I hadn’t walked the Camino and the following year I returned to walk the full Camino!

If you’re happy walking out of Logrono in the morning you should be happy walking out of Leon. You may have regrets if you don’t. If you’re fit enough do.

I know, wait for it, “it’s your Camino”. Mine happens to be walking every step from SJPdeP to Santiago with my pack on my back. My greatest admiration and respect goes to those whose Camino is from home to Santiago or Le Puy etc. Sadly I’m getting old and tired so the next one will be from SJ.

Score Incomplete CF 1- Complete CF 8.
I can totally relate to all you wrote …
I once was transferred by taxi from an albergue that was totally packed to the next albergue that still had beds available. The next morning I took a taxi 10k back to the first place as I just could not skip a single inch of the way 🙃
 
There is an urban bus in the commercial plaza that goes directly to Virgin starting early every morning. The walk up that hill is not “sketchy” it is just nasty urban sprawl.
The bus costs €1.50 (or it did last April, anyway) and takes you to la Virgen - I took it (it was the one short cut of my Camino) because I really didn't feel like more urban sprawl walking that morning, and Leon is particularly sprawly. Also meant I got to my albergue in Hospital de Orbigo that afternoon about a minute before an absolute downpour began!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
On the two occasions I have left Leon I have not encountered any problems or difficulties
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
 
Walk along the river and just keep going until it meets up with the Camino as you leave Leon. It is pretty. I walked in the early morning and I passed a few people jogging and walking their dogs. Not too much traffic at all (It was in early December and the sun was not up yet).
Is this correct?
The Rio Bernesga goes approx. North-South through Leon and the camino crosses it at Puente de San Marcos, going West. If you follow the river going North you pretty much end up on the San Salvador, but I don't think that's the intention here. I'm not aware of any other river options for taking you out of Leon on the CF to La Virgen and beyond.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Go to the bus station and take the bus. Get off when you reach the outskirts of Leon !
 
I can totally relate to all you wrote …
I once was transferred by taxi from an albergue that was totally packed to the next albergue that still had beds available. The next morning I took a taxi 10k back to the first place as I just could not skip a single inch of the way 🙃
Sounds like me too. A few years back I walked from my home in Wales almost to SJPDP. On what should have been my last day I had a fall and prolapsed spinal disc about 20km from the town. Game over! :-( Later in the year when I was fully recovered I found I had a few days to spare on an Interrail pass and used them to travel to Bidarray Pont Noblia to walk those last few km. Unfinished business that would have constantly nagged at me otherwise. Each to their own but the idea of cherry-picking sections of a route to walk does not sit well with my own understanding of pilgrimage.
 
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A few years back I walked from my home in Wales almost to SJPDP. On what should have been my last day I had a fall and prolapsed spinal disc about 20km from the town. Game over!
Ouch.
So close and yet so far.
Bravo for tying up that loose end.

I'm in the same camp, FWIW. The continuity is important psrt of the process. Not skipping ahead gives a direct experience of the whole sweep of the map one step at a time. It's such a confidence booster. Not to.mention a way to change old habits. Not catering to whim, likes & dislikes, and unpleasant weather means I don't feed the inner spoiled child who wants things just so. So sometimes whining happens. Oh well - the camino is a resilience generator when walking is just what I do, whining or not.
 
Sounds like me too. A few years back I walked from my home in Wales almost to SJPDP. On what should have been my last day I had a fall and prolapsed spinal disc about 20km from the town. Game over! :-( Later in the year when I was fully recovered I found I had a few days to spare on an Interrail pass and used them to travel to Bidarray Pont Noblia to walk those last few km. Unfinished business that would have constantly nagged at me otherwise. Each to their own but the idea of cherry-picking sections of a route to walk does not sit well with my own understanding of pilgrimage.

I actually had to skip one early stage of the West Highland Way in Scotland many years ago. I then did said stage 2 weeks later. But still it haunts me sometimes today – after several decades have passed – that I did not do it all in one go and in the right order 🤣
 
I have been on the route in and out of Leon twice, the first time by bus going both in and out and the second time I walked it all. The working class neighborhoods were not particularly pretty but I had to make a stop in a bar and upon leaving had a cup of the best coffee that I had had on the whole camino! Treasures come when you least expect!
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
But still it haunts me sometimes today – after several decades have passed – that I did not do it all in one go and in the right order 🤣
In summer 2015 I walked from Canterbury to Rome. Except for the wet salty part between Dover and Calais where I took a P&O ferry. I still occasionally feel a little guilty about that and wonder if for real completeness I should have swum that part. But you can push ideals a little too far....
 
I walked both in and out of Leon on my second Camino Frances; not sketchy nor dangerous as I took the alternate route. On the outskirts leaving Leon, we stopped at a corner bar on the left side of the road for an early "first lunch".😅 My son was pleasantly surprised as it had interesting tappers, including Leffe; one of his fave beers.
Screenshot_20230320-073650~2.png

I experienced no sketchy areas on the whole Frances route, but a "spooky" experience for me was walking through the deserted town of Ciruena in 2015 and 2017.😳; possibly it has been revived in more recent years.
 
I experienced no sketchy areas on the whole Frances route, but a "spooky" experience for me was walking through the deserted town of Ciruena in 2015 and 2017.😳; possibly it has been revived in more recent years.
Didn't look much lived in when I passed through in January. Though the building work was mostly completed.
 
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These quotes are not meant to be personal - they're just examples from this thread, and eady to find. But I've lost track of the number of similar posts I've read here on the Forum - now it seems to be an established thing to do, enshrined in the same way as 'you have to start in SJPP.' So I may be Canute facing the tide.

But an honest question: how can you know what you missed when you missed it? It might seem from a bus to be a certain way, but walking is a different thing.

As Rowena's experience shows, you can't tell what it's like to walk this until you've actually walked it.

Yes, it's not tourisically pretty. But people live here. It's their home. And if we can actually connect with that, and with them, dreary becomes joyful.
Thank you @VNwalking . As you so aptly state, "how can you know what you missed when you missed it?"

We learn to truly appreciate beauty by experiencing the not so beautiful parts. On the Camino as in life - the good, the "bad" and the ugly form who we are.
 
Is this correct?
The Rio Bernesga goes approx. North-South through Leon and the camino crosses it at Puente de San Marcos, going West. If you follow the river going North you pretty much end up on the San Salvador, but I don't think that's the intention here. I'm not aware of any other river options for taking you out of Leon on the CF to La Virgen and beyond.
I came to the same conclusion. That sounds like the walk out of Burgos to me.
You know since in my younger days way back when and I partook in quite a few substances that some may consider illegal, my memory is not what it once was. Your comments made me question my already unstable sanity. Was it Burgos????
So I checked. I took a day off in Leon last November. The second night I stayed in a little pension about 1 block from the river. I usually take a private room 2 nights on any camino to hide under the covers and sleep all day. I checked the map on Buen Camino to find the pension, the river and where the river intersects with the camino. The pension is really nice as was the owner it is called Pension Blanco/Villafranca 2 - 2º A, 24001 León, Spain. Away from the camino and the central historico and that is just what I wanted. The owner had told me that if I just left the pension and made a right I would eventually run into the camino. I walked down the street on the same side of the pension until I crossed over to the other side and walked near to Paseo de Salamanca. There is a small path between the street and the river. I followed that for about 10 minutes or so (don't remember exactly). I checked every few minutes the gps on my buen camino app to see where I would cross the camino and make a left. Check it out it is a nice way to go, if you are staying near the river. Like I said where I stayed there was not a pilgrim in sight anywhere.
P.S. In case you are interested this route catches up with the camino in front of Parque Quevedo. Also a few blocks from the turn to the camino I crossed the street where the was a traffic light. If I remember the intersection by the park was pretty hectic. The only other thing I remember is I was really hungry and I stopped at the first bar to have my cafe con leche and tortilla con papas. That is my story and I am sticking with it!!
 
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I experienced no sketchy areas on the whole Frances route, but a "spooky" experience for me was walking through the deserted town of Ciruena in 2015 and 2017.😳; possibly it has been revived in more recent years.
In 2013, I thought that place was called ‘Se Vende’ there were so many signs.


I don’t get why so many people think the exit out of Leon is so bad. It’s no worse than many other places and is certainly better than the many spots where the camino parallels a highway. People live and work there and there are bars for cafe. But then again, doesn’t Brierley suggest a bus into Leon?
 
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Is this correct?
The Rio Bernesga goes approx. North-South through Leon and the camino crosses it at Puente de San Marcos, going West. If you follow the river going North you pretty much end up on the San Salvador, but I don't think that's the intention here. I'm not aware of any other river options for taking you out of Leon on the CF to La Virgen and beyond.
My guess is they are talking something like this. Which would allow you to avoid much of the craziness near the cathedral and instead enjoy a slightly more peaceful walk next to the river. I don't think they meant follow it all the way out.

 
Clicking the titles of these YouTube videos instead of the arrows should get you a larger screen.

A Google Earth fly over of the CF from León to Villar de Mazarife. YouTube video id: DMJCniWL2RQ

A time lapsed walk of the CF from León to Hospital de Órbigo. YouTube video id: ySLbh_EfIG4
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
Marked well enough. If I found my way thru, anyone can. However, it is a soul destroying walk thru city streets and industrial area. Second time I was there, I walked down to the plaza below cathedral and took the bus up to Virgin del Camino. Check with tourist office facing cathedral and they will tell you the bus number. Unfortunately, I can't remember it. It's the first bus stop you come to as you turn into the plaza. Cheaper than a taxi
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Actually, my soul was lifted as I walked out of Leon, it was pooring down with rain and very cold, but I walked past a very nice China shop where I could buy a woolly hat to keep me warm.
(Lesson learned: always appreciate your surroundings)
 
I am bursting with joy every time I leave Alicante (three times by now) walking straight into the industrial suburbs! I know it is the first day of my Camino and I have grown fond of that part. Chimneys, rusty cars and roaming pigs abound. I wouldn't change it for anything.

Then again, OP is talking about a different city and not a first stage with that excitement of the 1st day of walking... Still, I don't mind the industrial suburbs. If they are ugly enough, they embellish what comes after even more...
 
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I am bursting with joy every time I leave Alicante (three times by now) walking straight into the industrial suburbs! I know it is the first day of my Camino and I have grown fond of that part. Chimneys, rusty cars and roaming pigs abound. I wouldn't change it for anything.

Then again, OP is talking about a different city and not a first stage with that excitement of the 1st day of walking... Still, I don't mind the industrial suburbs. If they are ugly enough, they embellish what comes after even more...


I was not referring to the OP but to post #72 but yes I understand you completely.

For instance, the walk out of Ferrol to Neda ( CI ) is not at all bucolic with a Lidl, McDo and small factories but somewhere in Naron there is a petrolstation/cafeteria with the best coffee ever! I can still see myself sitting at their outside terrace with a view of a local garage where a mechanic was working on a car, thinking how privileged I was to be able to walk and take time off from work.
 
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But then again, doesn’t Brierley suggest a bus into Leon?
Suggesting that he 'suggests' the bus seems to be stretching what he says, at least in my now rather aged copy of his guide. He does identify the possibility of taking the bus into and out of the city in one of the longest discussions I have seen on what seemed to me a minor matter. It contains a plea for both those who travel by bus and those who don't to be kind in their consideration of the others. I wonder if this choice was as contentious back in 2009 as it still appears to be today?
 
I wonder if this choice was as contentious back in 2009 as it still appears to be today?
Probably more contentious then. I walked my second Camino in 2002 - shortly before Brierley's first guide was published. I can remember one person who took buses to skip a few sections and so became the subject of a lot of bemused comment amongst those of us walking at the time. I can't imagine it being a very surprising event these days.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Suggesting that he 'suggests' the bus seems to be stretching what he says, at least in my now rather aged copy of his guide. He does identify the possibility of taking the bus into and out of the city in one of the longest discussions I have seen on what seemed to me a minor matter. It contains a plea for both those who travel by bus and those who don't to be kind in their consideration of the others. I wonder if this choice was as contentious back in 2009 as it still appears to be today?
I’ll accept your correction. I don’t own his guidebooks, so I was stretching into my memory of what I have read in other people’s copies.

I’m imagining Saint Roch (San Roque) and his cronies being just as critical of people who hitched a ride on a donkey, or skipped a chapel service en route.
 
Suggesting that he 'suggests' the bus seems to be stretching what he says, at least in my now rather aged copy of his guide.
I have to admit that although I own a Brierley guide, I have only skimmed it. But a friend who is planning her stages has been reading hers, and she said that "Brierley recommends taking a bus into León." Of course I don't know how accurate her quote was.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I’ve walked in and out of Leon (twice out) in fact I left when it was still dark. The only confusion was at the Parador go left. I heard stories of pilgrims going right toward Oviedo then had to back track a lot of kilometers. Also, if you want to take the alternate after Virgin del Camino it may be a little difficult to find. Again go left. I always felt safe leaving Leon and during all parts of the Camino. Oh and a big YES to the alternate, I mean why wouldn’t you? 😎 Buen Camino 👣
41E2D8D2-96E4-4B03-83F4-E016D26B1D6B.jpeg5013D626-5CEF-4BE1-B796-C479EB46C70F.jpeg
 
What does a pilgrim do?
A pilgrim walks.
For several reasons, I walk. My mindset is that I have to take what comes. Cherrypicking is not for me.

And yes, the walk out of Leon is not the nicest IMHO, but it is just a 1.5 hour walk before you kan take the alternative route, at the end of Virgen del Camino. It is very nice and peaceful.

When on the Camino, I would hate skipping sections. It would make my Camino incomplete and remove some of the meaning. But that's me...
 
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What does a pilgrim do?
A pilgrim walks.
While I personally would never do anything else but walk, I still have to add here: ... or rides, or is aboard a boat or any other kind of means of transportation that gets him closer to his destination. A pilgrim simply travels to a destination that is holy to him or has at least some spiritual meaning. The means of travel already in the olden days were dependent on the financial means of the traveler. While by today standards all kinds of travel available some centuries ago would be considered quite exhausting, by the standards of those times some pilgrims would travel quite luxuriously.
 
I’ll accept your correction. I don’t own his guidebooks, so I was stretching into my memory of what I have read in other people’s copies.

she said that "Brierley recommends taking a bus into León."
To quote the text from my 2009 Brierley 'there is the possibility to avoid the busy (and dangerous) main road into Leon by taking the regular bus service from Mansilla direct to the city centre' p. 176.

I don't read into this any recommendation to take the bus, although he does make it clear in the rather loaded language preceding this that he doesn't think the walk in from Mansilla is pleasant.
 
A Google Earth fly over of the CF from León to Villar de Mazarife. YouTube video id: DMJCniWL2RQ

A time lapsed walk of the CF from León to Hospital de Órbigo. YouTube video id: ySLbh_EfIG4

I don't have any stakes in the back and forth here (I took a bus from Leon to Astorga during my walk last year due to illness but absolutely plan to walk it next time) but this thread was worth reading through in its entirety for introducing me to these rather amazing (if somewhat dizzy-making) YouTube videos, which I somehow hadn't come across before. What an interesting way to re-live the walk! The first video (from SJPP to Roncesvalles) in John Sikora's series bought up some powerful memories of that long trek up to Orisson on a gorgeous May morning. Makes me want to do it all over again as soon as I can. But in the meantime it's nice to have these videos. Carry on!
 
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Probably more contentious then.
Yes, times have changed.
Even in the last 10 years.
Some of us walk for spiritual/religious/healing reasons. Some of us want an affordable holiday outside or are ticking off a bucket list. The proportiins of those two categories are changing, with the latter becoming more common, perhaps even the norm. And we don't speak the same language.

So take the bus, don't take the bus...whether that's right for you depends on why you walk.

But what is certain is that the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Leon (on either side) are neither sketchy nor hyperbolically 'soul destroying.' People - good people, kind people - live there for goodness sake, and they aren't zombies. (I know, the latter is an idiomatic expression, but it carries a lot of dramatic weight, to be used in dire circumstances. The stretch out of Leon hardly rates that kind of drama.)
 
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But what is certain is that the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Leon (on either side) are neither sketchy nor hyperbolically 'soul destroying.' People - good people, kind people - live there for goodness sake, and they aren't zombies.
I share @VNwalking's view on this. It is something that I thought about last year doing the CP, and made the following comments at the time:

It seems to me that whether it is Porto, Leon, Burgos or anywhere else, the urban and industrial areas at the outskirts of these cities are the places where people live and work, raise their families, earn their income, play sport, attend their churches, and so many other things. It seemed to me that it would be disdainful not to walk through these areas. Concrete and asphalt are going to be harder on one's feet than other surfaces. The aesthetic appeal of historic city centres or the bucolic ambience of more rural settings isn't there to distract one from these less appealing places. But these are the places where the local people live out the bulk of their lives, and equally deserving of being part of my pilgrimage as any of the other places I walked.
and
I walked the Central Route earlier this year, after walking from Lisbon via Fatima. I chose not to skip any sections. Certainly the stage from Porto north lacks the aesthetic appeal of the city and you don't reach the relative calm of farmland until much later in that stage. But it is where many Portuguese live and work, and I thought it would be disdainful to ignore that, and them, in my own pilgrim experience. After all, there is little of the countryside that hasn't been altered by the hands of man, as have these urban landscapes.
 
I don't read into this any recommendation to take the bus, although he does make it clear in the rather loaded language preceding this that he doesn't think the walk in from Mansilla is pleasant.
I've just been looking at the same part of the 2016 edition. The language is indeed very loaded - is the route into (and out of) Leon really "dangerous"? I walked it quite recently and nothing I saw made me think so. Taken as a whole that part of the guide really does seem to be advocating that walkers skip the sections between Mansilla de las Mulas and Virgen del Camino and use public transport to cross the entire greater Leon urban area. The following paragraph where he questions the merits of walking the whole of a chosen route reads like a defence of that approach. The importance of intention in a pilgrimage is a key issue for me and I'm glad to see that he raises it. Brierley suggests that ego may be a factor in this: that may well be true but I think it is only one partial factor. I am finding it difficult to think of any well-considered intention underpinning a pilgrimage which would support only choosing to walk those parts of a route which are superficially attractive. I am assuming that Brierley is being facetious when he suggests that walking beyond Santiago to Finisterre is in any sense compensation for kilometres skipped earlier in one's journey. If not then we obviously see this matter very differently.

brierley-crop.jpg
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I no longer own a copy of Brierley's guide, but I do remember those suggestions in the 2015 edition. I also distnctly recall being puzzled and annoyed by what felt like subtle hypocrisy: walk a spiritual way, but feel free to bail if you find it tedious or ugly. Any genuine spirtual disciplne doesn't do that kind of bailing.

I am finding it difficult to think of any well-considered intention underpinning a pilgrimage which would support only choosing to walk those parts of a route which are superficially attractive.
True. The intention underlying a holiday would, though.

We begin to tread on dangerous ground. The thing is, @Natique2 just needs to examine her intention, and act in accord with that. Walk or take the bus. Both work, but just for different intentions.
 
The language is indeed very loaded - is the route into (and out of) Leon really "dangerous"? I walked it quite recently and nothing I saw made me think so.
As I recollect my first camino in 2010, much of what I read about the entry into Leon focussed on the crossing of the N-601 that involved the broad equivalent of the computer game Frogger, with pilgrims having to choose the moments when the traffic was just right to start walking across the road. In 2010, this crossing had been replaced by a on overhead pedestrian bridge, which completely removed what looked like it would have been a very dangerous crossing. If my memory serves me correctly, there was no evidence that there had even been a pedestrian crosswalk installed, let alone some of the other pedestrian aids one might expect today.

So I suspect labelling the approach into Leon as dangerous might well have been justified before the footbridge was installed, but @Bradypus, like you I couldn't see that it was justified when I walked in 2010.
 
the crossing of the N-601 that involved the broad equivalent of the computer game Frogger, with pilgrims having to choose the moments when the traffic was just right to start walking across the road.
😱😱😱
So I suspect labelling the approach into Leon as dangerous might well have been justified before the footbridge was installed, but @Bradypus, like you I couldn't see that it was justified when I walked in 2010.
Good point. There was also the very scary bridge before Villarente, also much changed now.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
As I recollect my first camino in 2010, much of what I read about the entry into Leon focussed on the crossing of the N-601 that involved the broad equivalent of the computer game Frogger, with pilgrims having to choose the moments when the traffic was just right to start walking across the road. In 2010, this crossing had been replaced by a on overhead pedestrian bridge, which completely removed what looked like it would have been a very dangerous crossing. If my memory serves me correctly, there was no evidence that there had even been a pedestrian crosswalk installed, let alone some of the other pedestrian aids one might expect today.

So I suspect labelling the approach into Leon as dangerous might well have been justified before the footbridge was installed, but @Bradypus, like you I couldn't see that it was justified when I walked in 2010.
Make no doubt about it, prior to 2010 the path to León was a harrowing experience. And once upon a time the Yellow Brick road out of Villafranca was without a physical barrier. Thankfully both of these situations have been improved for the better.

The post that started this thread has me thinking that modern pilgrims know WAY to much about the camino prior to starting. A part of me worries that they are shaping their experience prior to even starting it.
 
The post that started this thread has me thinking that modern pilgrims know WAY to much about the camino prior to starting. A part of me worries that they are shaping their experience prior to even starting it.
Amen. There seems way more over-thinking, over-viewing, and over-preparing than there used to be. The huge number of blogs, vlogs videos, and books makes for both angst and expectation.

It's never what you think it will be.
 
I have read that the path out of Leon is not well marked and goes through a sketchy area. It was suggested that pilgrims take a taxi to the outskirts of the city and pick up the Camino outside the city. Does anyone have insight about this? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,
Maryanne
I never found it scary, it's a bit industrial walking to Virgen del Camino, but a lot more housing has gone up since I first walked it. Depending on time of year, you could ask to walk with someone, but there are usually a lot of other peregrino walking from Leon. There are long stretches of highway on the road route, and lots of arrows giving you one last chance to take the alternate route, but I didn't ever find way marking difficult. Road route to Hospital de Orbigo is shorter overall, more opportunities to stop, eat, sleep, other route easier on the feet and less traffic. The first turn off to the alternate route was a little confusing leaving Virgen del Camino, but it's been a while since I took it.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I have NOT read this entire thread, so someone probably already posted this information.
But you can jump on a city bus to Virgen del Camino and walk from there. Cost is less than 2 euros.
At the San Froilan church, I cross the highway and take the LEFT route.
I do not walk the highway route.
 
I have NOT read this entire thread, so someone probably already posted this information.
But you can jump on a city bus to Virgen del Camino and walk from there. Cost is less than 2 euros.
At the San Froilan church, I cross the highway and take the LEFT route.
I do not walk the highway route.
Yes, it has been thoroughly informed/debated here in this thread eariler. 👍 :cool:
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Amen. There seems way more over-thinking, over-viewing, and over-preparing than there used to be. The huge number of blogs, vlogs videos, and books makes for both angst and expectation.

It's never what you think it will be.
angst and expectations to be disappointed for some ... but joyful anticipation for others 😉
I know several people for whom preparing a journey with all the details, the what-ifs, discussions and the nice previews online are an important part of their experience. They enjoy it, weeks if not months before the actual start.
This is not me, but for some it is just a great experience pre-walking.
 
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