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Some amusing graffiti on the slog into Leon

2020 Camino Guides

Sam Hardman

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007 Camino Francés
2017 SJPdP - Belorado
2018 SJPdP - Fisterra/Muxía
2019 Camino Primitivo
I'm not one to condone graffiti on the Camino but this was very subtle and made me smile on an otherwise miserable day. I was walking from El Burgo Ranero to Leon and left the albergue before dawn as I had a long way to walk. Ten minutes after setting off I see lightening flashes all around me and know rain is coming. By the time I reached Mansilla de las Mulas the rain had become a torrential downpour and I was cold and wet and trying to shelter under the eaves of a cafe.

While waiting in vain for the rain to stop I looked down and saw the painted sign to the bus station where I could easily have taken a bus straight into Leon. On the sign someone had written "Brierley said it's okay pg. 175". Sure enough, of page 175 of the Brierley guide he says
"The majority of pilgrims will have committed to travel the whole route by foot, which is highly commendable but others have different time and physical constraints. If the idea of taking public transport seems like heresy it might be useful to ask ourselves - why not?"
I didn't do it, but I was never more tempted to take the bus than at this point!
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas, Finisterre/Muxia 2017, Aragones 2018, Suso Yuso Meseta 2019
I wish that Brierley would remove that from his book. I fell for that on my first camino because I was suffering from every foot ailment known to peregrinos. Sitting on the bus watching the walking peregrinos I realized that for me it was a mistake. That is why my second camino began in the unlikely place of Mansilla de las Mulas, I had unfinished business. The second time around I walked every step including the rocky path down from Cruz de Ferro. It was a lesson for me, I could do it.

The walk into and out of Leon is really not so unpleasant, life does not have to be perfect.
 

Sam Hardman

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007 Camino Francés
2017 SJPdP - Belorado
2018 SJPdP - Fisterra/Muxía
2019 Camino Primitivo
Hahaha, cute.;)
Someone with a guilty conscience looking for company?
Haha! It wouldn't surprise me. A lot of people looked like they's had enough that day! The funny thing is I find the hard days some of the most rewarding, it just doesn't feel that way until it's over.
 

Sam Hardman

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007 Camino Francés
2017 SJPdP - Belorado
2018 SJPdP - Fisterra/Muxía
2019 Camino Primitivo
I wish that Brierley would remove that from his book. I fell for that on my first camino because I was suffering from every foot ailment known to peregrinos. Sitting on the bus watching the walking peregrinos I realized that for me it was a mistake. That is why my second camino began in the unlikely place of Mansilla de las Mulas, I had unfinished business. The second time around I walked every step including the rocky path down from Cruz de Ferro. It was a lesson for me, I could do it.

The walk into and out of Leon is really not so unpleasant, life does not have to be perfect.
I completely understand. My first ever experience of the Camino was cycling back in 2006. On that trip I got sick for one day and had to take a taxi 15 km. I was so annoyed about it afterwards that I went back the following year and did it all.

This time I was walking and knew I would regret taking the bus. And you are right, the walk into Leon isn't that bad!
 
Last edited:

DebR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
I wish that Brierley would remove that from his book. I fell for that on my first camino because I was suffering from every foot ailment known to peregrinos. Sitting on the bus watching the walking peregrinos I realized that for me it was a mistake. That is why my second camino began in the unlikely place of Mansilla de las Mulas, I had unfinished business. The second time around I walked every step including the rocky path down from Cruz de Ferro. It was a lesson for me, I could do it.

The walk into and out of Leon is really not so unpleasant, life does not have to be perfect.
Maybe perversely, I really like the walk into and out of Leon. I’ve done it a few times now, so it might be familiarity, but that slow climb through the outbound suburbs always makes me happy, even now then the “one wee drink at the parador” isn’t an option. One day, just to try it, I’ll take the bus...but it wasn’t this year.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
As always, every pilgrim does their own Camino. I am reminded that, even in medieval times, if a farmer came along in a donkey cart, and offered a pilgrim a ride to the next village, no harm would have been done to accept the ride.;) Nothing has really changed over more than one thousand years...

I have used buses and taxis at times when time, energy, health, or compete and utter ennui have stepped in and said that I have two choices: (1) end my Camino here and now, or (2) take a break, give myself a hand, and get a ride to the next planned stop.

After six Caminos, I realize that I have time, and I have adequate treasure. What I am beginning to run short of is physical stamina and good health. I also suffer from depression. Needs must...

If there is a will to finish a Camino, there is always a method to use. I do not judge what others do. In return, I expect the same consideration.

Over time, I have learned many, many lessons, suffered many a 'boo-boo,' required medical intervention, endured many days with my "black dog" chasing me (the WInston Churchill 'black dog' of depression...NOT a real dog), and managed to persevere. THAT is my Camino. Yours may vary according to many variables. There is no single Camino performance model.

The vow I made to myself was to continue to do Camino until I was physically unable to do so, even with mechanical assistance. Even then, Plan B is to increase my volunteer activities.

It's all good...

Hope this helps.
 

Sam Hardman

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007 Camino Francés
2017 SJPdP - Belorado
2018 SJPdP - Fisterra/Muxía
2019 Camino Primitivo
That’s called Type 2 Fun. Some of my most treasured memories fall into that category,
Type 2 fun is a very apt way of describing it! The whole walk into Leon was one of the most memorable of my trip and if I could go back I wouldn‘t change a thing.
 

Sam Hardman

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007 Camino Francés
2017 SJPdP - Belorado
2018 SJPdP - Fisterra/Muxía
2019 Camino Primitivo
As always, every pilgrim does their own Camino. I am reminded that, even in medieval times, if a farmer came along in a donkey cart, and offered a pilgrim a ride to the next village, no harm would have been done to accept the ride.;) Nothing has really changed over more than one thousand years...

I have used buses and taxis at times when time, energy, health, or compete and utter ennui have stepped in and said that I have two choices: (1) end my Camino here and now, or (2) take a break, give myself a hand, and get a ride to the next planned stop.

After six Caminos, I realize that I have time, and I have adequate treasure. What I am beginning to run short of is physical stamina and good health. I also suffer from depression. Needs must...

If there is a will to finish a Camino, there is always a method to use. I do not judge what others do. In return, I expect the same consideration.

Over time, I have learned many, many lessons, suffered many a 'boo-boo,' required medical intervention, endured many days with my "black dog" chasing me (the WInston Churchill 'black dog' of depression...NOT a real dog), and managed to persevere. THAT is my Camino. Yours may vary according to many variables. There is no single Camino performance model.

The vow I made to myself was to continue to do Camino until I was physically unable to do so, even with mechanical assistance. Even then, Plan B is to increase my volunteer activities.

It's all good...

Hope this helps.
I completely agree with this. I don‘t and didn‘t judge anyone for taking the bus or any other form of transport. Everyone has to make the decisions that are right for them and everyone‘s Camino is personal. I totally respect that 😊
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
You are, of course, correct. However, "back in the day," it was common for drivers of wheeled vehicles to offer rides to walking folks.

Avoiding contact and not offering rides is a fairly recent phenomenon. I suspect it is based on contemporary fear of personal harm and impatience to be someplace in a hurry, more than anything else. Similarly, hitchhiking has also gone out of vogue for many of the same reasons.

This said, I have, twice, flagged down a ride in Spain when I needed to get medical help in a hurry, and calling, then waiting for a taxi was not advisable. Men stop, women do not, I understand this.

Also, when driving a car along the Camino in Spain and France, I have also been flagged down and asked for a ride on two occasions. I will ALWAYS stop for a pilgrim,

But, no, I have not seen many donkey carts. It was a metaphorical tool, rooted in historical fact. I know you understood that.

Hope this helps.
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
May 2019 Portuguese
Sam, thanks for my first morning laugh! I love little treasures in life that pop up and make one smile.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Donkey carts! Of course there are donkey car(t)s! Express ones too - based in SJPP. I used one on my first camino, to get a lift up to Orisson. Regretted it too afterwards. I should have used shank's pony.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
I'm not one to condone graffiti on the Camino but this was very subtle and made me smile on an otherwise miserable day. I was walking from El Burgo Ranero to Leon and left the albergue before dawn as I had a long way to walk. Ten minutes after setting off I see lightening flashes all around me and know rain is coming. By the time I reached Mansilla de las Mulas the rain had become a torrential downpour and I was cold and wet and trying to shelter under the eaves of a cafe.

While waiting in vain for the rain to stop I looked down and saw the painted sign to the bus station where I could easily have taken a bus straight into Leon. On the sign someone had written "Brierley said it's okay pg. 175". Sure enough, of page 175 of the Brierley guide he says

I didn't do it, but I was never more tempted to take the bus than at this point!
Around Leon, I have no problems with the bus. Walked out of there once, after that, I took the bus to Virgen and no pangs of conscience. I dont know what it is about that town but unlike others, I cant stand the place and the quicker I can get out of it the better. The walk up those city streets and industrial areas is soul destroying
 

robproct

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP from Lisbon 2018
I didn't see many donkey carts on the CP from Lisbon but lots of tractors and trailers which I guess is the modern equivalent. At times I would have welcomed a ride if it had been offered but it was shanks all the way, except just once when I arrived at Vilarinho to find everything was full and it was 12 km to Sao Pedro de Rates. I didn't have another 12km in me so enjoyed the luxury of a cab. I felt no guilt and enjoyed the EU25 experience. Its all part of the Camino.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
As always, every pilgrim does their own Camino. I am reminded that, even in medieval times, if a farmer came along in a donkey cart, and offered a pilgrim a ride to the next village, no harm would have been done to accept the ride.;) Nothing has really changed over more than one thousand years...

I have used buses and taxis at times when time, energy, health, or compete and utter ennui have stepped in and said that I have two choices: (1) end my Camino here and now, or (2) take a break, give myself a hand, and get a ride to the next planned stop.

After six Caminos, I realize that I have time, and I have adequate treasure. What I am beginning to run short of is physical stamina and good health. I also suffer from depression. Needs must...

If there is a will to finish a Camino, there is always a method to use. I do not judge what others do. In return, I expect the same consideration.

Over time, I have learned many, many lessons, suffered many a 'boo-boo,' required medical intervention, endured many days with my "black dog" chasing me (the WInston Churchill 'black dog' of depression...NOT a real dog), and managed to persevere. THAT is my Camino. Yours may vary according to many variables. There is no single Camino performance model.

The vow I made to myself was to continue to do Camino until I was physically unable to do so, even with mechanical assistance. Even then, Plan B is to increase my volunteer activities.

It's all good...

Hope this helps.
That first paragraph is exactly what I was thinking.
For what it's worth, I also took the bus on that stretch, as I had suffered some severe dehydration on the previous two days. My own fault, but I lived to tell the tale (to my fellow passengers)...

Actually, I have really seen a cart and donkey on the CF, driven by some Romany, travelling eastward.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Walked out of there once, after that, I took the bus to Virgen and no pangs of conscience. I dont know what it is about that town but unlike others, I cant stand the place and the quicker I can get out of it the better. The walk up those city streets and industrial areas is soul destroying
Hmmm. I quite enjoyed it. More than once - without incurring inner damage.
So it's probably not Leon that's soul destroying but something else.;)

Perception is a funny thing, to be taken lightly.
So if you haven't walked yet, do take out nattering on about liking or disliking one way or another with a grain of salt - and see for yourself.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Hmmm. I quite enjoyed it. More than once - without incurring inner damage.
So it's probably not Leon that's soul destroying but something else.;)

Perception is a funny thing, to be taken lightly.
So if you haven't walked yet, do take out nattering on about liking or disliking one way or another with a grain of salt - and see for yourself.
And fair enough too. But the double-edged sword here is that all advice and or opinion can thus be disregarded, on the basis that personal experience is paramount. We would consequently have a largely superfluous forum!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I'm like some of the previous members. The first time I walked the camino my husband started with me. He had to return home to work, but wanted first to at least see the famous meseta. Because of his time constraints that meant taking a bus from Belorado into Burgos, from where we walked to Sahagun - he returned from there home and I kept walking to Santiago. It so annoyed me that we had bused a section I had to come back, two years later, and walk every inch.

That second walk proved to be fatal. It turned me from a once only walker to an addict.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
And fair enough too. But the double-edged sword here is that all advice and or opinion can thus be disregarded, on the basis that personal experience is paramount. We would consequently have a largely superfluous forum!
Haha! Well...
There is advice based in fact, and advice based on opinion - and lots of practical questions to be asked that have nothing to do with the latter. I doubt the Forum is in any danger.
We would have less fun if we could not spout our opinions, though.;)

I was merely pointing out that to label something as 'soul destroying' is to just offer an opinion, not a fact.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I have thoroughly enjoyed the walk out of Leon on the two times I have done it. And I only remember my first walk Into Leon because I got lost looking for a short cut and ended up doing the long way around, thus seeing the bull ring but missing all the pious pilgrim locations in the city centre. Fortunately I had three days to make up for it. I love Leon: into, out of, and inside. I wish I were there right now, instead of home on my computer.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Haha! Well...
There is advice based in fact, and advice based on opinion - and lots of practical questions to be asked that have nothing to do with the latter. I doubt the Forum is in any danger.
We would have less fun if we could not spout our opinions, though.;)

I was merely pointing out that to label something as 'soul destroying' is to just offer an opinion, not a fact.
I just realised that it was the walk into Leon that I bussed. (That is the section that Mr Brierley recommends be skipped). Sorry for the confusion. I must still be suffering delerium from the dehydration. I do remember a little of the walk out of Leon, particularly some troglodyte caves on a hillside, if that was indeed the place.
 

howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
As always, every pilgrim does their own Camino. I am reminded that, even in medieval times, if a farmer came along in a donkey cart, and offered a pilgrim a ride to the next village, no harm would have been done to accept the ride.;) Nothing has really changed over more than one thousand years...

I have used buses and taxis at times when time, energy, health, or compete and utter ennui have stepped in and said that I have two choices: (1) end my Camino here and now, or (2) take a break, give myself a hand, and get a ride to the next planned stop.

After six Caminos, I realize that I have time, and I have adequate treasure. What I am beginning to run short of is physical stamina and good health. I also suffer from depression. Needs must...

If there is a will to finish a Camino, there is always a method to use. I do not judge what others do. In return, I expect the same consideration.

Over time, I have learned many, many lessons, suffered many a 'boo-boo,' required medical intervention, endured many days with my "black dog" chasing me (the WInston Churchill 'black dog' of depression...NOT a real dog), and managed to persevere. THAT is my Camino. Yours may vary according to many variables. There is no single Camino performance model.

The vow I made to myself was to continue to do Camino until I was physically unable to do so, even with mechanical assistance. Even then, Plan B is to increase my volunteer activities.

It's all good...

Hope this helps.
I love this and second it. My own "black dog" managed to leave me be most of my Camino but I learned a lot about taking care of myself and knowing when to take a break - something I'm terrible about. My idea of "slow" was still too fast and I developed really terrible peroneal tendonitis in my left foot. Pavement really did me in. I had grand ideas about never skipping an inch of the Camino but I could barely put weight on that foot so had to take a cab into Burgos. When I later saw pictures of the terrain, I'm glad I had done it or I would likely of ended up calling off my Camino entirely.

I walked into Leon and though I was in pain, didn't find it that terrible. The Camino had been re-routed while repairs on a big, blue pedestrian bridge were made and so we ended up climbing up a ridge, past big radio towers, and then walked down through a pine forest. I stayed in Leon 2 days to recouperate and some pilgrim friends and I took a taxi out to the edge of town in order to skip the pavement.

I kept track of how much I walked exactly (I took a lot of scenic routes and detours to check things out) and my math says I walked 799km, which happens to be what they mark on the distance certificate in Santiago if you leave from SJPdP. Interesting coincidence despite me having skipped over a couple dozen km.

I'd love to do the entire walk into Burgos as the terrain looks interesting but I don't beat myself up about it at all. Everyone walks their own Camino; it's such a highly personal experience it's not for me to judge how others walk it. If a person feels they lost something by skipping a part, that's just as valid as another person feeling fine about it.
 

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