We took advantage of our off day by sleeping to 7:30, then walking toward the bus station, stopping along the way to get breakfast.
The bus station in being renovated, so a temporary area with ticket kiosks, rest rooms and small shops was enclosed at one end of the area where buses arrive and depart.
We were approached by an official but very nice young lady who answered all our questions in English and even gave us a bus schedule. She also showed us where our bus will be located when we board tomorrow morning!
For Camino2022, we want to by-pass walking through the western outskirts of Leon, which offer eight or so miles of city walking with traffic, inconsistent sidewalks, then highly industrial areas and then roadside paths or shoulder walking.
Based on our findings this morning, we will walk to the bus station tomorrow morning, leaving the hotel around 7:30 to arrive at a bar just a few steps from the station and have breakfast. Our bus to Hospital de Orbigo departs at 9:00 am from Leon and arrives at 9:33. We will purchase tickets for 6€ each from the driver when boarding the bus.
We will disembark just outside Hospital de Orbigo (where we stayed in 2015 and 2019) and will begin our walk for the day.
With our logistics planning done, we began working our way back toward our hotel, and as always, enjoying the beautiful new and old buildings that remarkably blend together so well throughout this nearly 2000 year old city.
We made stops along the way to buy a few items we anticipate we’ll need on the remaining weeks to Santiago. Items like a replacement belt that broke on Jim’s shorts, a long sleeve shirt that Jim forgot to pack, some warm tights for Linda, replacement batteries for our headlamps, etc.
We also needed to find and buy an additional credential for stamps to verify/prove that we walked the necessary distance to Santiago to earn a Compostela. The single credentials we started with won’t have enough space for all the stamps we will collect for our nearly 60 day journey.
We unloaded our purchases at our room, then walked across the plaza to have a pizza lunch at the Boccalino Hotel restaurant.
After lunch we visited the beautiful building we’ve been viewing from our room.
The basilica, Real Colegiata de San Isidoro was commissioned by Fernando I to house relics returned by Muslims after their defeat in the Reconquista.
The relics of San Isidoro of Seville (ca. 560-636) are housed in the basilica. Adjacent to the basilica is a museum and pantheon that includes the remains of 11 kings, 12 queens and a number of other princes, princesses, counts and other nobles. It also contains the chalice of Doña Urraca, the daughter of King Ferdinand I and Queen Sancha, the Holy Grail, reputed to be the goblet used by Christ at the Last Supper!
We pretty much chilled for the rest of the day.
In spite of our “day off” we still managed to walk another 4.5 miles today, around Leon, but not to be included in our total for Camino2022.
So tomorrow it’s back on the Camino for our final 180 miles to Santiago.