So we fiddled the itinerary today. We jumped over the first few kilometers out of Leon in a taxi and that saving meant we could opt to take the scenic route onwards instead of the shorter path by the motorway.
It was a pleasant walk down a small, but very long, deserted road. The horizon in the distance ahead is dominated by a ridge of mountains that we know we have to cross in a few days – and which aren’t getting lower as we edge towards them.
The fields we are walking through are generally getting smaller and there are more pig and cattle farms – the smell is unmistakable. Lines of trees delineate watercourses. The villages are generally less picturesque than we’ve been used to and are dominated by modern water towers. The water towers just add fuel to the unanswered question we’ve discussed for a long time – wheee the picturesque villages get their water from.
We got to Hospital de Orbigo mid afternoon. The town has a lovely bridge with a great little story attached. Some 600 years ago a love-sick knight camped at the bridge and offered to take on all-comers with his lance to prove his love. 300 fights later (he was aiming for 700) he was so injured he had to give up and went on a pilgrimage to Santiago instead. Every year now they have jousts under the bridge in his honor.
The other thing worth mentioning is the weather. While it has reminded sunny, the temperatures have changed. When we started out we were seeing low to high twenties. Today was 4-16 degrees. The good part is that it makes for easier walking, the bad part is it makes for less enjoyable sitting and strolling once we reach our destination. We’re not yet sure if the lower temperatures are here to stay, but for this week at least they appear to be hanging around.