7 June: Leon to La Robla

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“Get it, get it, over this way, no, ah it’s sinking, no it’s floating away, quickly!”
It was just like the scene in the movie, The Way, when Martin Sheen’s backpack falls in the river and floats away downstream – well, just like it, but with a few differences. Firstly, our real life episode thankfully involved a hat and not a backpack. And instead of disappearing downstream, it snagged on a partially submerged branch and stayed there long enough for us to consider our options. The water was too deep for wading and pretty fast-flowing, besides. The two Spaniards on the bridge were most concerned and full of vocal cautions when I went down to the water’s edge. But rather than going in (there’s no way I was going to do a Martin and jump in!), I was considering extending the hiking poles and fishing it out; unfortunately that hat was well out of reach. Fishing! Now there was a thought! With our washing line and a pin, we tried valiantly to hook a catch, and indeed got very close. It was all very dramatic with the Spaniards calling instructions and the mother calling out the translation and the older brother insisting he could do it better and the owner of the hat generally flapping around and the fisherman just doing his own thing. Then just like in a movie, the catastrophic event worsened and off the hat floated. I dashed under the bridge, hoping to catch it, the older man jumped down from the bridge and grabbed a long stick – but we couldn’t even see it – it vanished in the bushes! With uncharacteristic courage, I stepped out into the torrent onto some rocks and the man disappeared into the bushes upstream to try to find the thing and dislodge it with another stick. Nada. Eventually we had to face the reality that we were not in a movie, Martin Sheen was not going to rescue us and while the Spanish man was trying his best, there was no happy ending in sight.
“Well that gives my journalling some adventure,” Micaiah concluded as we walked dejectedly away.
Even without the high drama, Ella-Rose had already declared, “This is the best day on the camino.” I probed for explanation and her answer came quickly: there’s more than wheat to look at, it’s not straight and it’s mostly downhill. She was right on two counts, and I decided not to disillusion her about the mostly downhill. Our strava reading tells a different story:

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However, it was not hard walking. The climbs were gentle and short – easier than any of the hikes we do in the ranges at home.

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When the path went *around* the hill, the kids chose the high road and went over. The potential problem today was the distance, but judiciously chosen moments to make food appear allayed any further drama and it was an aniseedy-proudy-daddy day.
Actually, Daddy would not only have been proud; he just might be jealous when he sees the pictures: lavender-covered hillsides, quaint villages and mountain vistas.

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Not that it always looked so promising. We set off in drizzle and 9 degrees.

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Destination: La Robla
Distance: 30.7km
Cumulative Distance: 772km
228km to go….hopefully we won’t quite crack the 800 tomorrow!
Weather: drizzle…..then the wind got up

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Eventually the sun came out and the temperature hit 20 degrees, although perhaps it was the wind that prevented us from believing the thermometer we saw
Dinner: cheese on toast with soup, which doesn’t sound like much after a long walk, but we ate all day – muesli and yoghurt, hot chocolates with magdalenas, filled ciabatta rolls, chocolate, icecreams….and there was a big attraction that banished the hunger pangs right next to our albergue

20140607-213324-77604814.jpg….because 30+km and then some more back into the pueblo to buy food after siesta-shops-shut-time is not enough exercise for one day!

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4 thoughts on “7 June: Leon to La Robla

  1. It looks like such a beautiful route! I still remember the horrible hot day I had leaving Leon in 2008 on the Camino Frances via busy roads etc- my least favourite day in the route I think. This looks so very pleasant, and such interesting walking. Shame about the hat, though it did provide a good piece of drama. I lost my hat twice in France- and both times it was miraculously brought back to me! Hopefully a replacement will turn up before too much sun does.

    • To be fair, there were 7-8km of trudging beside the road, and just before La Robla is a really ugly industrial area…….but I’m not documenting everything, and not so much for the purpose of informing other would-be Peregrinos, so that all got skipped. Definitely nice walking though.

  2. Thank you for the postcard you sent us! It was a lovely surprise. Keep up the amazing effort! We are missing you heaps! lots of love from all the Eds 🙂

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