Camino Frances | Day 21
León to Villar de Mazarife, 21.6 km
León is a popular starting point; I expect the Camino to get crowded in the coming days, but for now, I owned the empty streets. I came across an ATM, and I took out some much-needed cash.
Only 306 km stand between Santiago and me. I came to a split on the road between the Frances and El Camino San Salvador to Oviedo. A fellow pilgrim advised me to stay the course.
Enjoyed a late breakfast at a bar with free Wifi in a cute hobbit village. Got an unexpected blessing from the priest at la Iglesia virgin del Camino where the twelve bronze statues face west to Santiago.
I opted for the two-day alternative route to avoid the busy road. A couple of left turns here and there, over an overpass, through a tunnel and soon I found myself in Fresno. Where I was lucky to find a bar just in time for an emergency pit stop. I snagged myself an orange juice, a muffin and some TP for the road.
The landscape has drastically changed from the agriculture fields of la Meseta to the dry brush of the Paramo. I was all alone for kilometers on end. Just the way I like it.
Took a five-minute break at Chozas de Abajo to reapply sunscreen, air out my sox, wet my feet and refilled my water bottle by a modern bell tower.
Said goodbye to grazing cattle on my way back to a lonely road that took me all the way to Villar de Mazarife. There were plenty of albergues in town to choose from; I stayed at Tio Pepe across the church of Santiago Apostol with three storks nesting atop the bell tower.
My credential is full of beautiful stamps, and it was time to get a new one.I stuffed my face with a three-course pilgrim meal, pasta, meatballs with fries, red wine, and café con leche.
Not much to do or see in Mazarife so let’s call it a day, a successful twenty-two km day.
Daily Cost Breakdown