Camino de Santiago Day 6: Ledigos to Leon, Spain

The magnificent Leon Cathedral
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Camino de Santiago Day 6: Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Day 6: Ledigos to Leon, 77 kms.

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Am now halfway through my scheduled trip and things were looking good when I left the albergue. There were three of us cyclists – the two were stragglers of a group from Bolivia who got separated and were catching up to meet with the rest of their companions somewhere ahead.

The magnificent Leon Cathedral
The magnificent Leon Cathedral

Ledigos to Leon, 77 kms.

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Plaza Mayor, Leon's main square filled with shops and restaurants.
Plaza Mayor, Leon’s main square filled with shops and restaurants.

Since most of the land was flat (but featureless) we biked at a fast clip single file and arrived in Sahagun in less than an hour. There were many ancient religious buildings there but I didn’t stop, keeping my sights on the big city of Leon. It was 62kms. further away.

Tapas bars abound on this pedestrian-only street.
Tapas bars abound on this pedestrian-only street.
A lumbering truck like this is not a cyclist's best friend on the road.
A lumbering truck like this is not a cyclist’s best friend on the road.

Passed by many peregrinos on the way to Castrovega and for some time the road and dirt track paralleled each other for many kilometers. I stopped in Manzanilla de las Mulas for a late lunch. It was an interesting town with original Roman walls but again, there was no time to linger and explore. After a brief rest, I took off with one hand holding on to a cone of gelato – dessert on the road!

After tumbling into this shallow ditch, I took a break and realized I was at the halfway point now of my journey.
After tumbling into this shallow ditch, I took a break and realized I was at the halfway point now of my journey.


A lone peregrino passing by a cornfield which is a common sight on the landscape.
A lone peregrino passing by a cornfield which is a common sight on the landscape.
This lovely, twin-towered building was the former town hall.
This lovely, twin-towered building was the former town hall.

The way steadily climbed from Villafuerte on the last leg. It was a gradual ascent but I think the hot sun took its toll on me for I got tired easily. So with 15kms. to go, I stopped and looked for a place to nap under a cluster of trees near the road.

A mouth-watering picture on the wall of a restaurant.
A mouth-watering picture on the wall of a restaurant.
Entering the outskirts of Leon.
Entering the outskirts of Leon.

By the time I dusted off the cobwebs of drowsiness and woke up, the sun was already hanging low on the horizon – I had been dozing for over an hour! It was two hours more of hard pedaling before I reached the outskirts of the city and another 30 minutes to get to the centro.

I could view one of the cathedral's towers in the distance.
I could view one of the cathedral’s towers in the distance.
Futilely looking for an albergue and finding none, I decided to stay at this small hotel for the night.
Futilely looking for an albergue and finding none, I decided to stay at this small hotel for the night.
Selfie with camera on a tripod at the corner street with these metallic LEON letters.
Selfie with camera on a tripod at the corner street with these metallic LEON letters.

The Cathedral of Leon was huge and had many beautiful stained glass windows – 1,800 sq. meters in all with some dating back to the 13th century. Known also as the House of Light, this magnificent medieval Gothic cathedral is one of the three major cathedrals aside from Burgos and Santiago de Compostela on the Camino.

Simply the best combination: tapas and red wine!
Simply the best combination: tapas and red wine!

Next to the cathedral was Plaza Mayor, the main public square where people lounged around the restaurants as the evening wore on and the nearby streets were chock-a-block full of shops, banks and bars. They said that Leon had the best tapas in Spain so that’s what I had and wasn’t disappointed. Paired with their famous bierzo wine, I had to drag myself out of the tapas joint to look for a place to spend the night.  I couldn’t find an albergue nearby so, tired as I was, I didn’t bother to look further but just checked myself in at a small hotel. With Compo chained in the basement, I wearily sunk into bed and drifted off to sleep with the TV droning on in Spanish….

Note: This was my daily journal throughout the pilgrimage route which took all of 12 days from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela.

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