Yesterday was my 20th day of consecutive walking and I started a little later at around 7.00 am knowing that I had around 25 kilometres to walk to reach the city of Leon. The forecast was for another warm day. The sun was rising as I left Reliegos but there was no cuckoo today to greet the day. This was my final day on the Meseta and the path continued as before running close to the highways. I passed through several villages including Mansilla de las Mulas where I stopped for breakfast. Temperatures soon began to rise reaching 27 degrees by 10 am but for this last stretch of the Meseta, there were more places to rest and shelter from the heat than in the previous 3 days. I arrived in Leon around 2.00 pm and after a shower and rest in the Leon Hostel where I was staying for the night, I went for a walk taking in the atmosphere of this ancient Spanish city. After a little shopping for essentials, I visited the city’s wonderful cathedral. In the evening I met up with a Camino friend for dinner and several glasses of a very tasty red wine – I had decided to take a rest day to explore Leon, so for the first time since I started walking, there was no need for an early night and we talked until close to midnight.
Today began with thunderstorms and torrential rain which lasted until early afternoon. It was then that I was able to explore the old part of the city more closely visiting the Basilica de San Isidoro a church erected on the grounds of a Roman temple and its Christian roots go back to the 10th century when a monastery for Saint John the Baptist was erected in the grounds. The old city is full of narrow streets filled with colorful old buildings – a delightful vibrant city.