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Walking the Camino de Santiago: Mansilla de las Mulas to Léon

Walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comThose of you who follow me on Instagram will know that this summer (2018) I walked 190km along the Camino de Santiago, from Burgos to Léon in Spain. This is the third leg of the Camino which I started in 2016 (if you’re interested, I wrote a Q&A post in response to some of the questions people had asked me along the way that year), I’m completing a leg each summer until 2020. This is Day 25 (other posts linked at the end of this post).

Camino Frances Day 25: Mansilla de las Mulas to Léon (approx 18 km)

Last day on the Camino for this summer (and just two more legs to go!)! The guidebook warns that the path today is mostly road that runs parallel to the busy main road into Léon, suggesting that “respect for the Camino” is “in short supply around Léon”. Ok then. I’ve had experience with this type of warning before, heading into other “big cities” along the way (Logroño, Pamplona, Burgos) where the book is pretty dismissive of the “busyness” of these larger cities. In fact the book even suggests that because it’s SO busy (and actually it says it’s dangerous!) heading into Léon, that one might consider GETTING THE BUS instead of walking. This made me a little nervous, to be honest – I remembered that it was challenging walking into Burgos simply because the waymarkers tend to get lost the closer you get to the city centre but I figured I had Google Maps and I’d be ok. The “dangerous” part worried me a little but I reckoned that I could just take it slowly if the walking really was that bad.

The day started out peacefully out of Mansilla de las Mulas…

Starting the day walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com Alongside the big roads walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com Just outside Mansilla walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comThe path wandered by the main road on and off and, of course, there were the usual confusing arrows…

Confusing signage walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com(when in doubt, follow the smaller, unadorned arrows…)

It was a quiet morning on the path – barely saw anyone…

Heading off the main road walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com On the approach to Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com Green paths walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com(most of the path today was actually NOT by the main road, contrary to what the book said…)

There were some splashes of colour…

OUtside Arcahueja walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comA free slice of cake with my morning coffee in Arcahueja

Coffee and cake in Arcahueja walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd a hill that wasn’t mentioned in the book just as you’re about to enter the outskirts of Léon (the book says you “skirt briefly around the side” of the hill but you actually go up and over…)

Headed uphill walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comArriving on the very edge of Léon, I spotted some “dangerous” roads..

OUtskirts of Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comBut that blue bridge, the one we are supposed to walk over, it was closed. There was a detour (thankful for Google Maps at this point…)

Headed off the main road outside Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comUm, ok. Wasn’t too happy about THIS being the path… But actually the detour was more like this:

Detour outside Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comUh sure… It was like this for about a kilometre or so, then turned into this:

Dirt road detour walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd finally, finally…. I was in Léon

Arriving in Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comThe outskirts of the city are quite spread out so even though you have “arrived” there’s a fair bit of walking to do before you get to the city centre. It’s hard walking on main roads when you’re used to dirt paths…

Big boulevard in Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comFinally, the ugly outskirts (doesn’t every city have them?) were behind me and I was in the old town…

Plaza Mayor in Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comLeon streets walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comRoman wall walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comView from hotel walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comI spent the afternoon relaxing before I headed out to check out the cathedral…

Leon cathedral interior walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd then it POURED with rain so I sought shelter in a tour of the town via Petit Train (always a must in my opinion – a good way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time and get some history along the way!)

Petit Train in Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com(for 4€50 it was the best way to wait out the storm!)

Whiled away a few hours in La Trastinda del 13, a charming wine bar where I had a couple of glasses of wine and got tapas with each glass so I pretty much didn’t need dinner…

WIne bar in Leon walking the Camino de Santiago Mansilla de las Mulas to Leonon eatlivetravelwrite.com190km under my belt in 9 days. Felt pretty pleased with that! And just two stages to go (two more summers!). When I began this journey two years ago, I never imagined I’d get this far in. But here I am… Stay tuned next summer for the Léon – Sarría stage!

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Disclosure: I researched Camino trips independently and chose the Camino Travel Center based on a number of features such as flexibility to accommodate a couple of “splits” in some of the longer days, price and customer service. They were, in fact the first company I came across in my very first Google search and the one I ended up booking with. From the initial inquiry to the actual trips, they have been a pleasure to deal with and we have been very impressed with the service provided (bag transportation) and the accommodation choices. I was not compensated to write about this trip in any way but I love sharing companies and products I believe in with my readers. I couldn’t recommend the Camino Travel Center more and, in fact, am booking another Camino walk with them for next summer (and every summer until I reach Santiago!).

Read more about the Camino de Santiago

Click here to read all my posts about the Camino de Santiago!

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