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After working online yesterday, and having showered and shaved, I proceeded to the third stage of the morning; asking for some food at the monastery. Unfortunately it was a no-go at the monastery and I continued on in the direction of the cathedral feeling a little hungry and quite a bit anxious about having to literally play for my food. It is the first time I have ever played on the street and of course any debut is a nail biting experience to some extent.
I chose the busiest street in Leon, set my guitar case down and threw a few coins which I had into the case. I started out playing an instrumental piece and then I just relaxed, focussed, and began to belt out a list of tunes and beginning with Hey Jude. Whenever anyone threw money into the case I let out a loud “Gracias!”.
In about 2 hours I earned about 20 Euro and I decided that this was going to be enough.
The songs which seem the more popular are Hey Jude, Wonderwall, and Peggy Sue.
The first thing I did after collecting up the coins and packing my guitar was to head for Calle Santisteban y Osorio, and in particular to Bar Danubio:
This bar is about a 15 minute walk from the centre of Leon, but well-worth it; the fried calamari tapas are just too good here:
The owner, Daniel:
As I strolled back towards the centre of town from Daniel’s bar, I took the following photos which seemed to me to in a small way sum up Leon:
I reached the cathedral and decided that I would walk on and out of the city, until I bumped into Ines on the street and we both agreed that we should immediately go get some tapas 🙂
The difference btw between tapas and pinchos is that with pinchos you buy the wine and the food. With tapas you buy a wine and you are then offered a choice of food options; the food being complimentary in this case. A wine typically costs 1 Euro only.
We headed to Calle Azabacheria in the old town – a few steps from the cathedral – and to el rincon del gaucho bar:
I suggested to Ines that she try the bulls blood tapas and we were soon chomping away to our heart’s delight on Morcilla:
I had such a wonderful evening with Ines and later when I walked her back to her albergue, we hugged and said our goodbyes (I was planning on walking out of Leon that night). It is times like these that one feels truly alive.
I began the walk out of the centre, got completely lost and walked around in circles for about an hour, but then met a Spanish family out walking on the night streets and they very kindly walked me to where the Camino path ran – after having bought me a sandwich and a coffee too. Such lovely people.
I walked on, reached the next village out of Leon (Virgin del Camino), and crashed for the night in my warm sleeping bag and in the grounds of a monastery:
I woke at around 7 and was suddenly dying for the toilet.
The door to the monastery opened at about the same time and I was invited in to use the toilet and to wash. Good timing 🙂
One point worth noting here is that at Virgin del Camino you have the option of walking an alternate way of the Camino which doesn’t follow the main road. I would recommend this way because I walked it last year, but this year I have chosen to walk the standard way and this way follows quite a boring and busy road. Still though, I spotted a few charming points on the way so far and one was this lovely church which the storks seem so at home in:
I now continue walking onwards, in the presence of my Future.