The Sun Also Rises

August 27, 2013

What would a Camino be without getting up before the sun rises and racing to the next albergue? In our case, it was a bit different circumstances. In order to catch our 0935 train from Leon to Madrid, we had to wake up around 0630 to catch the 0750 bus to the Leon train station. Since the sun doesn’t rise until 0730 or so, Kathryn and I got to walk the streets of Mansilla de las Mulas before dawn. We got to see a few peregrinos on bicycles heading out of town.

As we took the bus westward toward Leon, we passed a good number of pilgrims walking along the path. Given their distance travelled, we figured they must have been on the road by 0630 or so. It was only a 20-25 minute ride into the city and we enjoyed a brief walk along the river between the bus station and train station.

Our train originated in Gijon on the Atlantic coast and was right on time. Soon we were blasting along at a peak speed of 250 km/hr. There only a few stops before Madrid and we arrived just after noon.

Our first mission of the day was to go back to the Qatar Airways CTO and ask for a refund of the ticket I had to buy between Jakarta and Madrid (see previous post). Luckily they were open this time and couldn’t have been more pleasant and helpful. One of the agents saw our scallop shells and asked about our camino experience.

With that burden finally resolved, we grabbed some lunch before heading over to our hotel. We stayed there last year and it’s located on one of the pedestrian only shopping streets. The people watching in Madrid is among the best in the world, and this street is a great place to take it all in.

Our plans for tonight are still open. We’ll probably wander around a bit and enjoy the beautiful warm weather and all the activity in the streets near our hotel.

Notes from today:

Left Mansilla de las Mulas at 0750 via bus
Arrived Leon at 0820
Total time 0.5 hours
Total distance 18.6 km
Average speed 37.2 km/hr

Left Leon at 0935 via train
Arrived Madrid 1222
Total time 2.75 hours
Total distance 335 km (approx.)
Average speed 121.8 km/hr

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