I know, I know, I know… I read about it on many books, blogs and articles, and many people advised me on this. “Do not bring too much stuff!” everyone and their neighbor told me.
My bicycle weights around 15kg plus 17kg of stuff. I agree, the: 100gr conditioner, different sizes of rubber bands and bungies, zip-ties, electrical tape, duck tape, all kind of medicines including anti-itching cream, Neosporin, and ibuprofen, eau de cologne, face wash, shaving oil, solar panel / battery, JBL Bluetooth speaker, two books I haven’t opened, eye mask, and sunglasses case, may be a bit too much to bring. Particularly cause this hasn’t been used much, I still think the speaker will save my life at some point and I’ve enjoyed listening to music while staying at hotels. The point is, will salsa excel better, or my lower back will stop hurting when I carry her, if I ditch all this? I’m not sure, and what if I DO need this. I already went through a rigorous exercise of packing and all of the above won the rigorous contest.
Talking about eliminating and making processes more efficient, I realized that taking two showers a day is a bit of a waste. I take a shower when I get to the hostel at night cause I’m dusty, sweaty, and smelly. But then I take another shower in the morning to wake up. Today I eliminated that morning step and salsa was speeding at 8:50am, record time! Lesson learnt, no more morning showers unless I have plenty of time to pack my stuff.
Diego was kind enough to give me a drink of orange juice and Chloé some of her bread, that was breakfast until I found a store. We exchange our info and wished the best for each other.
Today I had a rare commodity, time. I decided to make it all the way to Leon for some reasons, it was about, or a little less, the distance I wanted to do, there was no town appealing in the middle, and I really wanted to stay in Leon. So the journey went like this:
I then stopped for another fancy lunch. I have some free recipes to share:
a) Great aged cheese: 1. buy cheese, 2. store it on your pannier, 3. forget about it, 4. ride your bike for three days under sunny and dirty roads (if you are heading west and are on the northern hemisphere make sure to place it on your left pannier so that the effect of the sun is stronger), 4. find it, 5. Voila!!! Some grease will separate from the cheese and the flavor will be way more intense.
b) how to love your daily cheese & seafood bocadillo and make it taste great. 1. get your usual bocadillo, 2. Get hungry, 3. Keep riding, 4. Get more hungry, 5. Ride 30 min more, 6. Decide to stop but make sure you like the place, 7. Find a place you really feel is good enough to stop to -my must is water nearby such a river or fountain-, 8. Stop, by now you will eat anything before your eyes, 9. Enjoy your delicious bocadillo.
I made it to Leon, this was a more pleasant entry than the one in Burgos.
My family was kind enough to sponsor this night at the Parador San Marcos. One of the most exclusive hotels in town. Thank you!!!
The facade is very overwhelming, the building has served many purposes since the XI century such as pilgrims hospital, jail, hostel, etc…
While tourists were taking pictures of the facade and locals were enjoying themselves in the plaza before the entry, I looked around took some pictures, identified the entry and let salsa do the triumphal appearance by opening the spotless glass doors. The room rate was surprisingly lower than I expected but still about 10 or 15 nights worth my usual hostel. I gave my details, got my stamp on my Camino passport, and was instructed to follow a gentleman designated to carry the luggage to my room. I normally, -meaning ‘normally’ the occasions when my luggage is free of mud and it actually looks like something square that has wheels under and can be dragged- avoid this kind of service and I’m very successful in doing so. I insisted in taking care of this by myself and only be guided to the bicycle storage area. Well, I failed. He did take me to kiss salsa good night and then stressed the point that I rode way too much and carried my four muddy panniers to my room.
I took a shower and went for an afternoon walk in the city. Found my friends Carolina and Lauren out of the cathedral while I was talking to Berndt. He is a teacher on his sabbatical riding a bike with everything you could think of, about three times salsa’s weight. The route he is doing around Europe is quite impressive.
I’ve been with all kind of people and did not feel bad having dinner on my own at the hotel restaurant with a 4 course dinner. Surely good company would have been welcome but for tonight I was happy on my own.