Mansilla de las Mulas - Villamoros - Villarente - Arcahueja - Vadelafuente - Leon.
We walked just 18 kms today to arrive shortly before noon in the centre of the old city of Leon with its extraordinary cathedral the centrepiece. We walked a further one kilometre along The Way to our resting place for the night, the Parador de Leon - Hostal San Marcos, a former monastery from the 16th century.
The exterior is beautiful certainly but nothing could have prepared us for the interiors of this extraordinary hotel - the story and artefacts of its history are lovingly maintained and presented more like a world class art gallery.
When the concierge Carlos Juan showed us into our lovely room, we were by then so overwhelmed with the beauty and our good fortune that we were in tears - of happiness, of course.
I guess all we would want to say is that if you ever have the opportunity to visit Leon, treat yourself to at least one night at this most beautiful and peaceful place. It seems that all the rooms are open and guests are free to wander the building and gardens uninterrupted. You could spend days exploring the hotel alone and soaking up its rich history.
Not much more to say - we hope the photos give you an idea of the highlights of Day 18 of our Camino.
With many thanks for your comments and emails to Ainsley, Kev and Elaine, Helen, Gemma, Sue, Jeanette, Lindy, Audrey, Michael and Martin. And thank you and welcome to Jurgen Schneider (a friend of Jenny's German friend Nina from Camino 2011 - Nina sent Jurgen the link to our blog). Jurgen completed part of the Camino in 2010 from SJPP to Sahagun and will return to walk from Sahagun to Finisterre in June this year. Thank you for following our adventure. We wish you a Buen Camino.
And special thanks again to Martin for the gift of our massages this afternoon. What a blissful experience. Es perfect. We have no doubt we will have a restful night and leave in great shape - and great spirits - tomorrow.
With gratitude for our good fortune.
Jenny xx and Jill xx
Parador de Leon - Hostal San Marcos, Espana
P.S. More than 100 photos taken today - so this is just a selection!