Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 18 - Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon (18 kms)

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!


  1. So happy you got to stay at this amazing place! Dad and I watched 'The Way' two nights ago, it was cool to see all the different places that you ladies would be seeing/some stopping! Hoping you feel refreshed for the coming days! Lots of love, belle

  2. What a special treat!!How amazing to be able to spend even a short while soaking up the history and enjoying the ambiance of this wonderful old Monastery.I'm sure you will have an extra spring in your steps after your massage as well!
    It is such a treat to arrive at the computer each day and follow your journey . God bless

  3. Sounds like a great day girls with many highlights. The monastery looks incredible and a perfect time for some spoiling. I'm sure the bodies are revived and relaxed after massages and a less tiring days walk. 18kms sounds like a doddle compared to most of your other days.
    Jill, you look glued to the contents of that shop window. It must be something very yummy and highly desirable!!
    Take care both of you. Go team!!
    Jan x

  4. Wow - what a place. Simply splendid. Thanks for sharing. Keep well. xx

  5. I've just caught up on the last few days and it is so good to see the blue sky in pictures and the rain jackets hanging of the back of packs :) I love the pictures of this gorgeous hotel, so happy for you two getting to experience all this beauty.
    Much love, kat xoxo

  6. You are taking me on this amazing adventure with you albeit in spirit.

    I look forward to waking each day to read your experiences of the day. The people and places are just so inspiring.

    Hopefully your bodies are holding up reasonably well considering.

    love to you both and i look forward to my next installment tomorrow. xxx