A glimpse into the journal I kept for all 38 days on the Camino Frances, including up to 10 photos (not necessarily the best pictures but more that they represent that day in some particular way). Today is day 24 – May 14th. Leon to Villar de Mazarife

Breakfast in the Parador was glorious. I ate: hardboiled eggs, Iberian ham, cheeses, bread, jam in little pots, fruit (papaya, pineapple, and strawberries), bacon, café con leche, mango juice, and hot chocolate. I was supremely unhappy when my stomach refused to take in any more. …

Today’s walk went from urban to countryside with very scrubby brush. About a kilometer to Villar, I saw a pilgrim way ahead of me almost get run over by a car (the trail at this point was the road). The pilgrim was forced off the road into the ditch – I don’t know if the car did it on purpose as the incident could have happened right where there were a few potholes. But I hadn’t been close enough to see if the potholes really were a factor. …

Once in Villar, I walked inside the albergue and saw a bunch of different aged men staring back at me. Finally the guy behind the bar said “albergue?” and I said “si”. After signing in and ignoring the men still staring at me, I found my room and did the usual ablutions. …

Not much here, in Villar de Mazarife. I found a lovely isolated woods with a path but as I wandered it, I got this really strange weird feeling so I didn’t walk much of it. Maybe it was just the silence and isolation punctuated only by cuckoo birds and the rustling of heavy breezes through leaves. Maybe not. …

When I got back to the albergue to find out what time dinner was, I heard someone call my name. I turned around and this guy says he got my name from Father Michel, an 80-something priest I sometimes see along the Way. The guy was sitting with another guy and a woman. He turned out to be an Irish priest named Derek. The woman was Claire from Australia and the other guy, Johny, was from Ireland as well. I ended up having dinner and chatting with them for the rest of the evening. Johny kept trying to get a rise out of Derek by saying he’s going to do the online ordination to become a priest himself…