Obviously, the season for one thing. Instead of the greens of April and the spring sunshine we have crops nearing harvest, and stubble and fruit on the trees. Last time we rose at six and started walking. This morning we did that, and realised it was not one of our better plans. We walked for more than an hour before the sun rose, which certainly restricts the views. We walked also with a range of temperature not usual in April. Until about 8 we could see our breath. By the time we reached Leon in the middle of the day it was about 30. Tomorrow we will get off to a more leisurely start, and don't plan to be on the road until 7.30. There´s no pressing need for an early start for another reason also.
In April unless you arrived at the Alberge by about 1.00 pm there was no guarantee of a bed. Now, in September, the track is not so crowded. It is in fact, eerily quiet in places. We walked for miles today with no other pilgrims in view either in front or behind. And in our bunk room last night only 16 of the 24 beds were occupied.
Today was a nice wee stroll of 24 km from Reliegos to Leon, and although we were still crossing the Meseta, the scenery was varied. We passed through a couple of little towns, stopping in Mansilla de Mulas for breakfast and walking the last 10 or so km through the suburbs of this lovely, leafy, sophisticated city. There are parks and tree lined avenues. There are many street cafes. There is a wonderful old city wall and a cathedral which is one of the world´s architectural treasures.
We have been for a bit of a stroll but, because of this being the body settling in stage, it wasn´t for long. Just enough to buy a beer and some lunch really. So now it will be out to visit the Cathedral and then sit and enjoy our not very full alberge in an old monastery.