The Parador

Monday, Nov 2 – Rest Day 8 – Leon

For some odd reason I woke up at 6, but it didn’t really matter. When you’re staying in a hotel all day, nothing really matters!

I started looking at the days ahead and planning. I realized that I would be able to get to Santiago in just under two weeks, and then looking at the days for Finisterre/Muxia and traveling back to Madrid, it all works out. So since I knew what the dates would be from Santiago on, I spent most of the day booking hotels and trains, etc.

After a while I realized it was 9 am and figured I should go eat breakfast.

Holy cow! I was expecting a really nice breakfast buffet, but I don’t think I have ever experienced anything like this. There was everything you could possibly want. Eggs, “bacon”, 3 different kinds of sausage, empanada type things, things I didn’t recognize, 5 different kinds of sliced meats and cheeses, green salad, fresh whole fruit, yogurt, gluten free options, Fresh kiwi, oranges, pineapple, fruit salad, fresh squeezed orange juice, bottled juice, bottled water, 3 different kinds of hot chocolate, brownies, croissants, multiple different kinds of sweet breads, pan con chocolate, muffins, multiple different kinds of regular bread, spreads, granola, cold cereal, and I’m sure there are other things I’ve forgotten.

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The unfortunately part about dining alone at a buffet is that when you get up to get more food, the server might not realize you’re still there. While I was getting my second plate, my whole table was cleared and reset. When he saw me, he was very apologetic. Not only did I get a clean plate, but apparently I get a fresh table cloth with each plate!

After I had stuffed myself to the gills and contemplating if I could possibly eat any more, I saw Estelle and Sandra! They are staying here two nights, and are only just down the hall from me. I think we will do something tonight.

I sat with them for a while and ate another muffin and drank more juice. I have no idea what time it was when I went back to my room, but it was definitely after 10:30.

Since I stayed inside all day, here are the pictures from the hotel that I took yesterday.

I started researching more hotels, and then decided to take another soak in the bathtub, hoping the full belly and warm bath would lull me into a nice nap.

Unfortunately here it is 4 pm and I haven’t napped yet, or watched anything on Netflix! I do, however, have 5 hotels booked and one train.

Booking the train was exceedingly annoying. I found a site that was cheaper than the others, and discovered that the first class ticket was only 2 E more than regular, so I picked that, and then requested a solo seat instead of a window seat. I was assigned an aisle seat, so I deleted it and tried again. This time the ticket was 5 E more! So I deleted my cookies and searched again, but the ticket was still more. Then when I actually bought the ticket, I realized it was British Pounds and not Euros, so a ticket that originally started out as being (what I thought) 27 E, came to 49.50 USD. Oh well. But the extra price is worth it to not sit on the aisle.

There were also only two choices for times for the direct train, either leaving at 9 am and getting in at 3 pm, or leaving at 4 pm and getting in at 10 pm. I had first thought that spending another day hanging around Santiago would be nice, but after I get to Madrid I have to get on another train to get to the airport, then take another shuttle to a different terminal, then walk to my hotel. I decided that this would be better done at a time that was not after 10 pm at night, especially since I have to get up at like 4 in the morning to catch my flight. So I guess better sense won out over extra time in Compostelle. It’s going to be a terrible day of traveling, I might as well sleep ahead of it. Then I will also have enough time in the afternoon that I could go to downtown Madrid if I wanted to, but with only a few hours anyway, I might just go to the hotel.

I will spend the night of the 21st in Finisterre, then travel back to Santiago on the 22nd, then travel to Madrid on the 23rd. Any dreams I had of traveling in Europe after the camino are gone, but at least I will get to do everything I wanted to on the camino. I think it is working out very well.

Now I will attempt to nap. I am still full, by the way, which is excellent!

Well, it’s currently raining, and it says it will rain for the next 4 days. Good thing I will be properly rested and in high spirits! As long as it doesn’t rain for the next two weeks, and there is some sun on the beaches, I will be happy.

Except now I’m hoping that Sandra won’t want to go outside the hotel for dinner…

And she didn’t! Estelle knocked on the door about 7:30 and said they wanted to stay here. We went down to the bar/cafeteria area, but we had to wait until dinner started seating at 8:30. Then Sandra decided she didn’t want to sit for dinner, because she had some friends that said they were coming, and she didn’t want to ask them to pay 40 E for a meal. I was a little disappointed. I was looking forward to it. We got stuff from the cafeteria instead to share. Some goat cheese and onions on toast, and some meat and cheeses, and some pasta. I’m still hungry, but that’s ok. I had a huge breakfast and I didn’t walk today. I’m not starving and I will survive.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow and I have to walk about 30k. Yay!

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5 Comments

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  1. I should not read this while I’m hungry.

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  2. That breakfast buffet was truly amazing! And it looks like you made some great plans. Wow, time is going fast!

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  3. That breakfast does look amazing! I want to try to re-create some of the meals you have shared.

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  4. That’s quite the hotel!!

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