Leon, Spain - July 20, 2016

Last night, the heat and raucous bar scene outside our albergue made sleeping in the shared bedroom difficult. I took out my sleeping pad and laid out on the concrete patio for about four hours before pilgrims used the space to pack their bags at five o'clock. Luckily, we had only 18.6 kilometers (11.2 miles) to hike before reaching our destination, Leon.

This day was primarily an urban trek. Walking on pavement and having to look both ways at crosswalks kept me longing for the open dirt paths of the Meseta.

As we humans tightly follow the trail marked by yellow arrows, countless ants can be seen crossing the Camino using scent markers. There must be a general respect for life out here. Pilgrims consciously avoid disturbing these creatures as they cross; I have yet to see this trail disturbed by the dead. Naturally, I'm becoming more conscious of my footfall.

We reached the outskirts of Leon by eleven o'clock in the morning. For thirty euros, we obtained a private room at San Martin Hostel. We explored the city after showers and naps.

Being in town, we had to see the Santa Maria de Leon cathedral. It's amazing what a small town of five thousand built in medieval times. The cathedral's glass is, in my opinion, its strength.

The evening ended at a small table adjacent to the cathedral plaza. A consistent mix of ages crossed in front of us as we enjoyed salad and pilsner-style beer. It's hard to believe we have completed close to two-thirds of this journey.

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