We left Leon behind but it took 10km or so before we finally left the suburbs and sprawl of Leon and entered the countryside. In one place, route finding was a bit of a challenge since the main signposted route follows a major highway and our guidebook strongly suggested an alternative. Unfortunately, the book was not too detailed but some commonsense and assurances from Google Maps kept us on course. Once we got a kilometer past the confusing area, we begin to see camino route markers and were glad we got away from the big highway. We stopped several times to rest our feet and legs and made a stop for cerveza con limon (beer mixed with lemonade - and surprisingly refreshing, something we never drink back home) and made the final few miles. Villar de Mazarife is a small town with not much other than houses and three small albergues. We are staying at Albergue de San Antonio de Padua and splurged on a double room rather than bunks. Of course, the bathroom is still shared but it is still nice to have our own space.
Finally reached the countryside after 6 miles or so and looked back at Leon in the distance. Much of the rest of the way looked like below.
We usually look for "Camino de Santiago" way-markers but this one looked good in early afternoon!
Mural above on the edge of the little town of Villar de Mazarife and our albergue gateway below.
Dinner was in the albergue with the other pilgrims and quite nice, definitely NOT the typical communal meal. First because of the quality and second was because it was vegetarian. We had a great mixed salad and no iceberg lettuce! Second course was a pumpkin soup - very light and delicious. Next was a vegetable paella and desert was crepes. There was a nice mix of pilgrims - probably a dozen of us and no more than three from any country. Canada, France, Italy, Austria, New Zealand and USA were represented.
Vegetable paella was the main course.
Location:Villar de Mazarife,Spain