October 1, 2002

10/1/02 Mansilla de las Mulas

20 km

It ended up raining all night, not hard but consistent. At first I was concerned about walking in complete darkness because of the clouds. But at the edge of town, I found the path with the trees a blind man could follow. Had my raincoat on and I really loved my umbrella. Now I'm glad I carried it 400-km. This landscape is so like Kansas, except for this Camino winding through it.

Rain sweeping across the plains

Stopped for a bite to eat and some hot café in Reliegos. Very interesting architecture here. Besides the new concrete and brick homes, many of the old ones in the area have been adobe, good old mud and straw. But in this town there were also quite a few homes built into the hillside. I was the first pilgrim at the bar, but before I left, there were at least a half dozen others coming in from the rain.

Reminds me of 'hobbit town' from Lord of the Rings

Slogging through the rain

Outside of town I saw Brad and Ben up ahead. They reminded me of wet cats. Just a dreary day, but very short. Only 6-km to go, and the rain seemed to slack off just a bit. Crossed over the highway and entered Mansilla through the massive east gate which was built in the 12th century. For me, I was just glad to find the alburgue and get into some warm, dry clothes.

Jim with his umbrella in Mansilla

The refugio was very nice, with a center patio. Just too bad we couldn't enjoy it. Most people tried very hard not to bump into each other as we were forced to stay inside because of the rain.

Met Andreia from Brazil who is doing massages along the Camino to pay her way. Still trying to teach Josué how to cook spaghetti. Rained all afternoon and into the evening.