May 18, 2007

5/18/07 Puente de Villarente

"There is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shinning brightly, and we don't even know it."
Sue Monk Kidd in THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES

Everyone seemed in a rush to get going early this morning. Even before we left, you could tell it was going to be a hot one today.

Henriette's bus didn't leave until 9AM so she could sleep in. I gave her a big hug goodbye even though I think we'll see each other again.

Decided to try wearing my shoes instead of the sandals. My feet were OK for about 10km but after that, they felt like hamburger. But there was nothing to do but keep walking.

We followed along-side the road all day. We could see snow on the mountain-tops to our right, but walking through these farm fields was like walking across a hot skillet. The Camino is lined with trees but they didn't give any shade. There were rest areas for pilgrims but they were overgrown. And even more disturbing was all the graffiti written on the Santiago crosses.


Camino de Santiago



Red poppies



In Mansilla de las Mulas

Nothing was open in Reliegos, so just kept walking. Reached Mansilla de las Mulas a little after 11AM.

I was going to stop but earlier in the day we heard about a new private albergue another 5km closer to Leon. That would make for a short day tomorrow which might be nice, so I kept going.

But it was a hot walk along a very noisy highway almost the whole way.


Very noisy and hot

Met a lot of new people today, and we decided to take advantage of the kitchen. Churaig (Australia) was a very good cook. Others around the table were Anika (Holland), Tanya (Sweden), Barbara (Germany), Klause (Germany), Churaig and me. Mmm, good!