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Mansilla de las Mulas, Hotel Rural la Casa de Los Soportales 21 May 2024

Last night after a very large Spanish meal we spent an excellent evening talking with our Australian hospitaleros in El Burgo Ranero.

The walk today was fairly straight foward, being 13km across the flat Meseta to Reliegos, where we stopped for a drink followed by a further 6km into Mansilla de las Mulas. Being on the Meseta, the walk was straight, flat and uninteresting. The highlights being Paul falling in the hole left by the 1947 meteor crash in the Main Street through Reliegos and the fact that the plane trees planted every 10 meters along the way are now much larger than when we walked this way in 2013. Interestingly, neither Paul nor myself have recognised any of the villages that we have walked through since leaving Sahagun.

Accommodation continues to be an issue for most pilgrims on the Frances, with almost all either booking ahead or racing to ensure that they got a bed in one of the Albergues that do not accept bookings, Joining the panic yesterday I made a call to an Albergue here in Mansilla de las Mulas yesterday afternoon. Between my English and the Spanish speaker on the other end of the line, I believed that beds were secured for the three of us. On arrival we found that nothing was booked at either Albergue that we visited, and instead we ended up in a room for 3 in a small hotel (bonus). Not sure if this was what I booked yesterday or good luck.

Kate (the race horse) spent the day ahead of myself and Paul, attempting to converse with any French or German pilgrims that she met along the way. Kate’s comment: Rather than be mentioned as ‘the race horse’ I’d rather be mentioned as ‘the pretty filly’ . 😊 I wasn’t going to walk in slow motion like those other crazy stallions..

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Veronique Helmridge-Marsillian
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Storks are nesting for spring; apparently many stay in Spain all year round.

I see that the way is along civilisation; I personally would rather enjoy that, wondering about the people in their dwellings. "Civilisation" is a way of speaking: that looks like a hobbit house along the highway.

The rest area in Santa Martas-Relegios, with its statue of the Every-Pilgrim, resting his weary limbs, was sculpted by Valentin Yuueros in 2012. He carries a staff, a gourd of water for the way, and wears the cockle/scallop-shell (badge of Saint James/Santiago) on his hat. Sandals are on his feet, and I do believe leather sandals are the best for long walks, so long as the going is steady and not too fas…

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