June 1, 2011 Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas

Good sleep and woke to sounds of pilgrims having breakfast. Dressed and out the door with Sebastian after wishing Martin (who uses the breviary for his morning prayers) the best. Martin is a good example that I should follow.

Walked a long distance on the old Roman road, stopping at rest area where we were joined by Korean pilgrims. Continued without Koreans until joined for the day by Jacqueline of Austria who sported a leather Australian cowboy hat. Surrounded all day by vast wheat fields with grand mountains in the distance and the more tame pilgrim road in the distance on the left. You could tell by the trees planted along that road at very precise intervals. We were passed by a train that speeded along between the two camino trails. Jacqueline and Sebastian set an aggressive pace and the walk included long quiet stretches as we all did our best to endure the round rocks underfoot, each becoming increasingly painful as the day wore on.

Arrived at Reliegos and enjoyed a very welcome bocadillo con tortilla frances con queso. This is a rather odd (for Americans) sandwich: an egg and cheese omelette inside a baguette. Still, it was very filling and a nice calorie load for the rest of the walk. We were joined by Case who shared tall cervesas. Then off with Sebastian and Jacqueline for the final miles to Mansilla de las Mulas. Final miles on senda (pathway) adjacent to country road with trees spaced at even intervals. Arrived Mansilla to the huge albergue with central courtyard and shown to bed by Mervyn. Martin arrived later and Sebastian and I found dinner with Martin, Joy, Tom and Eloise. To bed with self-conscious Martin worried about snoring loudly. We were all too tired to notice whether he did snore or not and we drifted off to sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.

May 30, 2011 Villacarzal de Sirga to Calzadilla de la Cueza

Was late getting up and didn’t meet Sebastian until 07:15ish. Walked with him to Carrion where met Andreas of Finland and Martin of UK. Walked long road from Carrion while singing national anthems of our countries. Sebastian was not proud to sing the German national anthem, but was talked into it then was silent for a time afterward. Stopped at rest area and put in custom insoles to new boots from Burgos. Walked, then stopped at 2nd rest area for lunch. Saw storm developing in distance and decided to risk walking. Rain/hail followed and all were drenched. Stopped at Calzadilla de los Cuesas at albergue with pool and enjoyed splashing/diving into pool with Nick, Case of Netherlands, and Andreas. Nick was here, along with Germans Bea and Catia, friends of Andreas.

Scene right now: backyard of albergue. Shined and shaved Sebastian checking laundry to see if dried on clothesline. Nick giving massage to Be a on grass. Koreans at table to themselves talking. Case reading. Andreas writing in diary. Korean clipping toenails. Spanish woman talking loudly on cell phone with feet in pool. Hospitalera playing Abba’s “Dancing Queen” endlessly. I’m starving, waiting for Menu del Peregrino at local bar. Sun is now shining. beautiful day on the camino.