Camino de Santiago – Day 20 – Highway Song

El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas

Another day, another dollar
After I sing and holler
Oh it’s my way of livin’
And I can’t change a thing
Another town is drawing near…

The theme song of today is courtesy of 80’s Southern Rock band Blackfoot, Highway Song. By the way, I prefer this song over THE southern rock anthem, Free Bird. Hold your hate mail, that’s my subjective opinion…

This is the appropriate song for this walk because EVERY STEP taken today is alongside the LE-6615 highway connecting El Burgo with Mansilla. As such, it wasn’t an exciting walk and there wasn’t much to share. Though I do think there is a valuable life lesson in finding contentment in the plodding days of life.

Here are some of the other lessons learned from my walks in the Meseta:

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  • Start early and beat the heat (and if you can’t, wear more than a speedo during your trek, or carry lots of sunscreen AND travel with a familiar person to apply it).

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  • The Camino IS NOT a footrace and the Meseta IS hot. As such, whenever you come to a picnic table in the shade, PAUSE!

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  • We (USAmerica) could follow Spain’s lead and plant more forests…we tend towards the opposite – bulldoze the forests and pave them over in order to build more shopping centers (or warehouses to stock the stuff that goes in the shopping centers). There are a lot of these forests in Spain.

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  • Religion is still an integral part of the rhythm of community life. And that’s only a bad thing when corruptible humans use it to advance power or their greed…
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City walls around Mansilla de las Mulas
  • There was probably a time in a town’s history when they thought building walls was an important thing to do…time seems to wash away that urgency.

Initially, I didn’t think there was much to say about this day and trek. I looked back into the pages of my journal and found it was chock-full-of-stuff, more stories for another time.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the happenings of today – all of the albergues and hostels on the east side (entrance) of Mansilla were full, had to walk to the west side (exit) of town to find a bed. And I was the only person staying in the place (ingredient for a horror movie), the owner gave me a good deal on the bed and a free beer, welcome to Mansilla de las Mulas! There was also the cool conversation with Sasha the Slovenian. In a wild mix of English/Spanish/Italian/Slovene/Gesticulation, I learned that he was near the same age as me, loved mountain adventures, was walking the Camino alone and is a cancer survivor.

People have a lot in common if we just communicate…

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