Camino de Santiago – Day 20 – Highway Song

El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas, 19.3km

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. This is subjective so hold your hate mail, but I prefer this song over THE southern rock anthem, Free Bird.

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 sun screen AND travel with a familiar person to apply it).

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  • The Camino IS NOT a foot-race 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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