Writing from Mansilla de las Mulas – Day 17

A good story always ends up about the characters doesn’t it? Today I met a few! It started at breakfast. We wandered in and sat down. Stevie Wonder’s ‘I just called to say I love you’ was playing. An Irish guy started singing (serenading the cafe), a French guy joined him and within seconds the table of Sth Koreans were also a part of the chorus line! Eventually the Irish guy solo’ed with ‘I’m on the camino, I’ll be home in two weeks don’t forget me while I’m gone’! We are all singing and changing words to express how we feel it seems. I don’t do it in the cafe but my sister and those endless horizons are my audience.

Days on the Camino – 17

Kms – Today 27 kms.

Starting point today – Bercianos del Real Camino, Spain.

End of the day -Mansilla de las Mulas, Spain.

Number of girls in Africa educated – 20

Total funds raised so far $6,240.00 ($60 away from 21 girls)! 

If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.

Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress.

Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.

Today was dedicated to – One of my little people is on the couch today. He has a fever and is a little flat. Number three, the one with all the energy and smile that comes from deep inside. I thought about you today, about what a spirited boy you are. The one who hikes up the front in our family and leads the way (after me of course. ;)). It’s not long until our summer holidays and I was dreaming about our plans to surf the North Coast of Spain. You my little guy will be in your element little grommet. Not that you aren’t everyday my sweet little all rounder. I’m so glad you have the dad you do, I know he’s taking extra special care of you. xx

Accommodation – Our first Pensión, La Pensión de Blanca. (€20 each for a twin room). The owner is super friendly, the rooms are clean and the showers are hot! Pensión’s will become a new option for us.

Food highlight – Arriving at the breakfast village to find a cafe serving local food is always a green light for us to sit down! Bacon and eggs plus toast. We have learnt to order toast as it’s not always standard with a breakfast dish. Which would be great in normal life but we need full meals.

Also I do love the odd tapa with the odd glass of red (tinto) while we are waiting for the dinner service to start at 7pm ;) lucky we had a 2 hour siesta this afternoon.

In a word(s) – Right where I am.

The conversation with these guys went like this:

‘Americano’s?’

‘No, Australians’

Lots of hand movements and either Spainish or Italian chat that I think gestured Australia is far away.

‘Syd-ney (2000 olympics style), Melbourne, Canberra?’

‘Melbourne’

Loads more Spanish or Italian, definitely kind words and lots of smiles. We don’t think they were laughing at us.

And then a ‘Buen camino’

Beauty we all understand that!

Another round of ‘Buen Camino’s’ and we walked on.

We spent a bit of time walking behind this lot. This dog is having the most fun out of anyone I’ve seen on the camino. Yes Sue you’re right, dog heaven. It was like watching a happy child play!

This local in his sneakers was on his morning walk wishing everyone who walked past him a ‘Buen Camino’. Everyday these locals must say hola, buenos días and buen camino a hundred times as pilgrims and walkers pass through their towns. We have been so warmly treated along this camino.

My best hiking mate, my little sister. My perfectly matched travel friend. We even order the same food … every time! Twinnies. Some days we walk most of the day silently, sometimes we chatter, sometimes I sing to her, she tells me I’m turning into our mum, so I stop and each day we laugh. I need to take that daily laughter back to my life! How do you laugh so hard each day without the pain and the funny ‘Cliff Young’ shuffle thing we have going on after we stop and restart again? Maybe I’m more serious at home than I thought I was.

Calle Real! Royal Street. Currently on it.

‘I can treat any pain’ her backpack sign stated. I wondered how? I’m sure it was interesting but by the time I caught this walker I was 1km away from the destination. My feet only had eyes for the Pensión we had booked and my mind was focussed on the pasta I was going to inhale. Plus I had taken a ibuprofen an hour ago!

There are a lot of matchy matchy couples walking together. They’ve obviously planned this adventure together and geared up at the same shop. Many tell me they attended a presentation about the camino. If this is something you’re interested in I’d check your local outdoor gear shop. Maybe I’ll do one one day. Perhaps my sponsor Wildeness Wear might be keen to let share how awesome a camino is at their store to thank them for their support! I’d have to move home first though.

Ps their socks are the holy grail of hiking socks. I’m not paid to say that. They were excited to be a part of a hike for charity. I’m testing some of their gear and it’s awesome and I will only buy from them in the future – no blisters and ethically made.

My favourite by day – Women’s Cape to Cape Light Hiker

My favourite by night – Women’s Larapinta Hiker

On our very first pilgrim dinner someone said the Norwegians were the ‘super’ hikers. Obvs they hadn’t met any Australian chicks ha ha. No, not really, we can’t keep up with the Germans! They are the super hikers. Geared up in their technical gear and always with the guide book in their pocket (the hiking pants that convert to shorts). It you’re at a crossroad where there is a choice of routes you better hope there’s a German – they will know exactly which way to go.

The further down the trail we go the more bikes we see. They are awesomely considerate and we share the path as comrades, even with local riders. Initially I thought I’d cycle this as it could be done in 2 weeks … I’m so glad I’m hiking it. I think you’d need to be an experienced mountain biker to do this.

Casa Pablo – Pablo’s house.

We’ve been flanked by mountains to the right as we’ve walked another 60kms over past few days. Obviously this excites me being a mountain girl at heart. I do hike those hills like a mountain goat … even my star sign is a crab! Although I did grow up climbing mountains and I love the ocean equally.

Not a day goes by that I’m not in awe of this experience and this countryside, even the times in between when we’re hiking along the roadside. It’s a stunning part of Spain.

As an Australian I believe we grow up with a real connection to our land. Perhaps also because my childhood was spend on my Opa’s farm and living amongst National parks. I’ve chatted to other Aussies who feel this. Like many Aussies my background is European so I also feel connected to Europe.

When we lived in Ireland last year I felt a deep connection to that land which really surprised me. I haven’t had that anywhere else yet and as much as I appreciate this landscape, not here.

As we head further West we will enter mountainous region of NW Spain, the Galicia and Asturias with is history of Celtic Castro’s (village settlements) … I wonder if I will feel a connection there. I will know then if my ancestry comes from the continental celts and if not, perhaps it is from vikings?

Buen Camino lovely friends, those of you who read with your morning coffee enjoy! And thanks for all those kind messages.

Fran xx

One thought on “Writing from Mansilla de las Mulas – Day 17”

  1. What a great world we live in. I love that happy punters are singing Stevie Wonder. You can’t help but smile at that.
    I’m now intrigued how that walker could fix any aches and pains. Could you hook up with her and find our how? 😉😉
    Enjoy the big smoke you two sisters and enjoy a glass for me. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.