Day 25, El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas

Last night Dawn and I were back at the same hotel for a second night. It felt odd to have a table for two after the last week or so, but they were so friendly and the food was good, if you eat meat! Dawn carefully opted for the salad which does of course come with tuna but at least no meat!! I had a lovely courgette soup and then hake and salad. Every time I have had fish it has been good.

It was a lovely welcome quiet night actually, which I think we both enjoyed.

Again, I cannot fault the organisation on the camino, the cab arrived dead on 8am to take us back to where we left off. Dawn panicked this morning since her knees are still not good so we arranged for the cab to take her direct to our next stop. She is very disappointed not to be walking.

Sun rising as I left El Burgo Ranero

Ricardo and I were dropped back in El Burgo Ranero. As we arrived there were a steady stream of pilgrims all heading out of town, it was quite funny to watch. We were dropped almost in front of John and Vivian.

I love the variety of markers along the route

I chatted for a short while and then headed on. This morning I passed Kari and then George in my first stint. The only coffee break was after 12km. The walking again today was just flat and fairly tedious. I think most of us have found the walking relatively easy but tedious and monotonous. Often the path is alongside a road with just fields off to each side. One more day of this until Leon and then after this the scenery changes again. I am ready!!

We all stopped for coffee after 12km, all keen just to take a break. Most are still struggling with feet, everyone seemed to have their feet out today, the state of some is enough to put you right off your coffee!! John has requested first aid help again again this evening, so the lambs wool will be back out! Vivian is a retired nurse but as she says, he never listens to her!

After the break I passed this mother and son. We have passed them most days on the route. They are Swiss German and walking the whole way carrying everything. The son is about 8 or 9, always cheerful and being home schooled. I have to say though that I worry about the impact this walking is having in his joints since he is still growing. I am not sure this can be good for him, but it is certainly a life experience.

I pushed on and arrived at our hotel about 12.30pm again. Having spotted the hotel I moved on to find a bar for a beer and spotted another couple from Canada, John and Anne who I have chatted to a few times. I joined them for a beer whilst everyone else arrived. It was fun to chat with them. Their daughter has just moved to London working with Deliveroo, and they were chatting about how different London is now from when they did their master degrees there.

After receiving messages from Kari and Dawn I found everyone else having a beer at our hotel. It has a really nice little courtyard with grapes hanging overhead. It is a tiny place with only 4 rooms. I have one, so does Dawn, Kari and John and Vivian. Obviously George booked later than us and he is elsewhere and a little miffed but planning to join us for dinner!

I had a good chuckle as as we were shown our rooms, eagle eyed Vivian spotted a hairdryer and I soon had a knock on my door as she passed me our treat!! I think it is 8 days since I have seen a hairdryer so it does feel like a luxury.

Looking round the town I came across the first Church in about 6 days that is open. In the first couple of weeks, every Church was open and there was mass pretty much every night. Since we started the Meseta stage almost every church has been closed and I have not seen mass. It is such a contrast. The other contrast is the painted interior of the Church, which is very different. Apparently this changes again after Leon.

I have just wandered around town, it is another very small town but bigger than the last few that we have been in. As usual, between 2-5pm nothing is open and the town is deserted other than a few pilgrims wandering around, trying to work out where they are staying.

I am looking forward to arriving in Leon and having a rest day. Andy and Sian have just arrived and Sian has decided to stay 2 nights too which she was not going to, so we are planning a dinner all together tomorrow night which will be fun. On the other hand, I can’t believe that I am almost in Leon, the time seems to be going very fast now.

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