Camino 2013 – Day 11 – Bercianos de Real Camino to Mansilla de las Mulas

Today was a tough day.
The heat was a little too much and walking for more than 25km, made the feet sore. Still no blisters though. Happy days!
I woke up earlier than anyone else in the room, around 5.15am. We were told the evening before that the albergue would not open until 6am so there was no hurry. I got my pack ready and headed out the door. Not before the Italian sister gave us a traditional Italian goodbye.
Today, the 5 of us, Franco, Michel, Tanya, Femke and myself left the albergue at the same time. The sun was rising and a glowing red lit the sky. My snoring from last night was brought up, much to my denial and bemusement.
The pace was slow, we took it easy. Over the next hour, we were met by Gary and his partner from Canada who were taking things much easier than us. Six of us headed on to El Burgo Ranero, the first town that we passed today. It is another small town who are dependant on the Camino. Again, this town was sleepy and only had one bar open at the time. Most folks walked to this town yesterday as it is a recommended stop off point in a few manuals.
I stopped off for a drink and stayed for a few minutes with the girls and the Canadian couple. Franco and Michel walked ahead and it would be a while before I caught up with them.
From then on, around 9am, I walked by myself and the heat was getting a little too much for my liking. I had plenty of water though. The scenery was still amazing but had not changed from the time we stepped into the meseta. Fields and fields of freshly cut grass and the same fields turning into gold.
I’ve also learnt that I’m a very fast walker when I’m alone and it wasn’t long before I was overtaking people while wishing them a Buen Camino. I met a chap from Wexford who was on his way to Finisterre. He had met all the Irish people I had met previously and he had stories to tell from his weeks on the trail. He was taking his time as he had this time to take. Unfortunately I need to be in Leon for a certain date.
I moved on and after half hour or so, I met Franco and Michel closer to Mansilla de Los Mulas. We walked into the town and attempted to find the Albergue. The municipal is recommended but did not open until 12.30, we has an hour to spare.
We checked in, paid the €5 and grabbed the showers. After some time, the girls walked in after taking it slow. Maybe it’s best to do that. I will be doing that tomorrow.
Last day jitters.

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