Bercianos del Real Camino to Mansilla de Las Mulas

Apr 18. Day 23. 28km. Departed 0658 hours, arrived 1258 hours.

We are amazed we walked this in 6 hours! Basically non-stop at a steady pace with only a 10 minute rest stop. Having a good dinner the night before helped. The walk was mainly flat and the weather was overcast (with a drizzle the last 3 km into our destination).

Spanish meal portions are about half that of American meals. But we find that it suffices! We need to keep this in mind when we are back in USA!

Seattle-like fall weather. Walking in a light drizzle can be enjoyable!

Joon insisted on checking out Bar Elvis in Reliegos. Unfortunately, it was closed.

A sculpture of St. James in a small park.

An amazing sculpture monument when we arrived at Mansilla de Las Mulas.

On the other side, this was very moving.

I seldom do food pics and we had some excellent meals on this Camino. But….

This hamburger in Mansilla deserves highlighting. A sunny side egg, beef patty, slices of ham, lettuce and tomato for Euro 4.50! Plus fries. That was our main meal for the day!

Mansilla had a procession that evening but it was drizzling and we were just too tired. Some of the decorations in the homes lining the procession route.

One gets more contemplative as the Camino days goes by. For deeper spiritual posts, I categorize them under ‘Spiritual’.

There are insights every day. Events un-fold, and one can view them as random, devoid of any significance, or begin to interpret them as part of something larger.

During our walk today, we started discussing about the Last Supper, whether it took place on Wednesday or Thursday (today is Thursday). Joon then mentioned that what changed for the Apostles was Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit came over them.

Less than half an hour after this, we noticed a helicopter approaching us from the direction we were walking towards. It was flying slowly towards us and then turned to a parked BMW car off the road on our right. We could see the words written on the under belly of the helicopter that it was a Guardia Civil, i.e. oldest law enforcement agency for whole of Spain, under the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence. Before we knew it, it flew lower down to check out the car and its license plate. We were the only pilgrims caught in its down draft. We literally had to turn our backs to the helicopter as leaves, dirt, dust was blowing around and towards us.

Was this a reminder to us of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our world today? Co-incidence?

Holy Week during our Camino Frances is becoming more and more special.

Post Script: We met an Irish man who does portions of the Camino Frances during Holy Week. This year, he was with his daughter. We were able to help him with directions to an albergue the next day as we had a data plan on our smartphone.

Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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