Stage 18: Calzadilla de los Hermanillos a Mansilla de las Mulas (Curtis)

Strange that I had never chosen to walk this “alternative route” of he Camino before, as it turned out to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful of the entire route so far: something on the order of 18 uninterrupted kilometres with no villages and no place to stop for a beak along the way (not even a cuppa for Linda), but it was marvellous.

By the time I rolled into Reliegos, Linda was already installed at the village’s rather funky little bar having a cup of tea. It would have been impossible to miss this place, folks … the owner had gone sticking up photocopied versions of a local newspaper article proclaiming him the “Elvis Presley of the Camino” and advertising his bar for at least the last five kilometers of the Camino, and when I hit the town plaza, there was Bob Dylan music blaring at top volume from the door of his bar. “This is the place for me”, I thought, and sure enough, I found Linda installed outside the bar with a cuppa, enjoying the sunshine. I went inside, ordered myself a café con leche and sat down to enjoy the morning.

The funkiest little bar in Reliegos

Half an hour later we got underway again, seen off by The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” blasting from the door of the bar as we made our way down the streets. The rest of the afternoon was largely uneventful: we arrived at Mansilla, checked into our hotel rooms, had showers and a rest, and basically just killed time until supper. I used the time to upload some new photos onto the blog, which you’ll all have seen by now. If all of this non-eventful rambling leads you to the conclusion that Mansilla de la Mulas is not Thrillsville, Spain, well, you would not be far wrong. But it’s well positioned for the next day’s entrance into León, and so that’s its principal virtue, and the next day’s story. Ultreia peeps!

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