I´m in Mansilla de las Mulas, today. Betcha can´t find it on the map! It is the last town of reputable size (pop about 1900) before Leon. Which means, Leon tomorrow! Which in turn means PARADOR!! That´s right – I´m going to experience pilgrimage royalty style. One night (shared with a friend) at a five star hotel housed in an ancient pilgrim related building. It even has cloisters! The pilgrim discount means that it is 90 euros per night (so 45 euros each). My guess is that we will be getting the tiny back room over the kitchen but ah well – it´s at the Parador!
Thanks to those of you who weighed in on my last post. I¨m still waffling but two things are making me lean towards not rushing. First is that my feet seriously hurt after 26km so doing three or four 30km days are probably not a good idea. And second, there are some cool towns coming up that I´d have to pass on exploring if I rush through. For example, there is a chocolate museum in Astorga. And apparently they give samples… So I think I have a decision. Instead of aiming for May 26th, I´m now aiming for May 28th or 29th. That gives me May 29th or 30th to bus to Finisterre for the day and be back on time for my flight on the 31st. I don´t like dropping my original plan but it is probably for the best. I guess that is my Camino lesson – be flexible!
Some people have asked me about food. Unfortunately, food has been a hit and miss, here. And not much traditional Spanish food. I´ve eaten a lot of french fries (comes with all menu del dia basically), chicken, salad, spagetti, jamon iberico and cheese sandwiches… But I´ve also eaten a lot of tortilla (like an egg and potato quiche but heavy on the potato so it´s dense), drunk some cafe con leche, tasted tarta de Santiago (dense almond cake), and have had tons of fun trying to avoid fresh pork.
Health is still fine. My feet hurt. Still the one little blister that isn´t doing anything but sitting on a callous. The side of my feet are bruised for some reason. If I walk more than about 25 or 26km, the arches of my feet start to really hurt. Other than that, all is good.