Two years ago today, I was walking the Camino Frances. While on the trail, I didn’t really post all that often; therefore, for the next 38 days, I will be posting a little blurb from my journal and up to 10 photos (not necessarily the best pictures but more that they represent that day in some particular way). It’s kind of like a little memorial as for me, the season of spring is now irrevocably linked to the Camino experience. Today is day 22 – May 12th. Hermanillos de la Calzada to Mansilla de los Mulas

…It was after 8am by the time I finally got started. Bought a bocadillo of jamon y queso, filled up my water bottle, and then I heard, “Yoohoo!”. It was the hospitelera who seemed concerned about me for some reason. She asked me if I slept well, escorted me to wash my apple, gave me a hug, and then said something about bon chemain and being in her heart. She also said that someone had forgotten their lunch in the albergue and she wondered if it had been me (nope). I didn’t want to take it with me as I had no idea to whom it belonged and was worried the person would return for it him/herself. Turns out I should have taken it as 40 minutes later, I passed a French lady and something made me ask her. Yep, it was hers. Oops. …

Early morning, quiet. A young deer came bounding across the road, into the long grass. …

Today’s walk was 25km and I felt the last half especially hard. The route was straightforward – mostly Roman road. However, this time, the Roman road was pretty much original in that there was no gravel covering over the uneven cobbles. It was awesome, though, to be walking on the same road that historical figures such as Emperor Augustus and Charlemagne used as well as centuries of pilgrims. But while the brain and heart were dancing with joy, the feet were cussing with each and every step on the hard lumpy track. …

Arrived in Mansilla about 1:30 and I picked the municipal albergue. My room has 2 rows of 10 bunkbeds. The facility is quite large with kitchen, garden, a few showers, and two computers. And many men wandering around to/from showers wrapped in just a towel. Whoo. …

Did the usual town wander. It seemed pretty big until I soon realized that I was walking the same streets over again. Had the best lunch I’ve had yet on the Camino – I think it was a special menu as it was a holiday Sunday of some sort, I think. Whatever it was, it included the best crema de limon I’ve ever consumed (it may be the only one I’ve ever had but it was still fantastic). I ran across this kid on a bike as I was leaving the restaurant. He told me it was his birthday. I said happy birthday and asked him how old he was. He said 11. Then he asked if I had a present for him. Trying not to laugh in his face, I said no, I don’t. Then he switched to English and asked me for money. Cheeky bugger.