A day in the life of a pilgrim.
Wake up at 6am. Dress and repack the mochilla (backpack) with all belongings. Out the door at 6:30. Same as yesterday. Same as the day before that.
Today’s route was 26 km (16 miles). When I first started the Camino this sounded a little daunting, now it’s routine.
We walk for 8 km, then come to the first village. This means breakfast. I purchased a box of granola bars a few days ago so that is my breakfast today. I purchased a coke from the local cafe. This way I can get my caffeine and use their bathroom. We see some of our Camino friends while there and hear how their night went.
There were lots of rest stops along the way today. Nice picnic tables and trees for shade. But no bathrooms. Anywhere. I don’t know if it’s just the Camino that doesn’t have public bathrooms or if it’s all of Spain. But your only option is to pay for something in a bar or cafe and then use their bathroom. This unfortunately means people create their own restrooms all along the Camino.
Finally we reach the next village. Time for second breakfast, or lunch. It’s usually this part of the day where I may get a bocadillo or another snack, but almost always I get a soda and a beer. The beer helps me forget that my feet hurt and the soda gives me energy for the final kilometers.
The albergue we checked into in Mansilla is new and the hosts are very welcoming. They said we should consider this our home for the night. At only 5 euros, it’s a pretty great deal. It includes a bed, a good shower, use of a kitchen and a breakfast for donativo (donation based on what you can afford or what you think it’s worth).
Later today I’ll probably go to dinner at a bar or cafe or find a pilgrim’s menu. The pilgrim’s menu is typically a three course meal and every village seems to have the same food choices for each of the courses. Good thing I like spaghetti and beef steak!
I’ll likely explore the village again. This village is even big enough to have a stop light! I haven’t seen one of those since Burgos.