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Sunday, 16 June 2013

The pleasure of a cup of coffee

This morning at around 6.45am we left El Burgo Ranero and started the long, flat, dusty and warm trek towards Leon. This is the last stretch of the Meseta. Because today's route is so long, without shade and without any watering holes along the way, we are forced to carry extra water and energy bars. After about 3 or 4 hours walking it was nice to reach the small hamlet of Reliegos where we could sit under a canopy and enjoy a cup of coffee. This Camino really teaches you about the simple pleasures of life and that coffee was one of life's pleasures never to be forgotten. Life's pleasures don't last forever and one has to then lift the backpack and keep walking. By the time we reached Mansilla de las Mulas we were very hot and bothered and a nice glass of cold beer restored our spirits. We had almost completed the Meseta or as I liked to think, we had broken the Meseta and it hadn't broken us. Mansilla was a lovely town, famous for its tomatoes, and at another time we could have spent some time there but today Leon beckoned. We really wanted to make Leon and so we ploughed on. The run into Leon is again long, dusty and warm but worth the effort. Leon is beautiful. I booked a boutique hotel and it is remarkable. Very Parisian. I'm sitting in my room with the balcony window open and listening to the accordion music wafting up from the street below. As I said before, the simple pleasures of life.  C

And so we plough on.  Thankfully the long flat paths of the Meseta are behind us.  The weather has really picked up and we must leave early to avoid walking in the heat of the day.  Those endless days of cold, wind and rain, of being ankle deep in cloying red mud seem like a lifetime ago.
We have exceeded our walking plan and are 2 days ahead of our schedule.  We hope to arrive in Santiago on 3 July.  Not so long ago I was not allowing myself to even contemplate that day but now I feel really confident that we will make it.  There are mountains to be climbed (both literally and metaphorically) before then.  I can see the blighters in the distance .  One day at a time sweet ......   M

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