The Road to Santiago.

October 28, 2002

Ancient walls.
Ancient walls

El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas

The weather was good when I left the village. Before long I overtook MaryAnn who was feeling anxious about walking alone. She was afraid that she might have health problems. Later when Gundrun caught up with us, I quickened my pace and left the two behind. I wanted some solitary time to enjoy the weather and the walk for a change.

I made pretty good time and got to the albergue at Mansilla de las Mulas about 3:00 p.m. When I went into the interior patio, I was surprised to see José. In his rush to continue on yesterday, he had developed blisters which were so bad that he could not go any further than this village today. Also, his feet were swollen, so I make him take some ibuprofen, which is anti-inflammatory. Now I've become Dr. D., the pusher man.

The albergue was in a renovated building that, like most in that section of town, was over 500-years old. People of the Middle Ages were not very tall. The building's ceilings were very low, especially on the staircase. Since I'm over six feet tall, I hit my head several times — I'm a slow learner.

Later had lunch with José at a restaurant. I found out, among other things, that he is an architect. He's interested in going to the U.S. someday because he wants to learn more about "ball on framing." I was confused until I realized he meant "balloon framing."

Later that night I had dinner with Vicente, Gundrun, and MaryAnn. Vicente knew neither English nor German, so we all spoke Spanish. I was surprise at MaryAnn — her Spanish was excellent, especially in her use of the past tenses. (In Spanish there are two past tenses and which one you should use depends on, among other things, whether it was a completed action or an ongoing action.) Since I have a problem with these verbs and have been trying to learn them for 25 years, I asked her when she had learned Spanish. She said, 25 years ago when she was in college. So I asked the follow-up question, how many times had she been to Spain? This was her first time since a brief visit as a student!

Mediaeval plaza.
Mediaeval plaza
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