Mansilla de las Mulas – Leon
12.34 | 300.25 miles
+762 | -622 feet
This is the last of the short, flat days because tomorrow we move towards the mountains again. The Cantabrian range has been running north of us in the distance but now turns south between Leon and Santiago de Compostela.
I’ve enjoyed the Meseta (and its relative flatness) but will appreciate the beauty of the mountains again. There are a few big climb days, but they don’t come for another week.
This morning, everything was a little stiff and sore – because of the almost 300 miles I’ve walked in 19 days but also the really hard bed I slept in last night. As I was walking, nothing seemed to work itself out. I stopped after seven miles for cafe con leche y tortilla. I was planning to stop sooner, but because it’s Saturday many of the cafes did not open as early. All I kept thinking about was how glad I was that it was a short day and that I could reunite with my suitcase again (mostly to get rid of a few things).
Intellectually I know better, but I continue to underestimate the value of a little rest. I’m more intentional about taking breaks when I have a long day. But of course, they offer the same benefit on a short day. I felt much better after my break.
I’m in Leon tonight. With the short walk, I was in early. This gave me a chance to walk around town and have a good lunch. I had delicious tortellini with bourganese sauce. It was a lunch sized serving so I ordered another. The waiter commented that I must be hungry. I said, “I’m a peregrina!”
After lunch, I visited the beautiful Leon Cathedral. Comparatively, it is simple in design and decoration compared to many churches and cathedrals – except for the windows.
I have less than 200 miles left, which seems like a lot less than walking the first 200 miles.
At 800 or so kilometers, the Camino seems almost impossibly long. However, each day I think about how far this day will be and don’t focus on the total distance. And then, here I am, less than 200 miles and less than two weeks from Santiago. It’s a reminder that we take one step at a time towards our goals. We don’t need to accomplish them all at once. We can achieve a lot by simply taking one step at a time.