Thursday

Carion Los Condes to Mansilla Las Mulas, 61 miles, 29/08/04

Just arrived at the site, Mansilla las Mulas, it's another Camino campsite and all free.
61 miles today. Frank stayed at Sahagun, had enough after 28 miles, I couldnt stop at these distances, just not covering enough ground to find good shops and washing facilities etc.

Statue outside the refugio, Sahagun.
Good luck to Frank, 3rd camino at 68 years, 20kg of luggage, and just after a stroke, iron man!
Very flat land today with long straights, just like lincolnshire. Huge fields of cut corn, few trees, no traffic (sunday), backwind and a lot of sunshine. An excellent riding day. Camp is at 800 metres here so its cold at night, between 5 and 10´c in the mornings at about 9am. The wind starts at about 11 and by 2pm its well over 30´c, not a cloud in the sky.
N120 most of the day today, to just south east of Leon, then turn northwest on the N601. Easy navigation, not much to see though, just push the pedals and roll along.
Got here and found out its the local feria, a big tomato fight!! Should be starting soon, time to go, I'm hoping to emerge in one piece, have seen these ferias before.

Ok, lasted about an hour, first a 3 legged race to catch a greased piglet, yes, piglet. They got it but only just, holding it up triumphantly. It escaped from the guy with the lorry so they had to catch it again, it was running around in the crowd to cheers and great delight :))
Next a 7.5 tonne lorry full of tomatoes drops its load in 2 heaps about 60´ apart in a clearing in the trees, the piglet catcher gets to start the fight. No tactics and mostly teenagers, all local, fight or flight into the trees. The idea is to capture the others heap and then use it to drive them further away, snipers sneaking around the flanks are quickly spotted and targeted by the other team. A nice new silver vauxhall on english number plates slowly drives past leaving the campsite just as a sniper is spotted, he hides behind the car and the driver cant reverse out haha!!
Total about 60 people fighting, crowd maybe 200, warm summers evening, old people sat watching judging and comparing, pointing out the strong arms. Lots of jeering and cheering, people shouting directions, and the sickly sweet smell of tomatoes, a good evening in a small town. Back to the showers and the bar. I can see the mountains in the distance, the highest town to visit is at 1450 metres. I'm at 800ish, that's not too bad. Looking forward to Leon, Gaudi buildings there, then back into the mountains, YES.

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Good luck with your own journey.
Thanks for visiting,
Rob.