We walked the short distance to Mansillas de las Mulas, a strange name for such a nice little town! Once there we visited el Museo Etnográfico where we found a rich and well presented exhibit on the regional folk traditions.
Videos of traditional fiestas and samples of textiles, including clothing, and other material culture artefacts make the exhibit area lively and relevant. There were some visitors that included elderly couples who kept exclaiming how this or that is like they had “en el pueblo,” when they were growing up. The pictures of the “Pastorada” reminds me of the Pastorela! The dance traditional dress is similar to the dance dress in Mexico. I loved the jewelry and the pottery.
. We were at the bus station in Mansillas when a woman came up to speak to us; she is an ex-nun who lived in the United States for 14 years. She studied education and came back to Spain but the Spanish government would not validate her degree. She then received a second MA at the Universidad de Oviedo. She takes care of her 92 year-old mother who has Alzheimer’s. She speaks English with hardly an accent. Of course, she says, I left when I was sixteen and have not really been with my family since then. In fact she didn’t even see anyone from her family for eleven years. Then, her bus came and she left and disappeared from our lives just like that, she’s off to her small town north of Mansillas. It’s hard to imagine that Mansillas is the large town where she comes to buy groceries and such.
In León, I go to the Corte Inglés beauty shop to get my hair done; I really needed it! Also bought slippers for the rest of the trip. Since the ones that got messed up in Grañon, I have gone barefoot or worn socks at the albergues. We ran into Jose who had bought himself some boots that will serve him well. After our shopping and running all our errands, we had a good dinner at an expensive restaurant at Hotel Luis de León.
We find that Jose and Quentin, the Tarot-reading madrileño and the young man from Beligium, are staying at the albergue too and are also staying for a couple of days to visit the Cathedral and prepare for the last stages of the Camino.
MEDITATION FOCUS: As we walked today and passed by the small descanso and the shrine to the Virgen Peregrina, I ponder the many miracles and the blessings we have found along the Camino, from Becky’s boots to my own mystical experiences, i.e. the rosary in Rabé, my Dad’s fancy initial in the sky, etc. I am sure that my daily life is also full of such miracles, but I don’t stop to acknowledge them. At some point in our walking Becky tells me of Kathy Mossberg her Reiki teacher in Kansas City and I ask if we can get her to come teach a class in San Antonio. We put it out to the universe, and lo and behold here we are a year later, and several of us are at the Master Healer Workshop in Port Aransas. Another miracle!