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Posting 5:  21/04/2006,  Bercianos de Real Camino.  (2350 km's from Rome)

I made it to Rabanal! Despite all the odds.  Had a dreadful nights sleep - there were 2 Olympic champion snorers  to contend with and it rained all night as well so I was worried that the route would be in a bad condition.  The climb was pretty tough but the initial bad weather broke and skies turned blue.  However by about 13:00 the weather had changed again and I was walking into mist. Fortunately the Camino was easily discernable.  It was a trudge and rain came and went but mostly it rained! But it wasn't very heavy - just persistent! Unfortunately there was no bar when I did reach the highest point - unlike the walk out of Tricastela a few days before where at the highest point (Alto de Poio) there is an extremely convenient bar.  The weather that day was beautiful so I had been able to sit outside with a cold beer and take in the view.  Anyway I was very relieved to at last arrive at Rabanal and find there was still room at the Confraternity's refugio.  Various pilgrims I had met along the route had spoken of the warm welcome there and certainly that was my experience too.  Had dinner then intended to go to the Easter Vigil but alas conked out after dinner and didn't wake up until midnight.

Am now about 350 km's from Santiago. Have met a great variety of people including an Australian lady who might meet up with me again in France after she has finished her Camino.  Spent 1 rest day in Leon.  Had planned 2 but by only having one I am now back on track.  Anyway, I think if  I'd had 2 rest days I would not have been able to restart!  Didn't  leave Leon until after 12:00 and had about 18 km's to do.  Didn't think I would make it but I did to Mansilla de las Mulas which is a very pretty town and the refugio was very welcoming.  Did 26 km's today.  Feet not complaining too much but rucksack seems heavy.  Seem to have set myself a more aggressive schedule than I thought.  I was supposed to be 'taking this one easy'.  Still have decided would really like to get to Rome before the end of July so am hoping that I do get fitter and am able to walk further than 25/26 km's per day without collapsing!
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