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UPDATE "Roman Road" to Mansilla de las Mulas

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
An update on this lonely "alternate" stretch of Camino, which begins at Calzada del Coto and ends up in Mansilla de las Mulas:

We walked this 22-odd km. bit of camino on 30 Jan. 2008 with our dogs. I last covered it a year ago, and I find it much changed these days. The sloughs and flooded sections in the early part of the journey have been filled in and leveled somewhat, so a stout vehicle without 4-wheel drive could travel the road if it needed to. Work is going on along the railroad grade crossing about halfway, and the waymarks are quite confusing, especially as you can choose to rejoin the more-developed Camino Real Frances from that point. Remember to keep the railway line on your LEFT, and you´ll be fine.

There´s also a new bridge over the ´rio´and the good old scallop-shell markers guide the way clearly thereafter. Significant road and ditching work is going on during the long slog past Reliegos... the worn-out pilgrim will now find his way to Reliegos much more clearly and easily, but at the cost of lots of trucks, dust, and dirt for now.

I recommend this walk over the much-traveled alternative. It is really not so terrible as many people make it out to be. You´re almost constantly within sight of the railway line, or the line of trees marking the other camino, or some other sign of civilization. Just remember to wear a hat and carry lots of water. And keep your eyes open. I saw two foxes out there yesterday!
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