Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Belorado to San Juan de Ortega May 19

Uploaded: May 19 narrative only - wifi too slow to handle pictures

Pictures Uploaded on May 21

We woke today to cold temps and rain. Not more than a sprinkle at first and it was not too unpleasant as I walked the nearly 5 km to my hoped for breakfast stop at Tosantos. No such luck as the bar promised 50 m down the road was non existent and as well it started to rain a steady drizzle. I put on my trusty rain jacket, which covered both me and my backpack down to my knees. Standard issue rain gear for pilgrims.

I had more luck at my next stop Villambistia, where for a mere 4.80 EUR I got a really nice warm tortilla bocadilla and a cafe con leche. I can only eat about half of the bocadilla, but that leaves a half to stow away for my lunch. This was just what I needed to pick up my pace for the long walk ahead.


The towns of Espinosa and Villafranca arrived quickly now that I was keeping a good pace and I fortified with a glass of Zoma (fresh squeezed OJ) at Villafranca as it was the last village for 10.8 km when I would arrive at San Juan de Ortega.

A memorial at a mass grave of men from Burgos from 1938 during the Spanish Civil War.


There was Interesting geography in those 10 km. There are two high points (Alto Mojapan and Alto Pedraja both at about 1100 m separated by a very steep sided valley of maybe 100 m descent over perhaps a kilometre known as Puerto de la Pedraja. According to my Cultural Guide to the Camino, this divides the watersheds of the Ebro, flowing to the Mediterrean, and the Duero, which empties into the Atlantic.

There is a monument on the east side to men of Burgos whose bodies were dumped on this spot in the civil war of 1936.


We walked a Good 8 km or so on a muddy road through a pine forest, which was a change from the wheat fields. The road was part of a trail system for what looked like 4X4 off road enthusiasts and mountain bikers. In fact one convoy of vehicles passed me twice on the road. I guess they were circling around the paths.

It wasn't long before we arrived at The Monastery and Church of San Juan de Ortega. 7EUR for the bed and 7.5 EUR for dinner so not a bad deal. I arrived just before 2 pm after a good days walk, but wet, cold and tired so crawled into my warm sleeping bag and napped for a few hours after eating my lunch.




The master Hospitalaro who ran it all! Greeting and checking in over 62 pilgrims and seeing to their needs including serving dinner! He never stopped for a moment the whole time I was there an always a smile on his face.

Tomorrow we walk into Burgos, which will be a tiring 26.1 km through the industrial outskirts of town before we get to the nice bit. I am thinking of taking an extra day there to do a bit of sightseeing, and if so will look for a library for decent internet, so I can upload todays pictures.





  1. Lucky you decided upon the sleeping bag ... Thank goodness for something cozy!

  2. On that 10 km stretch, Wendy and I walked with the most right wing Republican I had ever met! We took turns walking with him - I had to keep stepping away, as he was so outrageous and bloody minded! But it helped to pass the time.
    Enjoy your time in Burgos - beautiful city, once you are in it, esp the cathedral.

  3. Enjoy Burgos and Morcilla! ;-)