Thursday, May 21, 2015

San Juan de Ortega to Burgos - May 21

There were a couple of alternative routes to Burgos so the road was less crowded with Pilgrims - each having made a choice between the less scenic "industrial suburbs", or the slightly longer route through countryside and parkland. Guess which route I chose?

The area between San Juan and Burgos includes the great limestone Atapuerca Massif. So there was a great rocky climb to the top of the Massif and then our route veered south of the highlands through farmland, then A pretty boring rocky path around the Burgos Airport and finally down to the river for a 6-7 km walk through treed parkland. In all today's walk was over 27 km, altitude adjusted for the climb over the Massif.

Approaching Alto Crucerio at 1080 m

I was walking with two other women today - Sonali, a young 22 year old Canadian woman from Toronto and Franziska, a Swiss woman closer to my age - me being the senior in the crowd. We were joined for a while by a couple of Spanish Ladies with whom Sonali had walked with on a previous day. We had good conversation for a lot of the way and the settled into a comfortable silence for the rest of the walk as we each enjoyed our surroundings, lost in our own thoughts. There is a wonderful bond which develops between Pilgrims who walk together for a time and now I have two new Facebook Friends as a consequence.

The area includes some very famous archeological digs where they have found the oldest human remains in Europe. The excavations, which have been ongoing since 1994 have found pre-Neanderthal remains from a previously unknown subspecies of hominid, Homo antecessor, who may be the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans (info thanks to my Cultural Handbook of the Camino). A large billboard marked the road leading to the excavation along with a few monoliths placed at the side of the road.

Today started really cold - I finally broke down and pulled out the leather gloves I had brought. The walk to the first village was brisk and although the skies threatened rain, none appeared. I was glad to reach the breakfast stop at the village of Ages. Lo and behold - bacon and eggs was on the menu which I could not pass up. A word of explanation is necessary here. Spaniards eat tostadas (toast) for breakfast - they eat eggs as a main dish for dinner, so it isn't often that you are able to get a regular North America breakfast - let alone eggs and bacon. It was perfectly cooked, but they need to learn that we prefer our bread toasted with this dish.

We arrived at Burgos at around 3:30. I had decided to stay an extra day and do some sightseeing and to give my feet a rest. Franziska and I found rooms in the nice Hotel Norte y Londres. A nice treat to have a private room and bath for 2 nights! Only 46 EUR a night for a decent hotel in the centre of Burgos less than a km from the Cathedral. It is Thurs morning as I write this blog. Will write later today and tell you what I have seen and also I will be able to upload pictures for past days as the internet speed is pretty good here.

The view from my room


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good day!! Looks like a castle in the distance?.