Monday, August 7, 2023

Villarance de Montes de Oca to Burgos

Anther amazng day filled with adventures. It wouldn't be the Camino if is wasn't. 

Last night, we ate in the restaurant of the albergue and it was very tasty. Salad and I had stuffed aubegine. I guess that's egglant. Again I was almost too full to sleep but sleep never evades me for long. 

I was a little worried as there were 10 of us in the room and one of them was a heavy snorer and I needed a good night sleep. When I went to bed, the Italians had not finished eating yet and one of them was the snorer. So I put my earplugs in and went to sleep. 

I heard NOTHING until about 5 AM when two guys were getting ready. Yeah!!! I was either too tired to notice the noise, or it wasnˋt as bad as I thought or Iˋm getting used to the earplugs. Either way -- it all worked out. 

I left at 6:30 AM and knew there was a big hill to climb. Which was rather good since it was chilly outside at 9 C. Yikes --- thatˋs a bit chilly. Thankfully, I had my long sleeved T-shirt on. The t-shirt that I was going to leave at home becuase it was going to be brutally hot here and I think I've worn that shirt the most! Go figure. 

So the climb was beautiful and through a forest, which was a nice change as we've been out in the open fields for days. It was absolutely silent - a few birds here and there. 

Then I spotted a sign for the Pilgrim Oasis, Whatˋs this? About 1 KM down the road, thereˋs a guy with a small stand. He was selling those chocolate pastries, but they were not the fresh ones from the bakery. But it sufficed to get me going. And then I was on my own again. 

I was craving a bit of sunlight at this point, beause it was so cold up in the shaded mountains. It was almost three hours of hiking (or is that walking?) before I was done with the forest and got out into the sun. 

I stopped at the first little village and had another pastry. Do not judge me for my pastry eating habits! Itˋs quite popular to eat those here for breakfast - how do these people not put on weight with all the pastries and bread?

It was at that spot that I noticed the arm of my sunglasses was off! Thankfully the arm did NOT fall off while the glasses were swinging on the neck of my T-shirt in the shade. So I put the arm in the sunglass case in my backpack and balanced the rest on my head and off I went. 

I stopped several times along the way to have something to eat. 

The big question of the day was how far to go. So it was about 12 km in the forest and to the point where  I realized my glasses were broken. 

Then the question of the day was - how much further do I go? And because I'm in between the prescribed stops (as per the guidebook - but you can stop anywhere you like), I wasn't seeng many people. As a matter of fact, I think I only saw about 10 peopole all day if that. 

So I kept walking. I had NOT read the entire guidebook to the destination because I didnˋt think I was going to go that far. Then I decided that all was well, the weather was cooperating, so Iˋd go all the way to Burgos, which was another 26 KM. But in my mind that number was 16. My brain is totally dead it would seem. 

Up some rough hills and down some rough hills, past a military ground of some kind with a nasty barbed wire fence. And when I needed to make the decision - go left or go right, I chose right to bypass the last albergue before Burgos, meaning Iˋd have to get to Burgos. 

Little did I know (reading the guidebook would have helped) that Burgos is an industrial city and you have to walk through the very industrial suburb of Villafria. I swear, there was a ˋstripˋ along that route with hotels - lots of hotels and clubs. Iˋm guessing that is for all the workers at the plants. 

I saw a Pepsi plant, Bridgstone tires, loads of furniture manufacturers and many, many others. Loads of transport trunks everywhere. It was NOT a fun walk. By this time I was getting tired and wanted to find a place to stop. 

Alas, there was no albergues along this route and not much in the way of markers for the trail. Thankully, I have a good app on my phone so I knew I was on track - more or less. Alhough as I was approaching Burgos, the dusty trail I was on did not seem to have many footprints and that worried me a bit. But I could see the town in front of me and that was my guide. Once I arrived, I'd figure it out. 

By checking the app, I spotted two places to stay. The first one didn't seem to be oepn, but the other one was across the street. Perfect! OH -- it's a hostel, not an albergue so it was more expensive. At that point, I didn't care how much it cost - I needed a place to sit. I could have gone to the MacDonald's or Burger King across the street and had a rest, but I didn't care. 

So I got my room and of course, had trouble opening the door. Go figure. Then I had a shower and found a comfy duvet in the closet and I was asleep. 

I will say that it feels totally weird to be in a room by myself with no other pilgrims around. There might be someone else here, but most are probably at the albergue which is 2 KM (I think) down the road. I didnt think I coul make another 2 KM and I'm quite happy here. 

Then I was out to scout for an optiian to fix my glasses and there was an office two blocks away and they fixed them for free. I was so happy!!! Now I need to pay that forward! I got a bit more stuff for my feet - I'm almost out of the iodine gauze and that is miracle stuff for open wounds. Sh!!! Did I mention the one blister opened up? Nurse Diane got me through that! I managed to get some gel, so that should do the trick until it's completely healed. 

Even with the long distance of today, my feet are doing great. I will confess that they are tired when I arrived, but hey -- after walking 36 KM in one day, I think anyone's feet would be tired. 

Tomorrow will be a much shorter day!

I chatted wtih the Monday Sewing group on Zoom. You have to love technology - it allows you to stay connected even when you are away. I LOVE it. And all the Facebook posts and comments are great fun. I had Mexican for dinner, while they played English songs and Iˋm in a Spanish town. How cool is that?

And itˋs amazing how much you can communciate (the essentials) when you donˋt speak the language. I feel a bit guilty about that, but Iˋm OK! 

OH-- I shoud say that if I had of went left, instead of right at that intersection, the walk into town was beside a river and probablay more intereseting than the industrial street. But each way had something to share and I was lucky to get an optician who fixed my glasses and also got the stuf for my feet. I'm staying in more of a residential area than the tourist area, so more likely those would be here, not downtown. No idea, but it all worked out. 

I think thatˋs it for today. 

Wait - the one sentence

So - a miscalculation had me walking 36 KM instead of 32 as I thought I would walk. And next time read the guidebook -- thereˋs a lot of interesting information in there!

Have a great day!!!!


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