I got new legs! Burgos to Hontanas

New shoes and barnet.


Burgos deserves a rest day to be fair. The ancient city, with it’s museums and magnificent cathedral would usually be exactly my kind of cultural break, but with the trials of finding new shoes, dressing the blisters and cutting the barnet all tied up by 11am, and a Camino novice alongside me chomping at the bit to begin her own camino, we ditched Burgos and made our way on a gentle 13k from the centre of the city to the quaint camino town of Rabe de las Calzadas.

 Yesterday was the Saint Day of Saint James (Santiago) and most pilgrims hung around in Burgos for morning mass that day. Unfortunately neither Clarisa nor myself knew anything about it. This meant that many pilgrims I’d usually see day in day out starting out at 6am were there with us on the walk, this was really nice for Clarisa’s first day and she was really taken with the good will shown by pilgrims and locals alike wishing her a Buen Camino!

 My personal camino has been split neatly into two parts pre and post Burgos. The first half was all about my camino, my limits and my lessons, setting goals for days and pushing myself hard (and too hard at times) to meet random arbitrary fitness or time goals. Now my camino is about patience and sharing as well as maintaining my own goals and I’m sure will provide many more lessons. Coincidentally, I have no new blisters or foot complaints since Clarisa joined. I ensure we take breaks every 5k and air out the feet, something I didn’t do religiously alone. It’s amazing how we treat others better than ourselves. This lesson on self care has been on the table for over a year but I’m only slowly picking it up; much like Spanish.

Clarisa’s first night in an Alberge was great fun to watch! There’s many Alberge rules that are not obvious to the novice. Most Alberges like pilgrims to place their sticks and poles in allotted areas, you’re not supposed to take long luxurious showers, let doors slam or shout to your friends from other rooms even if it’s 2pm, pilgrims are always asleep in the alberges so it’s best to just keep it quiet no matter what. She’s picking it up though and is a fabulous pilgrim companion who’s perfectly happy washing out the small at the end of the walk and making pilgrim meals – long may the enthusiasm last!

 We awoke today to find everyone had left our room in Rabe by 4.30, with nothing else to do and a hot day ahead we decided to hit the road and walked for a good 90 mins in the dark before finding ourselves in the corn fields again. The rather tame wildlife of snakes and mice was a bit perturbing for the city girl but she hit her stride and managed to walk 23k today into Hontanas, only to trip over the step of the Alberge entrance and twist her ankle. She’s currently sporting the ankle brace I needed last week in Logrono.

Tomorrow will depend on the ankle, luckily there are many stops tomorrow on the way to Itero, which is my pointless and arbitrary goal for tomorrow.

 The walk, since Burgos, has been the most repetitive on the camino so far, mile after mile of wheat fields where the intersection of two paths is the highlight of a two hour stint. It’s still beautiful, but all pilgrims starting from Saint Jean are so spoilt with the Pyrenees that is harder to see the beauty here. It’s here, not hidden but in plain view, however it’s less obvious and has to be sensed rather than seen.

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