Distance to go: 518.5 Kms
What a wonderful evening we had last night. We had some tapas and wine then at 19:30 we went on a guided tour of the history of the place. Much has been preserved and for an hour and a half we were shown much of it all for a donation only. This stop has been one of our highlights so far and most pilgrims just walk through.
After a really good nights sleep we woke and had an early breakfast back at Antonios cafe and set off for the city of Burgos at 06:40.
It all started well. We passed the world heritage site of Atapuerca where excavations have revolved human remains over 900,000 years old and climbed up over Matagrande hill at 1050 metres above sea level. The views from there were stunning. We could clearly see our destination in the distance.
The descent down the other side was gentle. Debs and I took a detour shown in the guide book. We were the only ones to do it. Everybody else stuck to the usual trail. We were rewarded with skylarks singing and a multitude of wild flowers and peace and quiet. We joined the others at the village of Orbaneja and walked the trail around Burgos airport security fence. I am sure the old pilgrims did not have to deal with that.
The guide book then states that we should be prepared for the hard slog into the city. What an understatement! The next 8 Kms was murder underfoot. Although it was through forest trails and paths, much was concrete and was really painful for the feet and knees. The signposting for the main municipal albergue is poor so we asked a local to help us. We were led around the damn place and still could not find where we were supposed to go. So we left him and struck out on our own. We eventually found it. Our friends arrived about 10 minutes before us.
Debbie was really tired by now and my feet were about to burst. They were the sorest they have been so far. We checked in and I collapsed onto my bunk. An ibuprofen and paracetamol concoction had me up about an hour and a half later. We had a great early dinner and toured the magnificent Burgos Cathedral. What a stunning place. If ever you are this way take the tour. It was breathtaking to see it from within and this is where El Cid lies with his wife.
We have the infamous Meseta ahead. It is field upon field as far as the eye can see of barley and wheat, is notoriously hot and dusty, offers no shelter and is sparsely populated. We have to cross it which could take up to 4 days. We have stocked up with extra water and provisions and just need a good nights sleep to get us going. The forecast is for 30C for the next few days. Cant say I am looking forward to it.
Finally pooch of the day came over to me for a scratch whilst Debs was checking out the toilet facilities of a small cafe.
Distance walked today: 22.9 Kms