Day 14 – Burgos to Hontanasย 

My flip flops are going to be famous! Most of today’s 32km walk included the German film crew that I saw in Burgos yesterday. They are documenting the journey of a couple German TV stars (not sure who they are) as they walk part of the Camino. 

Today’s filming included some drone footage (that I may be in) along with stops along the Camino. When they realized Eva was from Germany they interviewed her. Later when they realized I switched to flip flops, the filmed my feet walking on the Camino. See, I will make flip flops popular in Europe!!! 

Today felt much shorter than it was distance wise until the last 5km. Our Dutch friend Ron joined us for part of the day, then later Luis from Mallorca joined us for the last portion. Luis just started his Camino today from Burgos. 

Our rest day in Burgos did mean we are now a day behind many of the familiar faces. So now we will meet new pilgrims. It’s possible that we will walk enough extra each day to catch up with the Camino crowd we already know over the next few days. But meeting new people is all part of the experience. 

We are now in the Meseta portion of the Camino, so it’s the dry, flat plateau region. It’s known to be a bit boring. So far it’s still been beautiful but the villages are fewer and farther between. Those that don’t have enough time will take a bus skip this portion. 

My home for the evening seems good. It’s a very small village. The temperature is now 30 degrees Celsius so I’m happy to be done walking for the day. 

Day 13 – Burgos

Today was a rest day and it was delightful. Though my body is used to the routine of walking an average of 15 miles a day now, having a day to relax was amazing. 

Of course I still walked almost 9 miles today anyway. When there is a new city to explore, I can’t just sit around all day. 

I spent most of the morning walking around exploring Burgos – visiting the castle on the hill, touring the cathedral and finding lunch. After that I spent almost all afternoon enjoying my fancy hotel room. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

In the late afternoon I walked to the famous monastery which was closed but looked beautiful from the outside. Then it was off to the plaza to write postcards and people watch. 

I just got back from dinner with Eva and Kate where we had the most amazing pasta.

Those carbs will come in handy tomorrow as we’re planning on a 32km day. Bring on the Meseta!

Day 12 – Ages to Burgos

I’m writing this from a comfortable hotel bed while Mary Poppins is playing in the background – in Spanish of course. Actually funny that this movie is on because I’ve been calling my friend Eva’s backpack her Mary Poppins bag. She very efficiently packed everything imaginable in her pack. It’s not even heavier than my backpack, so it must be a Mary Poppins bag.

I’m noticing how much others judge you based on what you wear or pack on the Camino. It’s not always bad, but interesting the different choices people make. I was judged all day today for my choice of shoes….flip flops. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sure, it’s not wise to wear flip flops on the Camino due to varying conditions for walking. But today was the first day in at least a week that my bad foot or bad knee didn’t hurt. Thank you, flip flops! However, for Europeans, flip flops are shoes you only wear for the shower. I’m hoping to change that trend and introduce my European friends to the amazingness of flip flops. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Anyway, today has been a good day. I slept well last night and had a “lazy” morning – didn’t get on the road until 7am. The fog was very thick for the first hour when we walked through a cute village and up over a mountain. 

As we came down from the mountain back to farm fields the fog lifted and a nice sunny day appeared. We have been so lucky with the weather! I do think this will change after the Meseta, but I couldn’t have asked for better weather for the past 12 days. 

The walk into Burgos felt long since we had to go through the outskirts of the city first. Some pilgrims even opt to take a bus past this part. We walked past a very dead airport, then through a riverfront park for a few miles. This is a newer version of this stretch of the Camino – the old takes you through the industrial part of town. 

Finally reached downtown Burgos, which is very nice. We had to wait to check in to our hotel, so wandered around the cathedral hoping to see other pilgrims. We ran into a few that we may not see after today since they’re heading out of Burgos tomorrow. We’ll be getting dinner together later tonight. 

Tomorrow I plan to sleep in, be lazy, then explore some of Burgos. I do still need to get my 11,000 steps a day for my Fitbit goal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day 11 – Belorado to Ages

Despite not getting very good sleep, today was a prett decent day. It started off with perfect weather (cool and cloudy).

It was muggy but cool most of the day, which was good because we had two larger hills to climb. I tend to compare all hills to day 1, even though I probably shouldn’t. But doing so means those hills feel like nothing. So the daunting hills of today were actually pretty easy. 

In the middle of the 12km stretch with no villages was an Oasis. It was a roadside art stop with all kinds of interesting art and totem poles. This happened to be a great spot for some selfies. 

Tomorrow everyone on my same Camino schedule reaches Burgos. This is the first major city after Pamplona. It’s a place many will take a rest day. It’s also a jumping off or jumping on point for many. I’m curious how many of my Camino friends and familiar faces I’ll see after I take a rest day in Burgos. I also wonder how many new faces I’ll start to see on the way. 

Day 10 – Santo Domingo to Belorado

After a not so great night of sleep in the monastery (uncomfortable old bed, the sound of snoring) we were off to Belorado.

The morning was beautiful and the walk was easy. 

The first break reminded me that someone should make a “Cats of the Camino” book or Instagram account. Maybe this already exists. Probably a third of the towns I’ve been in, I’ve seen random cats hanging out on the street, on rooftops, etc. 

The original plan was to go past Belorado, but the heat settled in early and knowing one of the albergues had a pool, we opted for a shorter day of 23km.  The scenery was beautiful as usual. 

We got to the albergue before it opened and were some of the first in line to get beds. Though we asked for bottom bunks, we were denied and had to take top bunks, in case old people happened to show up. Had we shown up later and they wanted to fill their beds, we would have gotten bottom bunks. The lady said I should do the walk in July when the old people don’t walk if I actually wanted to be comfortable…great advice. So I’ll have to deal with my fear of falling off a top bunk tonight. Then I got yelled at for wearing a t-shirt in the pool. As if many pilgrims pack swimming suits. After that I got to take a cold shower since the guy before me took forever. It’s the most expensive albergue yet. Go figure. So today’s not my favorite day on the Camino, but tomorrow is a new day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 9 – Najera to Santo Domingo

Feeling pretty good because I successfully ordered myself a glass of wine in Spanish. It turns out that Spanish class I took paid off. The wifi at my albergue isn’t so great so I needed to find a bar or cafe that had wifi to write this. 

Despite some minor knee pain, today was a good day. The sunrise was beautiful as we left Najera. 

We had our first hill out of the village and then it was pretty smooth sailing after that. More beautiful farm fields and more putting one foot in front of the other. 

After a quick stop in the first village, we continued on through more farm fields. It feels like the number of peregrinos (pilgrims) has increased. Some start in Pamplona, some start even later on. Many people can only do portions of the French way and come back to pick up where they left off.

Tonight I will be sleeping in an old albergue in a monastery. Might even take in the Pilgrim’s mass. I figure I should do that at least once on the journey to get the full experience. The quality of the albergue is a little iffy, but at least we know all the other pilgrims in our room. 

Santo Domingo is a nice town (with great pizza!) though I think many pilgrims walked on to the next town. I took a tour of the cathedral and its museum and said hello to the rooster and hen that live inside the cathedral. 

Tomorrow, if we are lucky, we may get to stay at an albergue with a swimming pool! Anything will probably be better than tonight’s sleeping quarters. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 8 – Logroรฑo to Najera

My feet are just about dead. Today was nearly 30km of walking. It was a beautiful day for that kind of walk and there weren’t too many hills. I did switch to my flip flops about 2/3rds the way through to spare my feet. 

We got an early start, partially because we wanted to leave early knowing it was a long day and partly because the loud snorers in our room got up at 5:30. They were just as loud awake as they were asleep. 

The time went by quickly all day so we covered a lot of ground before taking our first break for caffeine. 

It’s always interesting to see what the different cities and villages do to mark the Camino path. Mostly you see a yellow arrow, but in some of the cities they personalize the directions like the plaque in the ground from Navarrete. 

We took the 1km side track to Ventosa and that was worth the extra walking. We were surrounded by grape fields for the different wineries most of the day. If you drink a Spanish wine, there’s a good chance I have or will be walking past the grapes for that wine. 

The final stretch into Najera was long, but we ran into the father and son from the US that were in our albergue on the first night. I think we will all go to dinner together with another housemate from the first night later this evening. 

I’d love to come back to Najera someday when my feet weren’t so tired. It’s a beautiful city with red rocks for a backdrop. 

I’m sitting at the cocina of my albergue and friends and I started reading the comments left by other pilgrims last year on the wall. What do I find? A comment left by MissJenn. She is my friend and sits across from me at work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Still feeling great overall! Tomorrow is a shorter day so it should help my feet recover from today.