A Travellerspoint blog

March 2018

Day 17, Fromista


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

I am currently in a small bar at 9:00 am having had tortilla varideros (omelet with ham) and fresh oj. I had a short chat with Steven from Georgia, who is walking 40-50 km per day. Unlikely that I'll see him again, but he was very nice.

In Boadilla I stopped at a bar, it is only 11 am, so I am taking a short break and will continue to Fromista instead of staying in Boadilla del Camino. It is either 20k today and 24k tomorrow or vice versa. Since I had such an early start today, it seems logical do the longer day today.

It is also apparently a shady, flat 6k to Fromista. My feet are still in perfect shape and my shin is OK today. I'm Having a beer with an international group. Paul from the US, Sam from UK, Luisa from Brazil, and Coco from Germany. Having a great conversation.

Today was interesting because I walked next to the canal de Castillo, which has a locks system that is no longer used. It reminded me of our trip on the Rideau. The walk by the canal was very pleasant, mostly shaded and not buggy at all. Very nice way to finish the day's walk.

There are three churches here in Fromista, but one was closed (only open from noon to one on Sundays). One of the Fromista churches was severely destroyed and rebuilt and there was a model of the destruction.

I will go 20k tomorrow to Carrion de los Condos. And I am starting out with a new crowd - Luisa for sure and maybe also Paul, Sam, and Coco. We are all going to Carrion from the sounds of it, but Sam is thinking of leaving later.

Having met the new group, I'm glad I walked the extra distance today. I gave my blister patches to Luisa since the farmacias are not open on Sunday and likely not open tomorrow either due to the holiday. Of course, immediately after, I found a small blister on the back of my heel, which I've taped up. Still, Luisa needed the plasters more than I - her blisters are much worse than my tiny one.

It's 7:30 and I'm having a ensalada mixta, which has lettuce, tomatoes, asparagus, egg, tuna and green olives. Pretty good. I'll join the others for a drink later, but they are waiting for a restaurant that opens at 8 and I couldn't wait that late. I also didn't want a big meal (although the salad is giant sized).

Group having beer and snacks

Group having beer and snacks

Dawn looking back at Castrojeriz

Dawn looking back at Castrojeriz

Locks

Locks

Canal

Canal

Model of damage

Model of damage

Church in Fromista

Church in Fromista

Posted by Deb Godley 16:22 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 16, Castrojeriz


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

I'm having email trouble today, so it's a short update. Suffice it to say that, other than some shin splint problems this morning, I am perfectly fine.

I was hoping for a farmacia here to get a topical pain killer or muscle relaxant, but nothing is open and tomorrow and Monday (a holiday) are likely to be busts as well. I'll be lucky to find food on Monday, but we'll see. I've stocked up a bit so I'll survive.

I arrived in Castrojeriz at just after noon, hobbling a little from my shin splint. I stopped in the church just before the town and sat for a bit rubbing my shin until it felt well enough for the last 1.5 km into town.

I've showered, washed my clothes from today (they had a great electric spinner to get the water out after hand washing), and hung them to dry in the hot sun. For the last hour or so I've just been resting and stretching.

Now, I'm hungry and feel ready to walk a bit.

The albergue here has a sleeping room with 30 or so beds. Very nice & clean and good bathroom and shower facilities for 5€.

Off to find food. More later.Ruinas del Convento de San Anton

Ruinas del Convento de San Anton

Story behind ruins

Story behind ruins

Flat and beautiful

Flat and beautiful

Church near Castrojeriz

Church near Castrojeriz

Streets of Castrojeriz

Streets of Castrojeriz

Nice and clean albergue

Nice and clean albergue

Pizza and beer. Yum

Pizza and beer. Yum

My Credencial del Peregrino so far

My Credencial del Peregrino so far

Posted by Deb Godley 16:16 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 15, Hornillos del Camino


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

In a word, buggy.

I ate a fantastic breakfast this morning, which was included in my booking. Cheese-scrambled and boiled eggs, bacon (lots of bacon), toast, bread, pastries, fruit, 3 kinds of fresh juice, cheeses & meats, tomato, yogurt, donuts and hot drinks. Really excellent, but it didn't open until 7:30 and there was a large tour group. So, I didn't get on my way until after 8.

I am a fast walker, especially on my own and I covered the 21 km, arriving here at 12:30 - very good time, including a break halfway for fruit and the required shoe removal and toe wiggle.

The last 8 km between Rabe de las Calzadas ang my arrival here on Hornillos del Camino was walked through swarms of insects. It was awful. I used my buff or my hat, depending on which I wasn't wearing, to wave constantly in front of my face. Oh. My. God. I don't think it was mosquitoes because I don't seem to be bitten, so I am assuming black flies.

Anyway I took few pictures because I was too busy swatting. These are a few from towns along the way. I'm off to find repellent perhaps, and food. I've turned in all my clothes to be washed and I'm wearing my sleep shirt and new shorts.

The church in Hornillos is nice inside, but very plain on the outside, in keeping with the stone buildings in town. I like the arches. They actually look more beautiful in the pictures with the light hitting them they look like marble, but it's just white stone.

As per most of these small Camino-economy villages, there is only one street with a couple of side alleys that lead to dead ends, walls or fields of hay. Because Hornillos is a recommended guidebook stop, there are several albergues, two bars, and a tienda (small shop).

All of the albergues here advertise a communal meal. I like the sound of the one at the El Alfar where I'm staying: paella, salad, and lemon mousse, with bread, and water or wine. Still two hours away, though, and I've already walked everywhere in town. Most of the others pilgrims like to take a nap in the afternoons, so there's weren't many in the bars earlier.

David, the priest from ND is also staying here so we've had a short chat. I'm looking forward to the communal meal tonight and the chance to better meet the other guests here.

It was supposed to be about 21 kms, but the fitbit is showing 24. I don't think it could be right given it took me only 4 hrs, even though I was walking fast today.

I like the flatter terrain, but I'll be happier if there are fewer insects flying up my nose and in my mouth and eyes tomorrow. I think I got a portion of my daily protein in the form of black flies this morning. Yuck.

I'm going to go look around. Its over 30 degrees today, which I like better than the cold in Burgos.

My El Alfar albergue appears to be reasonably cool, though. Great showers, too. And they have drinks to buy on the honour system in a refrigerated case as well as some snacks in bowls. Very nice and only beds for 20, but it doesn't seem full so far.

At dinner, two of the guests are not walking, but on a driving holiday (because the albergue is not full). They just returned from Lisbon and said they could smell the smoke and were told there were lots of fires, including near Porto (where we are going after the walk).

Dinner was nice. The food was good. It was nice to have fresh salad and the paella and lemon dessert were both good. I had white wine instead of the ever-present red. I have to especially ask for white because every meal comes with red wine. It sometimes doesn't work to just ask for white; I have to explain that I have a medical reason I cannot drink red.

One of the diners, an Italian just started east of Burgos and this is her first day. The others were David (ND), the driving couple and two women from France.

If I wake up early, I'm going to see if I can see the meteor shower. Not sure I want to disturb everyone by setting an alarm, though, so I'll just see if I happen to wake up at 4ish as usual.

It's about time for bed. A hot day expected tomorrow. I hope with fewer bugs.

Cool map

Cool map

Church in Hornillos; looks like marble

Church in Hornillos; looks like marble

One street town

One street town

Posted by Deb Godley 16:11 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 14, Rest day in Burgos


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

We were out of the albergue before the required 8am and had breakfast together and then I said goodbye to Gabby, Susana, Louie, Jose, Sylvie and Alfrede, all of whom are finishing here in Burgos. Then I walked the 300m or so to my new hotel and dropped off my backpack and am using the WiFi for a few minutes. At only 8:30, it is too early to check in.

Once the museum opens I can use my free pass and check out stores & such until noon or so, when I can return.

Here's a shot of the bota (boot) storage where I retreived my boots this morning - separated by floor number. Just to give you an idea of the size of this place - most albergues are 10-35 beds, so 150 beds here is by far the largest. There's usually a small shelf for boots to prevent some of the road dust and shoe smell from permeating the rooms. Here it was six drawers of boots. But as I showed with the sleeping alcove, it is very well set up and I slept very well in my private space.

So today is my first planned rest day and I am looking forward to exploring Burgos a little. The day is bright and sunny, but cold again. First stop: Museo de Burgos. This was free with my ticket from the Atapuerca site. Very small, but with some items from Atapuerca.

Museo de la Evolucion Humana was a much nicer and larger museum with very interesting exhibits on our species specifically. Also quite a lot of info from Atapuerca.

I walked around and have a couple of street pictures and was allowed in my room at 12:30. One is of Santo Domingo de Guzman plaza and the other of Casa de Cordon, a 15th century palace, now a bank. I declined to pay extra for a cathedral view, since the cathedral is easily accessible right outside the door.

I ran into Louie just outside and will meet up with him for "lunch" at 3pm. For now, I have a couple of hours, so I am going to eat my orange and then walk up to the Castiila in Parque de cuerdas del Castillo.

I climbed up to the Castillo, but I didn't go in. There didn't appear to be much inside. But I liked the view. There was a poem, I think, that Rhina might like.

I stopped at a couple of museums on the way down. One was modern art and there was much to photograph and the other was altarpieces and processional pieces

After the museums I looked for Louie and waited 20 minutes, then went to the tapa bar I wanted to try. Apparently, voted the best tapas in Spain in 2015, called La Favorita. I asked for 4 tapas and a beer and let them choose for me - it was great. I had something creamy on toast - no idea. Then cheese wrapped in ham; some anchovy on toast mix; and blood sausage with rice in the sausage and it came with roasted red pepper, which was excellent.

On the way back I found Louie, who had been looking for me in the other direction, apparently. He was sitting with Aminta from Mexico and 3 Spaniards all eating chicken wings. So I ordered some wings and joined them. We also ran into a woman from Toronto who said "Oh, you are the redheaded Canadian I've heard about"

Then I saw Louie off to his bus to Madrid and the last of my current Camino family is off home. I thought Aminta and Ada from T.O. might be new walking mates, but they are going to skip ahead by bus; Aminta to see a meteor shower 50k ahead and Ada to skip the Meseta (the flat section between Burgos and Leon that many do not like).

I'm off to see the shops. At 6:30ish, I set out to see if I could find a skirt or shorts to replace the scarf that I had been using for a skirt in the evenings, but which was a looking a bit worse for wear (not being intended as a skirt).

Happily after popping in and out of shops and trying on a few unsuitable items, I found a perfect light pair of beige shorts. So after buying them I rewarded myself with chocolate con churros. I had heard that the hot chocolate in Spain was different than ours, but to date I'd only seen Nesquick packages mixed in hot milk. Walking through the river front park, I came across the Cafe Ibanez, advertising chocolate con churros. Could this be the famous extra-thick super-rich chocolate I'd dreamt of?

Yes! See the picture, I think you can almost taste the thick richness of it. Trust me, though, the real thing eaten from the dipped churro was fabulous!

Back in the room by 8:30 after lingering in the cafe and then on a bench outside the cathedral. A very nice evening. The bed is very comfy feeling, so I'm expecting a good night.

My room is on the 5th floor, so with the walking around, up to the Castillo, through the museums, in and out of stores, and up and down the hotel stairs (pilgrims don't use elevators), I have walked 24,697 steps, almost 14 kms.

To bed, perchance to dream...and on the road again tomorrow.

Bota boot storage

Bota boot storage

Poem for Rhina

Poem for Rhina

Chocolate con churros

Chocolate con churros

Museo de Burgos exhibit

Museo de Burgos exhibit

Museo de-Burgos exhibit

Museo de-Burgos exhibit

Museo de la Evolucion Humana exhibit

Museo de la Evolucion Humana exhibit

Museo de la Evolucion Humana exhibit

Museo de la Evolucion Humana exhibit

Santo Domingo de Guzman plaza

Santo Domingo de Guzman plaza

My comfy bed

My comfy bed

Much nicer than sharing

Much nicer than sharing

Cathedral

Cathedral

Casa de Cordon

Casa de Cordon

Processional pieces

Processional pieces

View from the Castillo

View from the Castillo

Posted by Deb Godley 16:02 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 13, Burgos


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

It was a cold 8 degrees and windy this morning leaving from Atapuerca. I had waited about 45 minutes for Louie before deciding he was leaving on a different schedule and setting out on my own. I left hugs and word with Suzanna that I was leaving.

Now 1.5 hrs and about 6.5 km later, I stopped for a banana juice and skewer of pork and, of course, bathroom and WiFi break.

I passed a dog on the Camino this morning complete with backpack.

The day is much brighter today, but a rocky road to start. Now it is going to be more asphalt for the walk through the Burgos suburbs. I expect to arrive in Burgos by 1 pm.

By the time I'd finished my snack in Cardenuela, Jose, Louie, Suzanna, Gabby, Sylvie and Alfrede had all stopped as well, so we continued walking together all the way to Burgos. We are staying in the large municipal albergue near the cathedral, which has 150 beds over multiple floors.

We arrived and queued up and I was given bed 62 on the 3rd floor. Louie has the bunk above and the others are scattered in the beds around me. It is well organized with 4 beds in each alcove and the illusion of privacy for each bed by having a wall in between each.

I am eager to take a look around and the location near the cathedral makes it easier not to get lost. Jose, Louie & I will meet up for lunch in an hour, but since I can't wait, I am having some of my stash of snacks.

We had a table for 7 at a nice restaurant for a late (for me) lunch at 2:30. For 20€, I had the menu of the day, which was a choice of Catalena soup (bread and garlic), which I had; or eggs with green beans and smoked salmon, which I tried from Suzanna. Both were very tasty.

For the main course we all ordered the lamb chops instead of the fish, and they were excellent. The roasted red pepper was so incredibly good that I ate Gabby's as well. The meal came with house wine - I had the blanco (white), while everyone else had the tinto. Dessert was "cheesecake", which appeared to be vanilla ice cream and a not of jam wrapped in white chocolate with maple syrup on the side - in other words, sugar wrapped in sugar, topped with sugar. It was a bit sweet - Steve would have loved it!

After lunch, we wandered around a bit and then split up and I visited the cathedral with a English audio guide, which was very good and allowed you to pick a higher level of detail if you wanted. The cathedral was amazing, I took a lot of photos.

It's now after 7 pm, so I am going to take another walk around now that stores and businesses are open and also have a small bite to eat. It's 8:30 and I just had a Guinness from an Irish pub a couple of blocks away.

Almost time for bed. I have a plug next to the bed but no WiFi again, so I'm using the phone. It looks like I've used a lot of data in the last few days, so I'll be happy to have free WiFi at my hotel tomorrow.

I also plan to use my free pass to the museum tomorrow.

Unfortunately the new group are all going home from Burgos; none continuing on. So I will see them tomorrow, but then I'm back in my own again. We'll see who I meet next.

Tomorrow it will be cold in the morning - overnight is 9 and a high of 21. With the wind it has been very cool.

Dog with backpack

Dog with backpack

Sign near dawn

Sign near dawn

Burgos cathedral

Burgos cathedral

Gang in front of the cathedral

Gang in front of the cathedral

Mary statue

Mary statue

Gorgeous ceiling

Gorgeous ceiling

Amazing-stairs

Amazing-stairs

Posted by Deb Godley 15:57 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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