Camino Diary Entry # 23
#23 Emails Home from the Camino
Atapuerca to Burgos 21.5kms
We woke to clear blue skies yet again following a pretty peaceful night in our rural habitacione!
Breakfast was a real treat – even less effort than our convent sisters!We felt our way about the window-less dining room and identified our Room 1 note on the table using braille. As our eyes accustomed to the dark, we found ourselves seated alongside the dog’s fruit box bed. Our table was graced with a mini bottle of juice each, 2 packaged croissants and some jam. But wait! There was more on the servery – a loaf of yesterday’s bread and a toaster to make it edible plus flasks of rapidly cooling ‘hot’ water and coffee. Certainly not our best spread to date!
From time to time one does question ones self as to the purpose of this little venture – especially when lying awake in the in the early hours of dawn before the roosters crow and which is most definitely before Gwyneth wakes up!
You realize that it’s the small steps that count and puzzling over our still very heavy suitcases, I got out of bed with a new resolve. Following lengthy dialogue with Gwyneth I have eventually surrendered for the use of future pilgrims, one tube of nappy rash cream! It has now trekked over 250 kms across Spain without the lid being removed. It was time! Under Gwyneth’s instruction I parked it adjacent to the rubbish bin as I understand if you leave it anywhere else you will be chased to the ends of the earth to be re- united with it!
Perhaps recklessly, I have also parted with half the pack of sanitary pads on much the same basis! I am simply not bothering to line my shoes with them anymore and they could bring someone else (the housemaid perhaps?) much unexpected joy.
A very brisk breeze was sweeping off the plains and right up the valley as we left the quiet of Casa Rural .
The first 1.5 kms from Atapuerca were a steep haul back up to 1078 m. This time it was extra slow progress over sharp chunks of rock designed to go straight for the jugular of those of us with Morton’s neuroma in the feet! The wind was no less vigorous as we walked across the hilltop. There was an impressive wooden cross, clearly of some significance, and a circular trail of stones like some weird crop-circle.
The track ran alongside an area marked as ‘military’. We have no idea what bit of it was military, but three rows of barbed wire curled into loops curtailed any thought of further exploration.
We only had 21kms again this day and as we started our descent we could see in the distance the city of Burgos.
Admiring the sudden variety of different wildflowers I decided it was timely to commence a photographic journal of them.
More red poppies, little blue things, edelweis, and some pinks and purples for good measure.
Drifting behind Gwyneth while I faffed about with cameras and iPhones I was curious to find the source of some delightful bird song. I soon realized it was a swallow flying above having the time of its life in the summer breeze – just beautiful.
A few meters on I was a little surprised to catch a most un-swallow like sound of ‘PARP’! I looked for an unusual bird perhaps and then caught sight of a fairly self conscious gentleman ahead anxiously looking to see if anyone was following. Perhaps he too had enjoyed leek and potato soup the previous evening? All along the way we have encountered evidence, by way of smell and ‘mess on the trail’ of animal life – sheep, horses, cows, but for some weird reason, since leaving the giddy heights of the Pyrenees, we actually have not set our eyes on any livestock! Where do they keep them? That could be the great question to ponder on tomorrows walk.