Camino Diary Entry #24
Precious or Press-on Pilgrims?
There are clearly 2 sorts of pilgrims. The ‘press-on’ pilgrims and the ‘precious pilgrims’! No prizes for guessing where we might fit! The press-on variety don’t take days off, they sleep in hostels and even more frightening, carry all their own gear! We ‘precious’ ones are kinder to ourselves and apply a lot more common sense! We were stopped for coffee when some new, new-best-friends , father and son passed us and made mention that they would be taking the bus from Villafria for the last 10 kms into Burgos. We too had read and heard that this was a fairly long haul through industrial and suburban streets, so we didn’t take much convincing to arrange joining them.
We meanwhile ploughed on through the last couple of villages. Gwyneth pointed out that we are missing an opportunity at home by not planting potatoes on the grass verge outside our letterboxes!
We regularly asses various stops based on the availability of a loo, it’s cleanliness and was there soap? Was there a hand drying facility, and most importantly, were the lights on timers that allowed time to make it to the seat, sort things and be seemly again, before being plunged into darkness and having to grope your way about unfamiliar walls in the hope of finding a door?
We caught up with said friends standing on a footpath in Villafria. There didn’t appear to be any sign of a bus but they had enquired and this was where it would stop! By now there were 5 of us and as the bus pulled in on schedule, we left it to Ki-Ko to have the required discussion with the driver. Ki-Ko is fluent in English, Italian and French and this some how qualified him for the role, although I am not sure why, since the driver obviously only spoke Spanish!
Five of us trying to find coins, squeeze on with backpacks and ensure that we were on the right bus heading in the right direction was never going to be a quick thing. Unfortunately it was all made considerably worse by Gwyneth having attached her hiking poles to her day pack! Now most of us would have 2 matching poles, but not Gwyneth! Hers fold up to different lengths and that combined with her hat brim well down over her eyes meant it was a life threatening, eyeball gouging risk for all those already seated! This was only complicated further by the driver planting his boot down the minute he had collected our money.
The bus ride (once seated) was pure bliss! We couldn’t believe the good value of 0.95€ for a whole 10 kms of luxury!This time the guide books were right, it would have been a soul-destroying 10 kms to walk!.We precious ones are far better to reserve our time and strength for enjoying the destination!
Burgos was a beautiful city – a plaza of course and a truly outstanding cathedral. We ate, we sipped sangria, we enjoyed a red wine, we wandered round in circles and generally soaked it up.