Stage 16: Villafranca MdO to Atapuerca

26 Sep 2019

It’s rare, but every now and then a hotel, hostel, or albergue will offer a breakfast buffet, and we hit the jackpot before we left for Atapuerca:

All the usual Camino breakfast starches plus eggs, sausages, and bacon. Claude was in Protein Heaven. Our happiness lasted until we left the hotel side door and saw the stiff uphill ascent out of town that awaited us.

When the path finally, finally leveled off and I stopped seeing spots, and the sun was finally up, my walk took me through quiet forested lanes, dappled with sunlight. Claude fell back to chat with some fellow Canadians for a while.

The Camino seems to attract pilgrim-philosophers and some leave their wisdom behind for others:

Kathy Dunn, I think this was meant for you. Or WAS it you?

It’s not all fun and games, though. Periodically we see a path-side shrine to someone who has died on the Camino. The one above celebrates a Spanish cyclist. The Camino route for cyclists is often separate from the one for walking pilgrims, but sometimes they’re the same and cyclists come barreling by you on the path, without a hint of warning. The Spanish are great cycling enthusiasts and the Camino offers a great workout for mountain bikes, so add them to the traffic we walkers encounter.

We enjoyed the beautiful, clear weather and relatively good path surface all day. That’s Claude up ahead of my shadow.

We walked just 14 Kms today, through San Juan de Ortega, disciple of the legendary Santo Domingo, and here’s the town church:

Then through Ages, and on to Atapuerca, home to the famous archaeology sites that trace humanoids back 800,000 years.

No caveman behavior at our albergue, though.

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