Day 19 – To Burgos

Atapuerca to Burgos – 20 Kms, 32,451 steps

Dawn saw a line of pilgrims exiting Atapuerca and heading uphill through the surrounding farm fields. I thought the rocky trails of the last few days were bad, but this one took the cake. It was awful. Usually, the bad paths have a smoother tire track or border that pilgrims have worn down but this had none of that. 110% of my attention was required to be sure where my feet were going; I barely noticed the scenery.

Rob, are these your new boots?

A couple from Texas that I met the night before over cocktails, Rob and Lauren, told me that Rob’s hiking boots had fallen apart in the previous week. So they’d ordered a new pair, to be delivered to them in Burgos. When we spotted these boots along the trail, I got a laugh when I asked Rob is they were his new pair, special delivery.

Lauren was sporting a Camino nail job

I caught up with Grace and Wendy in Obaneja, a small town with a roadside London-style, double-decker bus I remembered from 2019, painted as a billboard for the local albergue.

A backpacking cargo trailer, on a steep rocky downhill
I would not want to haul that thing up some of the hills we climbed today

We made it to the outskirts of Burgos and took an optional route along the river, through a nice park, rather than walking for miles through an industrial area. The park was shaded and had separate pedestrian and bicycle paths, water fountains, and lots of nice benches.

A nice piece of wood-working

A technical note: WiFi throughput at the places I’m staying in is often very poor and/or heavily-loaded. It can take several minutes to upload a photo, which means these posts can take a long time to compose and upload.

We made it to Burgos and went our separate ways. Wendy and Grace are done with their Camino, will have a rest day in Burgos tomorrow, bus to Madrid the next day, and then eventually go home to Australia. It was really nice to have such interesting “trail buddies” for a while and I wish them well,

My accomodation was a hotel on what turned out to be “restaurant row” in the old part of town. The hostess told me that the street actually predates the larger city. I was happy to have a wide choice of places at which to eat, at my doorstep.

I met Grace and Wendy for a farewell drink that evening and, near their hotel, we saw a large street mural being painted. What a feat!

Tomorrow, I head to Hornillos del Camino and into the famous Meseta plateau. The weather looks promising.

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