From country to city (San Juan de Ortega to Burgos)…I prefer the country…

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Silhouetted pilgrim in the morning sunrise…

Today started out with an hour of walking under the faint light of a full moon (with headlamps to help).   I’m not sure there is a more peaceful and inspiring way to begin a day.  It was so quiet that all I could hear was my own breathing and the sound of my boots hitting the dirt and stone pathway.  There was a couple ahead of us, which did give us a sense of comfort as the yellow arrows that give us our direction, were hard to spot.  The guy ahead of us stopped to warn us of a cattle grate, which had some pretty big gaps.  Given that it was dark out, it could have been a disaster, or a sprained ankle, had we not been wearing the headlamps or had he not given us warning.  He was a good pilgrim.

We meandered through small, charming towns stopping at the first one for a coffee because our hotel had nothing but a coffee vending machine, which we were forewarned about from the Austrailians…. all cold and not drinkable.  It was a charming little restaurant that was quite busy with only a woman and her husband working there.  Still, the cafe con leche was made one cup at a time and the orange juice hand squeezed.  I admire the work and dedication they put forth in eating good food.  Nothing seems rushed.

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We meandered through the beautiful landscape that we’ve become quite spoiled with, stopping along the way for a fruit and cheese lunch.  Every day seems to be prettier than the last… but today didn’t end that way… things turned south for the last 4 plus hours of our walk to Burgos. There was more than one route to take today and although we never saw a sign that gave options, we also didn’t pay much heed to the guide book’s warning of of various paths to take. Needless to say, the route we chose, or that chose us I suppose, as neither of us remember a choice, wasn’t the best.  It took us past the airport, alongside a highway and down a busy street filled with factories. I felt like we had walked along side I-35 to the downtown airport then hit the industrial section of town.  The scenery was not what we have grown accustomed to and having cars honking while we dashed across highways, didn’t feel good at all.  The shift change at the Bridgestone Tire facory on the outskirts of Burgos was the most interesting thing we saw… all the guys headed to their cars with their lunch boxes while the new shift of workers came in.  I swear, it had to of taken 10 minutes to walk past the factory… it was that big.  We both wondered several times if we were even still ON the Camino but eventually passed a German man we had met earlier who said,
“The Camino is a metaphor for life, isn’t it? And this would be the not so good part.”

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Good grief, did we walk ourselves all the way to Las Vegas???
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This was not a pretty part of our journey….

Well said, German friend.

Burgos is a big city. We should eat well tonite.

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True confession… once to Burgos, this is how we got to our hotel… via cab.  It was a 15 minute ride, so no telling how much longer we would have been walking.  We had already walked 27 km and were beat.  I think we both were initially reluctant as it seemed like “cheating,” but we chose right.

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