Saturday, May 7, 2022

Day 14 - 6 May - Atapuerca to Burgos

As the group Unit 4 + 2 famously sang:

It's true we don’t smell like sweet roses in the morning

Its true its not all summer rain at dawn, but this we share

All this walking everywhere

Along the sidewalks in the streets

The concrete and the clay, but then my feet begin to crumble

I’ve buggered up me thigh                                      

And then I take another tumble                              

It makes you wonder why                                       

My love and I will be                                               

Back on the road ‘til half past three                       

Mmm, that's the way, that's the way it's meant to be  

The rustling started at half past six. That’s the sound of peregrinos trying to get dressed, and rucksacks packed, in a dormitory where others are still asleep. Half past six is fine. It’s like having a snooze button on your alarm. I let them get on with it and eventually emerged from my bunk at seven twenty. Mrs C was already up and about, dressed and packed. She was the rustler.

Breakfast was not an option (what do you expect for twelve euros a night?) and we set off at seven forty five. There were patches of ground frost still around but a beautiful blue sky overhead with forecast to last all day. Lovely.

After two days of English countryside, the terrain immediately reverted to Spain as we climbed gently away from Atapuerca. With the morning mist still hanging, the scenery was breathtaking.

After about one hour, the high plain started its descent with the city of Burgos - our destination for the night - visible a further nine miles away. The path continued to fall, Burgos disappeared, and we made our way into the wonderfully named village of Cardeñuela Riopico where we stopped for a coffee and a croissant. But not for too long as the wind carried a distinctive chill. Potential problems looming though as Mrs C’s shin splint problem came on strong. We walked/ hobbled to Orbaneja where we rested with another coffee. There’s not much you can do with shin splints and as it isn’t me with the problem, only Mrs C can call the shots going forward. We carried on.

The spectacular scenery of the first two hours was fizzling out the nearer we got to Burgos. It didn’t help that we missed the river route option and instead headed towards and around Burgos airport. The bulk of the final five miles into the city was through the industrial outskirts which wasn’t pretty at all. But the centre, with Burgos Cathedral as its centrepiece, was wonderful. Typically Spanish, lots of people, bars and cafes. In my element.

Less so in my element but needs must with an important play-off semi-final first leg tonight, I paid five euros to visit the cathedral where I sought divine intervention on Sheffield Wednesday’s behalf. Well, I am on pilgrimage so why not?

We bumped into our friend Michael from Switzerland. Sadly, his race is run. He has picked up an injury and, being a doctor, he knows that he cannot continue. Understandably he was a bit glum but I know a medicinal thing or two myself and the recuperative effects of beer can clearly be seen below.

Michael is not the only one feeling the effects of trying to walk five hundred miles. We saw Rob from Holland, who we met at Ventosa, and his wife Jessie is feeling poorly. Also Dan, who we dined with last night, was planning a very short day today - only two or three miles - to allow his body some much needed rest. And of course, I have already mentioned Mrs C and a shin splint problem. 

Remember I said that Michael is a doctor? He has given us a roll of medical tape and provided a link to a video with the very snappy title of How to treat Anterior Shin Splints with Kinesiology taping. What a guy. Just as well he’s going home or my man crush could be back on.

Anyway, having treated ourselves to a hotel for the night, we retreated back to our room for about half past eight where I commenced extensive rubbing of Mrs C’s left leg. I’m all heart me. 

Why are we doing this? Because we are bloody loving it! We just hope we stay sensible and stay lucky. If not, the Camino ain’t going anywhere so we can always do it again. As for divine intervention and Camino miracles? Wednesday lost the first leg semi-final one-nil but we live to fight another day. A bit like our Camino hopefully.

No comments:

Post a Comment