Posts Tagged With: Burgos

Burgos to Hornillos

Yesterday I walked 20k, from Burgos to Hornillos. I considered taking a taxi out to the outskirts of Burgos like I did when I left Leon in October, but the purist in me won out. After settling up my hotel bill, I crossed the plaza to touch the Cathedral and say a prayer, and then stepped onto the Camino.

The way out of Burgos took awhile, through city streets, past the University, and through a gate and a alley of trees that looked familiar.  I think it was one of the locations used in The Way.  When Martin Sheen leaves Burgos, the Dad of the young thief makes him carry Martin Sheen’s pack down a long alley of trees until they get to a gate at the edge of town. This looked like the place.

Then the Camino passed the penitentiary, and what’s known at home as the “corporation yard,” alongside the highway, the railway, and the autopista. As I was trying to find my way through several unmarked intersections, I ran into my first pilgrim. Gabby had just taken a 25 hour bus ride from Germany. We walked together the rest of the day.

By kilometer 10 we reached the village of Tarjadas and had lunch at the neighborhood bar aka pub. The energetic woman behind the bar was cook and bartender, and the place was filled with locals. My Ensalada Mixta was freshly made, and they had interesting tapas made with quail eggs.

After taking off my boots and letting my feet breath, I was relieved to find that there were no hot spots.  (I’ve become very protective of my feet.) Onward! Another 10k took us out into the countryside and up onto the Meseta. Looking back, towards the East, we saw a mountain range fringed with snow.


Everything was green and bursting with new life. Gabby shared with me the names of the birds in German.

Finally, we made it to Hornillos, and checked into Albergue Alzar. I like all sorts of accommodations on the Camino, but I have a fondness for the private Albergues. They’re usually run by a family or couple, and offer a communal meal.

After a restorative shower, the six pilgrims in residence gathered for dinner. Our hosts served paella, salad, wine, and dessert. There were two women from Valencia, a couple from Belgium who started their Camino at home and continue to walk several weeks a year, Gabby, and me.

One of the many things that I love about the Camino is this: it brings people together from many countries to share a communal experience. And last night the owners of the albergue were very involved in the dinner conversation, and it was fun to wade in in Spanish. Between us there were four languages spoken, but we had a lovely dinner party talking about our travels and sharing photos we’d taken as we walked.

I’m finding myself more interested this time in Spanish culture, and what it’s like to live along the Camino.

With jet lag and 20k under my belt, curling up in my sleeping bag on the lower bunk was wonderful. And my new white noise app and headphones, made even the more challenging aspects of communal sleeping easier this time.

Categories: April 2015, Santiago de Compostela | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Burgos For the second time

It’s 1 am and I’m jet-lagged and I can’t sleep, so I’m writing a blog post while I have strong wi-fi at my hotel. 

My flights were easy, and I sat next to a nice Spanish lawyer from Extramadura on the Atlanta to Madrid flight. It was fun to visit with a combination of his English and my (very) minimal Spanish. It seems unusual to talk with your seat mates these days. I was thankful for that and also that he helped me find the shuttle to Terminal 4, where I caught the bus to Burgos. Then we said good-bye, and I was off on my own.



After the scenic two and a half hour Bus ride from the Madrid airport,we pulled into Burgos and I knew exactly where I was. Just a five minute walk across the river to the area where the Camino comes through. The weeping willows are leafing out, and the fly fishermen are there, again, so charmingly, in the middle of town. The familiarity brought back fond memories of my days here in 2013, with my friends. Again, I was thankful.

I had really good pinchos at a recommended restaurant at 4:00, and then a really (!) bad pilgrim meal at 7:00. My mealtimes are all off because of jet lag and the late Spanish dinner hours. 

The light on the Cathedral was warm on the newly-cleaned stone as it shifted through the hours today. The art inside was as remarkable as I remembered it, and I felt the same spiritual distance.



And there was the hunky portrait of Burgos’ hero, El Cid.  

I’ve seen fewer Peregrinos than I expected today. It’s early in the season. The weather is cool and crisp, just right for walking.  I look forward to the journey to Hornillos tomorrow and entering the stream of Pilgrims.

Categories: April 2015, Santiago de Compostela | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

Spring Break on the Meseta

I’m excited.  A little panicked. Excited.  But mostly excited.

I’m beginning Camino 3.0. on Easter Monday!  I’ll be walking from Burgos to Leon, a distance of 112 Miles, or 181 Kilometers.  I have mapped out about 12 days of walking plus getting to and from Madrid.

Why Burgos to Leon?  When I walked in June of 2013, my ankle gave out shortly before Burgos.  Then I bussed across the Meseta, staying in Fromista, Carrion de los Condes, and finally Leon.   My good-bye photo was by the statue of the tired pilgrim at the San Marcos Parador in Leon.

When I went back on my second Camino in October of 2013, I started in Leon, at the same statue in front of the Parador, and walked to Santiago. It was a marvelous feeling to walk out of Leon.  This time, I’m going to have the pleasure of walking into Leon.

That segment across the middle of Spain has been calling to me.  With its wide open spaces, and big skies, it’s known as the third of the Camino for the mind. I’m sure it will be.  Along with being for the mind,  I see this trip as an Eastertide Retreat, a time to walk and meditate, and pray.  And an opportunity to feel that mind/body/spirit alignment again as a Pilgrim.

Since the Meseta is very hot during the summer, walking it in the springtime sounded more and more appealing.  It will be green and there should be wildflowers!

I’ll be flying into Madrid and taking a bus from the airport to Burgos, where I’ll spend the night. I’m taking  a jet lag day in Burgos and then heading out on the Camino the next morning. Burgos is a beautiful city, and I am looking forward to seeing the Cathedral again, and heading out onto the Meseta!

In the meantime, I’m training!   I’m working out with the trainer at the gym, and I’ve been walking around Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland with my full pack on, which is fun.  I can make it around the 5.5 K lake in an hour with no blisters and minimal fatigue.

Halfway around the Lake today someone stopped me and said, “are you getting ready for the Camino?”  Turns out she had walked it twice.

It was great to hear someone say, “Buen Camino!” again.







Categories: April 2015, Return to Camino | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Burgos at last

We took a taxi into Burgos this morning. It felt so strange to be in a car! The landscape flies by in a way I’d never noticed before. Toured the Cathedral, a wonder of high Spanish Gothic and Baroque style. I found it to be more of a museum than a place that inspired me to pray.








Categories: Camino de Santiago | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Hostel or Hostile?

I realized that I’ve walked six days in a row, for a total of 126 kilometers! Yesterday, I walked 4 kilometers over my ideal of 20 a day, and my ankle started to hurt. I limped into San Juan de Ortega, an isolated Monastery. We were late getting there, and the “deluxe” accommodations were full. So we stayed in the very rustic Alburgue in the Monastery for 5E. I had wine and a late dinner with my English friends at the only bar in the hamlet and got back to the bunk room just in time for 10:00 lights out. At 2:30 I woke up to a symphony of snoring from all corners of the room. It was a measure of my relaxation these days that I found it funny (for an hour) and then it subsided, and I slept a bit. Then it revved up again between 4:00 and 6:00. The 8 French pilgrims (all my age) sharing the room with Monika and me, got up at 6:30 and the day began. I’m very happy to have taxied into Burgos after 5 kilometers, and to be staying at a hotel.



Categories: Camino de Santiago, June 2013 | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: