The Never Ending Road to San Juan

Hola everyone,

What a day this has been! In fact it was a couple of trying days we´ve had since leaving Azofra two nights ago. Yesterday was cold, rainy and very muddy most of the way and we arrived a bit ´verlep´ at Redecilla from Azofra at about 2pm yesterday afternoon. It was the first day of rain we´ve had since starting our Camino from St Jean and Orisson on the 22nd of May. Today was cold and windy all the way and in order to make up a day on the route (to aim for arriving at Santiago on the 25th of June), we pushed through 36,6km from Redicilla to San Juan de Ortega!! We only arrived at San Juan at about 4pm (after walking from 6am this morning) and was totally spent. The last 10km of road just went on and on and on! Lesson learnt: do not do too much distance on one day. Luckily I managed to get through the distance without too much strain on my knee. I´m walking with a knee brace and also using the anti-inflammatory pills and cream that my sister suggested a couple of days ago. I got it from a pharmacia in Logrono on Monday.

We had our usual shower and unpacking ritual earlier and then went out to the only bar in San Juan to enjoy a well-deserved glass of vino tinto outside in the sun (yes, the sun is still shining hot & bright at 8pm – at the moment, as I´m typing) and then we had dinner inside the bar. Tonight was ensalada, empanada with a fish filling and then a local delecacy called ´Morcilla de Burgos´ which we found out (via Google, as no one speaks English in the bar to explain!) is ´black pudding´. Blood, onion, lard and salt. Eish! So, we had an interesting meal. The waiter wasn´t happy that we left some of the Morcilla de Burgos on our plates and the majority of pelegrinos in the bar (mostly French and Spanish speaking) thought it was very funny when the waiter got upset with us. Well, when in Rome do as the Romans do…. if you can stomach it!

Tomorrow we´re off to the city of Burgos and will cover a distance of 25,6km. We will possibly have to take a bus for part of the journey into the city as walking through the outskirts into the historic centre of town is apparently not very appealling. We will then enjoy a rest day and do some sightseeing and rest out (effectively spending two nights in Burgos). We were also too tired to do any washing this afternoon so that will all have to be done tomorrow. There is a lot to see in and around Burgos which makes the two night stop over well worth it. After today (and including tomorrow) we´ll need the rest. I miss a bath!!!

One thing is for certain: the Camino is NOT for people with claustrophobia! You have to operate in confined spaces as you share sleeping space with many people in double or triple level beds in the hostels and often the showers are very small. Drying off after a shower has proven to be a most frustrating experience! Usually just about every possible space and surface in the bathrooms are wet already by the time you get there and you have to be very creative in keeping things off the floor and dry!

But we´re in the Camino flow of things and really enjoying the simplicity of the daily routine. We´ve also made many friends along the way and also ´lost´ a few since as some pushed ahead of the suggested daily schedule or stayed behind. We may still see them again later on the route or even at the end in Santiago. Myself and Marieke are planning to take the bus on to Finnesterre and then get back to Madrid by the 29th, in time to catch our flight home on the 30th. Still lots of walking to do before then! We are already slowly but surely heading towards the halfway mark though. What an adventure!!

That´s if from me for now. Off to bed (very early for me tonight) and hopefully I will not have another sore throat tonight as last night. So far so good and all´s ´muy bien´!


8 thoughts on “The Never Ending Road to San Juan

  1. Ek haal my hoed af vir jou! So trots op jou en terselfde tyd dankbaar ek kan die ondervinding met jou deel – WELL DONE!!! Sterkte met more se lopery na vandag se lang dag op jou voete!!!


    1. Baie dankie Annedi! Dit is omtrent ´n avontuur en ons geniet als Spaans en hou ons wafferse Pelgrims! Sal nog fotos probeer laai as ek pc kan kry wat my ´n cd toegang gee. Lekker werk en voorspoed aan jou kant! M

  2. Hehehe! I’ll think of you in my deep warm bath tonight! Especially as I step out onto the dry bathmat and reach for my dry towel on the rail and stretch out to dry my back…… 😉
    On the down side, I am sharing the sore throat! Hope yours is better even before mine!
    Keep walking (I hear it was all that Whiskey guys idea in the first place…..)
    Love and blessings

  3. Love reading your blog!!! Feel as if I’m there 🙂
    Prayed for you yesterday(5/31) as you were strong on my heart.
    By the way welcome to the forties!!! So sorry I missed wishing you happy birthday.
    Love ya,

    1. Hi Jill,
      Thank you SO MUCH for your comment! I wanted to still mail Julia with feedback on an amazing, anointed session we had with three nuns in a town called Carrion. WOW – was amazing!!! They were oozing love, peace and generosity and they prayed for us as a group of pilgrims who stayed in their alberge and it was so wonderful. Made me remember the powerful ministry through Julia. What a blessing these nuns!!! Please tell Julia hey from me and I will still mail her more detail (well, you both!) when I have more internet time. Please remind me of her correct address – is it still or the IHPM one? Many thanks! Lots of love, M.

    1. Thanks Lorna! Ja, in the end we realised why that is not a good distance to do – way too long and you pay the price in the end. Tomorrow is about 30km to Astorga though, so we have to push through (if keeping to the book distance). We diverted off quite a few times from the Brierly book recommendations. Probably will stick to it from here on. Enjoying the Camino and simplicity of pilgrim life tremendously! Thank you also for all your advice! M

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