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´!