To Burgos

13.08.08 Wednesday.

Villambistia to Burgos.

A tough day, we started at the usual time having been fed a great meal the night before by the parish and the bar we were in (bar is parish rooms and centre of village and internet resource for local kids). Meet and chat with in the evening, a German psychologist, an Italian living in Barcelona and several others including the volunteer chef who is an agricultural engineer ?Spanish, a great crowd.
We stumble around in the dark managing not to get off route this time and are accompanied by a “wee slip” of a Hungarian girl who wants to start early but does not want to travel on her own. This possibly translates to ‘I have not got a torch’ as she tags along behind us for the hour or so before dawn. She peels off as soon as it is light and we continue a significant ascent from the 800m start in Villambista to 1050 or so, it’s quite cold and we are walking quickly through pine forest on a large fire break track, but still don’t really warm up till we come down into San Juan de Ortega. The café is closed and opens probably in 15mins and as there is nothing else, we press on. At this point we know there is a spilt and a choice of routes to the city of Burgos, it is around 0900 and we have covered maybe 20km or so, our plan was to take the new route it possibly has an albergue at about another 10km but we cannot find the path and end up on the original route. In Ages where a possibly Irishman has set up a little café, we have 2 coffees and toast etc and buy some goat cheese. He suggests the local refugio but it is only around 1000 and we decide to go for broke and head for Burgos, another 20km.
After topping another steep rise we see Burgos (a sizeable city) in the distance, it disappears as we descend again but didn’t look too far! About 3 hours later at 1400h we get to the new 6 story Albergue de Peregrinos in the city centre after walking through the extension being built to the airport, across an autoroute, through the commercial sector and a high rise residential suburb. Unlike most large towns there is not great signposting and few concessions to the Camino the cause once again of the city’s foundation. Eventually when we are within 1km of our destination the occasional yellow paint arrow gives way to the familiar bronze scallop shells, but at first these are almost obscured by public bench seats. Within a few hundred metres of the albergue, we catch up with the Hungarian girl from this morning. She must have overtaken us when we were having breakfast!
We get beds and set out immediately to eat returning for a rest and washing about1600hrs. We must have a shorter day tomorrow as 42km in eight and a half hours is a bit silly.