Day Off In Burgos

Day Thirty.

Written on May 29, 2014.

A great day to sleep in, go have coffee, and take care of errands. One of the most important things to do today is have my clothes washed in a machine. Since April 30th I have washed my clothes by hand. I found a dry cleaners who would wash them in a machine and not dry them. Two years ago on the Camino I had my clothes washed and dried…they shrunk. Now it's time to go explore.

Nancy, Vern, and Jim with one of our favorite sculptures.

Today we saw many Pilgrims that we know in Burgos. It was fun getting together without being tired after walking all day.

We found a sporting goods store and bought Vern a pair of sandals. I went to the library and printed boarding passes to be used at the end of June. As we were walking around Burgos we kept seeing more Pilgrims and started making dinner plans. When we did start to gather to make our way to a place to eat I noticed that another group was forming close by. I heard someone say that they were going to Dane's concert. Dane had walked by me several days ago with a cello on his back. I had been wanting to see him play. This was the perfect opportunity. I told Vern and who could hear that I was going to the concert and took off to follow the people who knew where they were going.

The line for Dane's concert in front of Monasterios de Huelgas.
Dane and I after his cello performance.
For more information about Dane, the Pilgrim cellist, go to walktofisterra.com.
 

 

San Juan de Ortega To Burgos

Day Twenty Nine. 23.3 K., 14.4 Mi. (Approx). Vern and Angel's mileage.

Written on May 28, 2014.

As I was lying in bed in San Juan de Ortega yesterday I was thinking about the couple that directed Monica and I to the best way to Ages. What I was thinking about is: do I take my chances and start walking in an area that does not have taxi or bus service or do I make an arrangement this evening? I had noticed a card on the bulletin board downstairs for backpack transport. I called the number on the card and in my best Spanish asked if he could pick me and my backpack up tomorrow. That was pretty easy. By the time I left the Casa Rural I had been in bed for many hours.

Raul and his partner had picked me up on time and drove me to Burgos. It is easier to stay in a Pension, Hostal, or Hotel when you want to stay in a town or city for two nights or longer. As Raul and I were walking toward the Hotel Norte y Londres I kept hearing someone yell, “Mom, Mom”. I couldn't believe that Vern and Angel had arrived in Burgos before me.

Front view of Cathedral in Burgos.

A “portal” into Burgos by the river.

Burgos is a city full of art, sculptures, any resource you may need, and the Catedral de Santa Maria. It is a great place for exploring, relaxation, and taking care of errands.

 

Belorado to San Juan de Ortega

Day Twenty Eight. 26.6 K., 16.5 Mi.

Written on May 27, 2014.

The above distances are what Vern and Angel walked. When I woke up at the Albergue I was not feeling well. At breakfast all I felt like having was tea. Thanks Angel for bringing it to my bed! I started walking with every intention of getting to San Juan de Ortega.

An ancient Hermitage on the way to Villafranca de Oca.

Vern and Angel were already in Villafranca de Oca taking a break with Sonja and Izzy when I arrived. By this time I was not feeling much better. Several people started telling me that Sonja, Izzy, and Monica, among others, were going to take the bus. Angel and Vern suggested that I follow them to the bus stop and go ahead to San Juan de Ortega to take care of myself. As I was walking up the road toward the bus stop I became sick on the side of the road….thanks Sonja, Izzy, and everyone who helped me at that moment!

When the bus arrived Monica was speaking to the driver. Monica lives in Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish. She told me that the bus does not go to San Juan de Ortega but somewhere in between there and the next Camino village.

I sat back and was very grateful that I would be getting off the bus with Monica….not really sure where that would be. When the bus stopped only Monica and I got off, everyone else was going to Burgos. We were not even in a village, we were left in front of a few structures. Monica listened carefully and heard voices. She walked toward a couple unloading their car. She spoke with them for a few minutes with a lot of pointing and and head nodding. I heard them say that there were no taxis in the area and no way to get to Ages, the closest village to them. San Juan de Ortega was at least 7K from them, Ages only 2K. I just said to myself, “I am safe and I'm with Monica”. The woman motioned for us to follow her. She pointed down a dirt road in the middle of fields. Monica and I walked at least a mile until we reached Ages.

Ages, Spain.

A church on a hill on the way to Ages.
When we reached the Albergue in Ages Monica got in line to check into the Albergue. She decided to stay there. I was still comtemplating how I was going to get to San Juan de Ortega. I had the phone number for the Casa Rural that we had reservations at. Monica was kind enough to speak to the owner when he answered. Within ten minutes I had a ride to San Juan de Ortega. Today I walked 9.4 miles.
An Angel named Monica!
 
 

 

 

Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado

Day Twenty Seven. 25.1 K., 15.6 Mi.

Written on May 26, 2014.

There are a few villages on the way to Belorado today. It helps to have a place to sit and have coffee or juice every few miles. Angel has met an American from Michigan, Steve Allen.

Vern, Angel, a cat, and Steve Allen.

Most of the way today I walked by myself. Vern and Angel were walking ahead to Belorado. Two Pilgrims were hitchhilking. The husband's leg was hurting, he thought it would injure his leg more to walk the two miles to Belorado. One of the owners of Albergue Cuatro Cantones drove from Belorado to pick them up.

The entrance to Albergue Cuatro Cantones, Belorado.

Most of the landscape today looked like this.

Belorado is a city with many murals throughout. Some are very sophisticated. Some are intricate and some are tags.

A beautiful mural in Belorado.

 

Najera To Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Day Twenty Six. 22.2 K., 13.8 Mi.

Written on May 25, 2014.

Today was another good walking day. I needed a light jacket and some of the time sunglasses. Vern and Angel went ahead to find beds for us. We are staying at Albergue Abadia Cisterciense.

Pilgrims on their way to Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

Today a Pilgrim gave anyone and everyone who walked by an incredible gift: the gift of music and singing.

He was located in a perfect location: right before a hill!

Check out this short video:

http://youtu.be/2vERl8Jga9k

 

Villamayor de Monjardin To Torres del Rio

Day Twenty Three. 21.1 K., 13.1 Mi.

Written on May 22, 2014.

We stayed in a very rustic Albergue. When Vern, Angel, and I arrived we were directed to go to the top of the stairs. There were four beds in the room. Later in the day Yumi from New York joined us.

Vern laying in bed in our “penthouse”.

As the other Pilgrims arrived at breakfast and started gathering their backpacks we noticed that today Barbara from Australia was wearing a dress. Her comment was, “Sometimes you just have to walk in a frock”.

Barbara in her frock.

The sky this morning is beautiful. The surrounding area is a mixture of mountains, pasture, ancient ruins, and wildflowers.

A wonderful climate and sky for walking!

More and more Pilgrims were passing us on our way to Torres del Rio today. It was no surprise that the Albergues were filling up. We were told that there was a room for three available. We waited for the Hospitaliero to have a moment to show us the room. When he motioned for us to follow him we couldn't believe that we were walking away from the Albergue. Just down the street was a brand new hotel. We were able to have two rooms for the price of one. The added bonus: a hot tub!

Nancy, Vern, Fernando, Izzy, and Sonja. Angel is relaxing in the tub but “out of sight”.

 

Estella To Villamayor de Monjardin

Day Twenty Two. 9.6 K., 5.6 Mi.

Written on May 21, 2014.

Today was a short walking day. We arrived in Estella yesterday after the Correos closed, (post office).

We spent the night in Estella and went to the Correos just after they opened. There were a few reasons we went there. One main reason was to pick up our ballots and vote. Thanks to the Del Norte County, California Election Department for sending our Primary Ballots to Estella, Spain. We sat in the Correos, voted, and mailed our ballots right away.

Vern and Nancy with our ballots ready to mail.

Not far from Estella is Irache, home to the wine fountain.

Free wine on the left, water on the right.

A man from the U.K. And his pilgrim dog.

Angel with the amazing view not far from Villamayor de Monjardin.

I shared in yesterday's posting that we saw a donkey crossing the bridge in Puente La Reina. Soon after we saw the donkey, we saw his “owner” trying to find him. Today we saw them together walking up the mountain toward Villamayor.

Theos and Francois.

 

Puente La Reina To Estella

Day Twenty One. 22.6 K., 14 Mi.

Written on May 20, 2014.

It is not unusual to see a vehicle on the road in the early morning. However, it is unusual to see a donkey walking in the turn lane. As the donkey approached the bridge a vehicle veered around him like it was a routine maneuver. That was the scene this morning while we were walking out of Puente La Reina.

Donkey on the road.

Vern noticed that the donkey had a torn hobble on it's leg, meaning that it had been restrained at some point.

Donkey crossing bridge into town.

After a short time we saw a Pilgrim walking with a rope asking us if we had seen his donkey. We answered him and he took off quickly.

Pilgrim looking for his donkey.

More boots left behind.

In 2012 Vern and I saw an outline of the world in a field made out of tires. Today we met the designer and saw the changes that have been made since then. As Angel was walking toward the “vista point”, Miguel made a point to show her his world “project” that has evolved from tires to tires with plants.

World “map” made out of tires, 2012.

Miguel with the current greener version of the world.

 

Pamplona to Puente La Reina

Day Twenty. 25.4 K., 15.8 Mi. (Pedometer).

Written on May 19, 2014.

For Vern, Angel, and I this will be our first day walking on the Camino Frances. This Camino is known by several names: one name is the Camino de Santiago.

The view of where have come from.

We walk for several miles ascending up the mountain to Alto Del Perdon.

Angel, Vern, and I at a Pilgrim sculpture on Alto Del Perdon.

A better view of the sculpture.

As we ascended down the mountain we had to be very careful. It seemed to be the same rock filled path for at least a mile.

Angel on the rock path.

A Pilgrim Memorial close to Utegra.

Angel pointing a boot in a garbage can.

I have seen boots made into flower planters. Boots that have been bronzed. Boots caught on fire in Fisterra. This is the first time I have seen a boot in a garbage can.

 

Pamplona: Rest Day

Day Nineteen.

Written on May 18, 2014.

We planned on meeting at 8:00 a.m. to find coffee. There was a place close by. After coffee we decided to walk around Pamplona to see what it looked like the morning after a party. There were several street sweepers and just a few people. As we were walking we heard music and turned just in time to see the musicians.

Musicians in front of City Hall.

A flag draped over a statue.

Vern enjoying a day off:)

We wanted to take advantage of the time we have with Dieter. He will be going back to Madrid this evening for a work conference. We explored parts of Pamplona that Vern and I had never seen before.

Vern, Nancy, Angel, Dieter.

Thanks Israel, O'Nelia, and Diego for taking our photo and visiting for awhile!

We walked Dieter to the train station after a fun day of exploring and relaxing. The next time we see Dieter it will be in Paris, Belgium, or Gasquet, California!