Atapuerca to Burgos

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Europe » Spain
September 20th 2016
Published: October 22nd 2017
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Geo: 42.2582, -4.34639

Private rooms are grrr-eat, but we would miss a lot of the "ambience" if we slept in them all the time! But, because we had a full kitchen, Dave was able to ice his shin in the morning and it was pain free, as it has remained, at least through Wednesday.

We got up late because there were no pilgrims packing with their headlamps and making a ridiculous amount of noise!

We packed up and then had our yogurt, fruit, and cereal bars in our kitchen and were on the Camino at 8:00. The sunrise was not as good as the day before and it was so cold that we wore our hats, gloves and coats (about 45 degrees). We had quite a climb out of Atapuerca and it was extremely foggy and rocky. When we got to the top of the incline, there was a large cross that looked very eerie in the fog.

The first town was Villaval, a welcome spot after the climb and the cold. We generally pass the first cafe/bar by and go closer to the church and town center, but today that was a mistake because the coffee was much more expensive (1.90 per cup) and there was definitely more milk than coffee. Yes, we are spoiled by great cafe con leche for 1.10 or 1.20!

There was not a lot of great scenery between this town and Burgos. We probably did 5 kms circling the airport! Most people like to approach Burgos from the river side rather than the more direct industrial side. We chose the river route which was a really nice and very long walking/running/cycling park approaching Burgos. There were a lot of locals doing all of those activities and most of them wished us a "Buen Camino" -- even a two-year-old!

We were able to follow the yellow arrows into the historic area and oh what a beautiful city it is! It is dominated by the Cathedral that is a UNESCO site. There are beautiful, small shopping and eating streets all around the cathedral as well as parks along the river and several squares.

We were hoping for a pension since the Municipal Albergue had 150 beds, so we wandered the streets for quite awhile before deciding we better head to the Municipal before it was filled and we would have nothing. We got there around 1:30 and waited in a long line. It is a new building behind a old facade. When we finally got in, we were shown the huge "boot case" where we were to leave our boots; shown the kitchen area and told that we were on the 6th floor, beds 611 and 612! We have never seen anything like the boot racks that pulled out like really big vaults numbered 1-6.

We were a little leery of our beds and decided that for the first time we wanted to make sure our bodies never left our treated sleeping bags and pillows! This was a 15 bunk bed dorm, we were the first in and within 30 minutes it was full.

We took showers and went out to explore this beautiful city. We wandered around and took in the sights before resting at a cafe where we had a glass of wine and an order of olives/pickles/onions.

We met Julie from Boston at the table next to us. We shared Camino stories and she shared the last of her bottle of wine (after we were scolded for emptying our Bota bag into our glass by the owner - oops)!

We walked all around the historic city center and enjoyed the various metal sculptures depicting daily life. We sat admiring the beautiful cathedral and ate cheese, crackers and salami.

We needed a few things that we had left or lost along the way -- towel, underwear and a tin cup (for wine but also in case we need to start begging!). Since they had a large supermarket, we bought supplies for the next few breakfasts and lunches.

We bumped into Corey and found out that Marjorie is down with a bug so they are staying in Burgos for a couple of days.

Most of the restaurants surrounding the cathedral offer pilgrim meals. We went in a few and finally ended up with one that served paella. We had one seafood paella and one pilgrim meal. The pilgrim meal included beef steak, frites, mixed salad, cheesecake and, of course, red wine. The paella was better than the meal.

This was the first night the Albergue did not have wifi so we stopped in another bar to post a blog. It was a cute little place off the main square where we sat outside by a wine barrel table and had sangria, wine and complimentary salami!

Although we hated to, we had a curfew of 10:30 so we went back to our Albergue. The doors are locked at 10:30 and we were back before 10:00, but before we brushed our teeth, lights were out. Let the symphony of snoring begin!

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