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Published: September 30th 2016
We slept well last night and were on the road at 6.20am. It was a hard climb all day but the scenery was beautiful and the paths were not too rocky most of the time.
We passed through the villages of Tosantos and Villambista without waking a mouse before settling on the bar at Epinosa del Camino for another breakfast of tortilla and coffee. I also bought a bocadillo to share with my new best friend, Ibuprofen. We meet every 4 hours, always with food.
I thought the foot problems were abating until I took off my boots today. I have a blister on my small toe as big as the toe itself. Photo alert here: hope you're not eating.
Tomorrow, for a range of reasons, we may bus it from here to Burgos. We will miss 11.5kms of the tracks and 5kms of concrete paths as we walk through Burgos. I don't mind, as if I don't sort my feet out, the problem could get out of hand. Get it? I'm happy to wander around Burgos for a day and a half and then head west again refreshed with new shoes/boots.
Today's walking was very scenic,
if a bit hard. We wandered through spruce forests and passed by oak trees along paths carpeted with pine needles and leaves. At one stage ferns covered the forest floor and it reminded me a little of the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria. Luckily, with the forests comes shade, so we had a bit of relief as we walked the very steep 3kms just past Villafranca Montes de Oca. You climb 150 meters from the River Oca and it seems to go on for ever.
At the peak you pass by the Monumentos a Los Caídos, dedicated to the many innocent lives lost between 1936 and 1939 during the Franco regimes brutal times. It is very moving and is decorated with many tributes left by pilgrims. After walking about 9 kms without a break we approached a rather popular, makeshift resting point, wildly decorated, and offering fruit and other snacks for a donation. A young girl wandered around offering watermelon from a tray; very '70's, very hippy !
Something I have noticed on the Camino, and nowhere more than on the high country today, is the increase in people walking. When Tim and I walked it in 2014, we
walked alone for most of this day. Today there were at least 50 or more people ahead of and behind us. Many don't carry packs and I think so many facilities and carriage services are now available to allow people to customise their Camino, that all sorts can jump on board regardless of age or fitness.. Pretty soon you'll join a queue at SJPP that goes to the pilgrim office in Santiago, to pick up your certificate .
John and I just had a guided tour of the local 15th century church. It never ceases to amaze me being in these ancient buildings. When I say 'guided' tour, l actually made a small donation to the upkeep and was bullied by an elderly nun, who insisted I call my amigo over so she could commence the tour. We were shown a lead light window and a 15th century marble baptism font. That's it.
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