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Published: October 1st 2016
Friday 30 Sep 16. Its darker in the mornings now and it was cold when we left Bolorado today.
Six became five yesterday as David left us at San Domingo and then three as Irish Felicity and Robert stayed to see the chickens in the cathedral.
So the three of us British Columbian Robert, now just Robert, Claire and I set off towards the next town to get a coffee to have with our breakfast.
As we made our way we were amazed to see the numbers of fellow peregrinos further down the path. We've got used to smaller numbers. It was almost like the first day again with hordes of pilgrims swarming the streets and hillside. As we looked down the slight incline there were tracks of tiny little figures on the way busy marching across and in front of each other in the same general direction. Fellow pilgrims ants going about their business and marching back to the nest along their different routes .
In front of us the sky cleared and behind us a Teletubby sun rose in a Teletubby clear blue sky but it remained cold.
We continue to be surrounded by
golden fields which I like for their difference and the warm glow of a glorious sun unlike the arid beige we have seen so often. But for some they are monotonous especially as we often walk on tarmac, concrete or hard track.
We aim to stop at a bar but after 4.8 km the bar in the first town is closed. A further 2 km and we find the perfect place. Everyone is inside warming from the cold. Whilst Robert gets the coffees Claire and I decide there isn't enough room at our table and find a little sitting room area round the corner with leather sofas and it's own round table. It becomes ours for the next 20 mins and we breakfast on massive pieces of tin loaf Spanish style Genoa cake, 2 large slabs each, donout peaches which we bought from the supermarket last night and coffee lecce. Suitably warmed and refreshed we pick up our rucksacks and get back on the road.
Its not long before the day brightens and there is more greenery. We spend much of the day walking in the cool fresh canopy of trees.
The path has been relentless and lacking in variety for the past few days and we miss absent amigos. Robert starts to sing old Irish folksongs. He has a smooth, mellow, lilting voice and we enjoy the entertainment.
On other matters:
Best purchases so far:
1) Pack of three small domestic sponges. C 0.75 euros.
Uses: padding my sore hips for rucksack, towel (see later), padding Claire's slight hips so she can tighten her rucksack belt, fly swat.
Sponge manoeuvres are a topic of conversation most days, mostly when we have dropped them after a stop.
2) Duster just a bit bigger than a flannel.
I first discovered I had left my towel behind a couple of days ago when I had just finished my shower and realised I had nothing to get dried on. Luckily I had already bought my sponges. Needing only two I had put the other in my washbag so it was all I had on me that might do the job. It works as a towel. In a fashion. The best thing I've been able to find since is the duster.
Advantages: a) it's better than nothing, b) its better than a sponge.
Disadvantages: its not the best towel substitute and leaves me covered in bits of red and yellow fluff. I would like to think the fluff resembles the plumage of an exotic bird but suspect I look more like I've had a bad encounter with bed bugs. Talking of which none of us have had, seen or heard of any bed bugs in the albergues yet. The albergues have all been very clean and well kept.
On the other hand about a week ago I was called upon to apply ointment to Astrid's bites, which, ironically she got in an hotel!
Aches and pains. Robert who never gets blisters has blisters in several places. The day after he then tries to cut the compeed and instead chops his own foot. Very sad but highly amusing for me and Claire. As we walk we see people limping or hobbling everyday now. We are all stiff after sitting down and I can only operate with the sponges.
Friday evening we pass Ages which is a lovely little town with about 4 albergues, and stop at Atapuerca instead. One Albergue. Er, very basic. Still after the initial disappointment we have a good dinner in the pub next-door and a nice conversation. Its Claire's last night with us and so its bitter sweet. She has a flight back on 12th so she is getting the train to Leon tomorrow to cut out a few days walking. She will resume from there to Santiago.
Saturday 1 October. The three of us walk the mainly road path to the edge of Burgos as that brings us nearer the train station for Claire. At the appropriate junction we say 'adios' and off she goes. We will miss her. We have got to know each other much better over the past few days. Robert has walked with her from day one. It will feel very strange for him.
Its just me and Robert. Three has
become two. We get on well and respect each other but I feel that we need a new dynamic now, perhaps a bigger group again.
I miss the people I've met along the way, people like Christina and Faye at the beginning, Belgian Jean, the Canadian fellow walking with the two Brits, Eamon, Irish John, Reinhold (who we all love and has been with us on and off for the last week) Felicity and Robert. I know I've got to decide what to do next.
Robert and I have a pleasant walk into Burgos, stop at a cheap store where I pick up a very small hand towel, light in weight. Bliss. I am so happy.
There is a medieval carnival on so the atmosphere is upbeat. We go to the municipal albergue, freshen up and decide to have a look around outside and, in my case, find WiFi gratis.
We come out the door and I hear someone shout. Turn and there is Reinhold ponting at me with a big smile all across his face. He has felt the separation too. Hes just come from the other albergue where he is staying and had come to look at the cathedral. Right outside our door, just as we happened to be leaving. The three of us are delighted and hug our hellos. We meander around together and sit drinking coffee at a bar outside the other albergue. After a few tries and two different bars Reinhold goes into his albergue to get the code as it still works outside. He comes back beaming. Felicity and Rob are staying there.
Reinhold says, 'that is the Camino for you. That's what it does.'
We will have dinner together tonight and walk tomorrow. We split up to do our own thing now. I return to the albergue to see the young Italian lady met a few nights ago. Smiles all round.
Tomorrow our plan is to get to San Bol or Honatanas.
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