Day 18 - drawn to stop

4 minute read

Day 18

Burgos to Hornillos del Camino ~22km

Weather was pleasant but cool

Terrain most flat, gravel & roads

Woke up at 3am freezing and no blanket to put on top to warm me up. Found out later that someone had left the nearby fire escape door open and it was letting a cool breeze in.

Neighbors were up and out a little after 4am. Seriously don’t know how anyone leaves at that time of the morning, I get maybe wanting to see a sunrise and make sure you get a bed at the next place but that’s just too fricken early!

Left around 7:25 but somehow iSmoothRun messed up and started and then paused tracking. I didn’t realise for about 5km. Was a little annoyed by that.

The walk was good, lots of energy and setting a good pace (average pace 11:43min/km … 5.12km/h). As usual I skipped breakfast & mid morning snack.

When I got to Hornillos del Camino I popped into the church, and thought I’d take a chance and ask in the municipal albergue if I could use the toilet.

Before I could ask, I ended up in a conversation with a Londoner called Jess (with Spanish & Greek parents) and had a good old chat for 10-20 minutes till the Albergue opened. (She was limping badly at this point, she’d pulled the muscle over the hip, I think similar to what I did last year when I was beginning the walking, she had only just started from Burgos that day)

Anyway I said goodbye as she went to check in and began to head off towards Hontanas.

I got about 1km our of town and found myself stopping (and letting a bus load of German tourists walk past me. They literally got off a bus, and were walking the 10km to Hontanas). Physically I could carry on to Hontanas, and my brain was telling me to carry on … to stick to the stages … but a different part of me was staying to just stop here.

I ended up standing there for 10 minutes, staring at the countryside, listening to the birds before listening to the quiet voice and turning back to the municipal albergue.

After checking in, I found Jess outside tanning on the wall, and we talked further and shared some bread & pork she had and some ham crisps I had.

She was lots of fun to chat too, ahe has no filter when she’s talking (like I have at times) which was quite appealing and I’m jealous of her ability to switch between fluent English & Spanish, and can also speak French. Weirdly at times she sounds South African!

She told a very dark joke about a man who was driving in his car one day through a storm up a mountain. Near the top he comes across a boy sitting by the side of the road crying. He gets out and goes over to enquire what’s wrong, and the boy says that his father had got out the car and got to close to the edge and fell to his death. Then the boy says that his mother had also gone over to see what had happened and she slipped and also fell and so now the boy was all alone. The man who got out the car said “its just not your day” and unzipped his trousers.

We chatted with some others then she went off for a rest (and massage of her hip) and I went & spent a lovely relaxed afternoon in that tiny village of 61 people (saw a tiny fraction of them). I sat outside in a square across from a bar sipping on wine & reading.

After a little while i bumped into Karen & Susan (who are walking with Erica & Ben, but not related, Met on plane), who were also staying here & ended up chatting with them. Then Alberto joined for a while, It was amusing watching him flirt with Susan. Then Jess came out (she was waiting for friends who were driving up from Pampalona to walk with her for a day).

Around 6pm Erica & Ben arrived knackered after walking through the afternoon heat; they hadn’t left Burgos till midday … sillybillies!

Had dinner sorta with Jess and her friends, and Erica, Ben, Susan, Alberto and Ramon (split over two tables)

Food & Service were the worst we’ve experienced. They messed up my order (I wanted pasta & sausage, waitress wrote down lentils because Jess was explaining the menu to me … when I said that wasn’t what I ordered the boss lady came & said no more pasta in a grump voice. I was just going to pass but Ramon took it and gave me his remaining pasta), others found the food bland and just not nice.

We ambled back to albergue and talked outside for a little while. Some filtered to bed earlier. Two girls from Minnesota joined us. We got chased to bed at 22:15 … oops 🙊

Erica 35! Surprised me. Thought she was younger. Has 2 dogs, 8 & 3 years old

Jess only walking to Leon (if she can walk, pulled muscle over hip, I think like I did last year), she has to return to translate at a conference.

Apparently I MUST go to a particular bar in Religiös a town/village before Leon

I’ll be amazed if Jess makes it Castrojeriz tomorrow. Even with the help of her friends, she has really messed her hip up.

Today was the most alcohol I’ve drink this entire trip. 3 glasses of wine before dinner and then 2 there.

Tomorrow the plan is to get to Castrojeriz. A nice easy hop (18-19km) and it’s where most others are going to.