Day 13: Pavements and Burgos (Atapuerca to Burgos)
This morning was so bitingly cold that I felt I was back walking Lola a frosty Risca morning. Walking over an extremely rocky and steep path in the mist was far from ideal, not to mention contending with low hanging olive branches that smuggled thick cobwebs into your face and hair.
After an hour and a half walking with very little to see except goats and rocks we came across the best cage I have visited on the Camino so far in Obaneja. There were gigantic bochodillas filled to bursting with parma ham, fried eggs, red peppers and mushroom. The slices of tortilla were piping hot and could have been used as a mattress. Even the orange juice came in pint glasses as apposed to the thimble sized glass which you are normally given!
Waddling away from the cafe like chubby penguins we started the relatively short plod of 20km to Burgos. We had managed to cut this distance down by putting in some extra leg work in over the last two days in the hope that it would give us more time to explore one of the biggest cities on the Camino.
The walk to Burgos was insanely dull. 100% of its course was on roadsides and were eventually excruciatingly hard on the balls of your feet! For the last 5km every step felt like standing on a ripe bruise - I couldn't wait to see the back of the damn pavements.
Unfortunately for me (and Tarryn and Clara) I was in charge of navigating and instead of taking an alternate route, that would have seen us wander alongside a river into Burgos rather than through a busy industrial estate, I missed a turning somewhere and kept us pavement bound. Selfishly, the girls seemed to hold this against we and complained heartily as we sat down for a coffee on the outskirts of Burgos. They seemed woefully unappreciative of the sofa shops and bathroom stores that we would otherwise have missed had we taken the river route. As I said to them, when you've seen one river, you've seen them all.
Burgos was fantastic, there weren't enough sofa shops for my liking but it still offered alot. The gothic Catedral de Santa Maria controlled the skyline with its magnificent edifices and cloud touching spires - its two tall defensive towers give the city its name burgos. Around the cathedral were medieval streets that housed all sorts of shops and restaurants. Clara introduced us to 100 montaditos, a restaurant that made 100 different mini sandwiches for €1 each and they were absolutely banging! My crispy shredded chicken with crispy fried onions and bbq sauce was bloody glorious and its Truffle mayonnaise fried as an accompaniment were sublime; we definitely need one in the UK!
After nosing at the various statues and cobbled streets we retired for a quick power nap before meeting up with everyone for Clara's leaving meal. She's ditching us and the Camino to go to Morocco with her new boyfriend, what a bloody cheek! Putting her happiness before ours!
Once potentially too much sangria had been consumed we danced over to a burger restaurant which Khalid suggested. It was the first time I'd eaten some meet in ages and the whole thing tasted bloody superb! Unfortunately the wvenk g was mildly soured by Khalid getting a bit arsey with Victor and throwing his toys out of the pram. Victoe asked if Khalid was from Iran and Khalid took offense at this claiming that Victoe had assumed where he was from because of his name - pretty ridiculous I thought. If someone asked me if I was from England I certainly wouldn't kick off. It really put me off him as he knew that Victor was far too jolly and friendly to say anything back and wouldn't accept his apology - I hate people wailing on people that they know won't give it back.
Anywho, we are tackling another 30km tomorrow and the start of the somewhat dreaded Meseta! The Meseta is a large flat expanse across central Spain between Burgos and Astorga. Most people opt to miss this section of the Iberian Peninsula and catch a bus due to the scorching heat accompanied with no shade and sparse water stops. It actually seems quite a daunting section of the walk but I'm sure it will be fine, I've got a sun hat after all!