Getting a bus to Burgos was proving to be more difficult than I had thought. When I was within ‘firing range’ I started inquiring about busses, only to find out either there wasn’t one at all, or it had come and gone already. Time for more drastic measures. In Atapuerca (the name might ring a bell with you…the earliest human remains ever discovered in Europe were found there, dating back 900,000 years) I decided to call it a day. The woman at the museum called me a cab, and in less than an hour I was settled in my albergue in Burgos. I didn’t feel one bit of guilt for not walking this last little section.
Burgos is a big city of about 200,000. After walking for days through woodlands, fields of vinyards and grains, and small towns and villages, this Gothic capital of Spain as it’s sometimes called was a bit of an assault to the senses. After getting my daily rituals out of the way (shower, laundry, feet) I headed toward the cathedral and who did I see sitting in a near-by square but Jo Anne and Moya.
Over drinks and tapas we caught one another up on our most recent adventures. I learned that Candice and Emily, the two women from the U.S. who I’d met on Day 1, were heading home. Apparently travelling together had been difficult for them and instead of continuing on separately, they decided just to pack it in. I was sorry to hear that, since I liked both of them.
We met up with them later on and in fact we were supposed to have dinner together, but they decided they needed to have dinner alone, just the two of them. I think they wanted to patch some things up so their friendship wouldn’t be irreversibly damaged. Emily’s parting gift to me was a pair of hiking pants that I made good use of during the rest of my trip. She gave a second pair to Jo Anne.
The Camino was taking its toll on other people too. I heard of a few pilgrims who were in too much pain to continue because of blisters or other injuries. I sent a quick but heartfelt thank you to the Camino gods — my knees were still hanging in there.