On day 16 we walked 12.9 miles (20.8 km) in 7 hours from Burgos to Hornillos, which has a population of 61. Both albergues there were full so we ended up paying a bit more to stay in a Casa Rural, which is basically a Bed & Breakfast with double rooms instead of the usual dormitory, or room full of bunk beds. We didn’t have internet access though so this post is a combination of yesterday and today.
We left the big city of Burgos and walked further and further towards the western edge of town, until the street changed to blacktop and then finally to a dirt road as we were surrounded again by fields of wheat.
We’ve had several hot sunny days lately so we had to do something we never did last year — buy more sunscreen — a shock, I know. Actually we haven’t been rained on a single time this year, although Kathey will say I’ve now jinxed us. :-)
The day was a hard one for me, partially because of the two long days before, and partially because I got to bed late and didn’t get enough sleep. Usually we can walk several hours before the pain starts creeping up from the bottom of the feet and eventually up into the calves. But it started much earlier that day, so I was happy we were only doing a “normal” half-marathon day instead of something longer. The big long hill and the strong sun weren’t much fun though.
The Casa Rural in Hornillos was a nice change, and we even cooked a big dinner for the four of us and enjoyed the evening out on the back patio. We were asleep by 8:30pm and slept nine and a half hours — something I never do at home. I woke up feeling fully recharged finally, ready for the day!
Today was day 17, and we walked 12.4 miles (20 km) in 6.5 hours with the usual breaks for lunch and other snacks along the way.
The day was basically divided in half. First a long section getting to the town of Hontanas (population 70), where we stopped with a lot of other pilgrims at a cafe for snacks, followed by another long section to Castrojeriz (pop. 873) where we are now. Along the way we also walked through the little village of San Antón, with its 15th century church ruins, including a giant arch that the Camino path walks right underneath.
I guess we’re on the meseta now, although the boring flat parts we were expecting haven’t been very boring or flat. It’s mostly been long dirt paths and wheat fields rolling up and down over big hills — and today we had an unusually strong wind to go along with the sunshine.
We started bright and early at 7:30 this morning and rolled into Castrojeriz at 1:30pm, which is about the time most pilgrims finish the day but quite early for us lately. We had a great lunch, showered and washed clothes, and still have plenty of time to relax — and for me to update the blog.
Here are the photos from the last two days, starting with day 16:
If you saw the movie The Way, you might recognize this spot from the scene where the gypsy boy apologizes to Martin Sheen’s character:
Photos from day 17: