Day 20 15th day walking

Sorry I missed this one somehow.
The Spanish for rain is lluvia they tell me. Personally I don’t believe it I think it is Burgos. I have never been to Burgos and not seen rain, this time was no exception. That’s not to say I do not enjoy the city, but with the limited clothing we have with us it was either be wet and uncomfortable or wear all our walking gear on a rest day.
There would be tango here on Thursday, but we could not stand another wet day so we moved on.
There was a bar open near the Cathedral and we debated whether to stop for breakfast but decided against it. When we passed close to Villabilla de Burgos without entering the town we questioned our decision, and when we went through Tardajos and saw nothing open we were in despair.
The scenery was awful, dirt roads alongside railways and flyovers. Viv thought she could hear running water but it was just the traffic we could hear. I kept smelling toast, but that was a mirage.
Only one place to go now before the meseta and it did not look good on the map. As we approached Rebe de las Calzados a truck approached and a guy was handing flyers out of the window. So at least we would be able to stop here then.
The bar he had been advertising was nowhere in sight as we entered, but people were crossing the road to a fruitaria that had seats outside.
There were two more bars along the street and we elected to try the far one, but inside it all looked a little local. So we tried the next one. There was more room in here and we quickly grabbed a table. I ordered a coffee and some juice and asked Viv to choose from the array of pastries. She said “they have bacon toasties” so I ordered two bacon toasties. When they came they were double eggy bread with a fried egg and bacon on them.
We had a long wait from Burgos, but in the end we had the best breakfast we have had in Spain.
We were about to enter the meseta, of which we had heard so much, hot, dry, dusty. Well that would be a change from Burgos.
What we saw was green, slightly damp and rolling hills. We stopped on the top for some dried fruit and peanuts and admired the fields of poppies. There was nothing of the boring landscape that we had heard so much of.
Now we had a steep downhill to Hornillos, according to the book there were not too many beds here. We stopped at the shop, had a beer and used the toilet. Then we looked around. The first alburgue was not open, the next was under construction, things did not look good.
We passed a house where they came out advertising their rooms, “we have double room or bed in room of 16, 15 euros. That would be 30 euros for the two of us, I have had private rooms for less than that. So we walked on.
It was still early enough to go to the next town if we needed to. However, we then came to the municipal albergue, there was no one in reception but we waited. “Hay camas” I asked “muchos” she answered. So we booked a bed for the night.
It looked OK at first, but then it started to fill, then it became chaotic. We grabbed our shower while we could and went out to sit in the square.
Soon people were coming through to find the place full. We saw people hobbling who would have to walk another 11Ks, because the next village was full as well.
This is very much a one horse town and they have yet to fully capitalize on the pilgrim pound. So much business turned away, so many disappointed walkers.
The only food in the Village was at the small bar opposite, menu del dia from six. Earlier than most, but sill there were starving pilgrims lining up waiting.
We had already drank them out of beer causing a panic trip to the wholesalers, now we were going to invade the kitchen. Honestly, you would think it was a surprise, over 100,000 pilgrims pass this way each year, are they caught off guard very day?
We met a nice Dutch couple, from Zwolle, the home town of my mother so we sat with them. We were the first table to have our orders taken, but Viv and I sat waiting while everyone else ate. By the time we ordered our postre everyone had left and the second sitting were baying at the door. Then almost everything on the desert menu was off. We felt under pressure until we left the table. Then retired to the crowded bar. I tried ordering cider. “hay cidre?” nod of head. Then he worked out that I wanted it “Y una cerveza” he popped a San Miguel glass on the bar and a flute, then poured the cider into the San Miguel glass. I gave up and just drank my beer out of a girly glass and went for an early bed.
If you ever do the camino, avoid Hornillos at all costs.


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