Walking for Water with Camino Jim- Day 13. on my way to Burgos


Day 13. on my way to Burgos

On the night of day 12 in San Juan de Ortega, there are only two places to eat. Dinner in the bar is served for only those guests who have one of the nine rooms. The forty or so pilgrims who are staying in the Albergue have their pilgrim dinner in the Albergue. There is absolutely nothing to do in this village with a population of twenty … yes, twenty. The pilgrim population nearly triples the village population each day.
Regardless of which of the two dinner locations you will be attending, everyone gathers outside the bar on a wide variety of plastic outdoor furniture. Restoration Hardware is not the chosen furniture. I get there, order a beer and take a seat next to a couple from Dublin. Donald and Orla.  They are walking just five days and Burgos tomorrow will be their last day before returning to Ireland. Really nice people, a bit shy, perhaps because we are all surrounded by a large group of young guys and one young women all who just met each other today and they are getting into it. There are three brothers, all bald, who I swear you could believe to be triplets, they are from Sweden. There are three from Spain, one from Argentina, Venezuela, Italy, Germany and then there is me, Jeff, Don and Candy from the US.
The young guys are a riot and they are drinking some kind of Spanish shots that are a very sweet liquor. They are all on round number six and just having a great time. The leader of the group tries to get the older folks to join in. We all pass but are now right in the middle of it. I don’t know how they are going to walk 17 miles tomorrow and it’s clear they are not thinking about it.
Dinner is announced and Jeff from California and I join Don and Orla. Jeff is an artist, married no children. Donald and Orla have two boys ages 17 and 19. The food is simple. I pass on the pork and blood sausage and stick with just the ensalada mixta. It’s safe. Dinner was good but I need to get some sleep. I can only hope that the seven guests in the mini-Albergue are not planning on a late night.
I wake early on Thursday to start day 13 on my walk to Burgos. It’s 5:45 and there is no where to get anything, no coffee etc. My carbs only breakfast is pre-paid but that is not available until 7:30. I take a shot at walking to the bar to see if any of the two employees are in yet hoping to score a cup of coffee. No luck. It’s still pitch black, like the middle of the night. Rambo and Tiny are walking out of the Albergue and heading for the Camino. Rambo shouts out “California”, that’s what he calls me and I return the favor and yell back “Brazil”.  Rambo is not limping but Tiny still has a little tenderness he’s dealing with. He waves and just starts going. He is a trooper. It is now 6:45. I leave at 7:15, and it’s now light enough to see where your stepping. There is no way I’m going to just give it a shot in the dark. At about the two mile point for me I catch up and pass Rambo and Tiny. I walk with Rambo for a short distance and discuss the weather. It’s really nice, it’s cool and there is a breeze. I’m wearing my jacket but will get rid of it in another two miles. By that point I get warmed up and begin sweating. It’s unavoidable.
I have not seen any of the young guys who were having a great time last night. I suspect they will be behind me all day. There are quite a few of the current pilgrim group who will end their Camino’s in Burgos. I walk the entire 17.3 miles alone. I take my time and have only one real challenge today at about the six mile point where the rocks (aka the Spanish potatoes) cover every square inch of the climb. At the top there is a cross …the Cruceiro and from there you begin the downhill march still covered in the potatoes.
Once the climb down ends, there is a much needed cafe where I stop for something to eat and finally get to WiFi to send yesterday’s post. The nine room hotel had WiFi but it never worked. From this point the walk into the city is about eight miles and it’s just boring. I finally reach the hotel which is the same hotel I have stayed at this same hotel for all three of my Camino’s. I’m checking in and Donald and Orla from Dublin arrive. It’s their last day of their five day Camino. On my way out to go to the Farmacia to replace my ibuprofen cream I stop and have a beer with them and wish them well on the trip home. My trip home will be in twenty two days.
I’m back at the hotel and I’ve decided not to wait for the hotel restaurant to begin serving at 8:30 so I head out at 7:00 to find something to eat. As I step outside it’s actually chilly. I can’t believe the difference from a week ago. I return to my room and retrieve the only jacket I have. I don’t have any long pants but I may just need to buy a pair of hiking pants just for after dark. I guess summer is over.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow a walk of about 14 miles on my way to Hornillos del Camino.
Good night and Buen Camino.
Data today:
Miles today: 17.3
Steps today: 43,847
Total miles to date: 161.3
Total steps to date: 473,505
Total flights: 561
Total donations to date: $31,990.40