Thu 1 Oct - Day 17: Burgos to Hornillos Del Camino 21km

308km walked. 477km left to walk.

Leaving Burgos early at 7am to conquer the meseta. The meseta has a harsh reputation including avoiding walking through there in the middle of the day if you can. 

For the uninitiated, the meseta, the tablelands crossing parts of northern Spain, are a long stretch of nothingness including no facilities, no fuentes and no shade. The guide books recommend bring plenty of water and cover yourself from the sun. 

The western exit out of Burgos was a lot nicer than the eastern entrance two days ago. However, the walk out of Burgos soon turned into a bit of wasteland, where little of value grew and new motorways and roads were built. 
At 8.30am, me and the Camino crossed this autovia. There really wasn't many cars down there. Burgos never came across as a prosperous town. 
The Camino Road to Santiago is not always glamorous. 
There was however a bit of interesting graffiti / street art along the way. 
The road leading into Tarjados had this interesting piece of Camino art made out of a piece of stone. Different and well done. 
The Camino team I travelled with had a late breakfast in Tarjados. I had an Americano, a tortilla espanol and a croissant. All was very tasty. 
The "fracking no" graffiti is visible all along the Camino. Fracking is defined as follows:
    Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
Soon after Tarjados, the meseta started. 
Well, the meseta didn't feel that much different from a hike in many parts of Australia. It definitely was not a hot day.  Almost cool. 

In fact, it was very pleasant to walk the meseta today. Or at least walk as far as we walked today, to Hornillos Del Camino. Tomorrow there will be more of the meseta. 
Sure, some parts of the meseta looked like a moonscape. Good luck in getting anything to grow here. Other than rocks. 
The town of Hornillos del Camino suddenly appeared down in a valley. 
With me boneheading the photo. 
Several albergues were situated just inside the town's border and several pilgrims enjoyed a cool beer outside of them in the middle of the day. Why not?
Arriving at the albergue for the night called "Meeting Point". Great mural. 
"Meeting Point" albergue had very nice grassed backyard with chairs and tables for socializing although it did get a bit hot there later in the afternoon. 
There was also a washing machine and clothes lines which I took advantage of, to get the rest of my gear clean.   
Gulp... A selfie. 
A study of pilgrim / albergue life. 
A visit to the supermercado revealed clocks with current time around the world. Including Melbourne, Australia. 
That brought a tear to my eye. 

The food offer at "Meeting Place" was too good to refuse:
Yes. the paella looked pretty good. 
Reasonably good food but what a rowdy crowd. Lots of wine. 

OK. I may not have been totally quiet myself. 
Many of the fellow pilgrims continued to the pub afterwards but I called it a day. Every chance to get absolutely smashed. I thought the better of that and at 8.30pm finished this blog for the day. Good night. 

Wed 30 Sep - Day 16: Burgos rest day

287km walked. 498km left to walk. No change from yesterday. 

Stocktake of sillos / stamps to date:
I need to ration as otherwise I will run out of space. The last 100km requires 2 stamps per day in order to get a "Compostela", the beautiful certificate that proves completion of the Camino. 

Win popped her face into the boys room just after 6am suggesting a pre sunrise wander up the castle. 

So that's what she and I did. The other boys went back to sleep. 

OK, I probably went a bit overboard with photos but hey, it was hard not to. 

Empty predawn street of Burgos...
Burgos Cathedral in the moonlight. 
Burgos Cathedral without the moonlight 
Behind the Cathedral, on both sides, there are steps so you can walk up the hill to the castle. 
Burgos Castle in the moonlight. 
Burgos predawn
Burgos Cathedral from next to Burgos Castle predawn
I used to be a ware wolf but I'm alright noooooow...
Then... Dawn over Burgos. 
The town looked really peaceful from above at this early hour. Very beautiful. 
Looking up towards Burgos Castle from the viewing platform. 
Sorry, some more early morning pics...

As the sun started to rise, Win and I started to walk down towards the cathedral again. 
We had a look inside the municipal albergue, which looked big and very modern, before stopping at the opposite cafe for a morning coffee and croissant. 
Back at Hotel Norte y Longres, the doors to the commodor (dining room) were opened so a quick peekaboo inside. It looked really stylish. However, at 6.60€ per person for a continental breakfast, it was never going to be an option. 
A bit of R&R followed for me while the boys had now started to move and were out in search for breakfast. 

Visit to ATM and supermercado was followed by a visit to Burgos Cathedral. I found the whole place over the top displaying both excessive wealth and gruesome biblical activities. Nothing inspiring and "arty" like my favorite cathedral to date, Notre Dame in Montreal, Canada. 

Here are a few pics from inside Burgos Cathedral:

The entrance doors from the inside:


These portraits were presumably of Archbishops...?
The courtyard though was quite lovely. 
Siesta then beckoned. And wasn't that great? 

At 2pm, we all went out for a Tapas degustation. At my suggestion.
The drawcard... 
Nine different tapas to try for 10€ per person sitting out on the terraza. 
Pretty good but not great.

There was a tapas with black pudding in there that I refused to eat, but otherwise OK. Not quite like Good Mrs tapas cooking, far from it, but a nice relaxing meal. 

After some Vino Tinto, I returned to the hotel to take full advantage of its facilities. 

That means, having a hot bath. It was very very very nice. 
Huge bathroom. There would have been a bunk bed or two in the bathroom if the hotel would have been an albergue.

Yes, I firmly believe that you can start your day with Weetabix but you can also finish it with Weetabix. When I found Weetabix on the shelf of a supermercado, I just had to get it. 

I also purchased a pack of 25 Twinings English Breakfast teabags. Some albergues do have microwave ovens so it is possible to heat up water. No kettles so far. Anyway, the 25 pack cost less than 1€. 

So, a bit more volume wise in the pack tomorrow although none of this is heavy. 

Except that I will be entering the long and dry and without much shelter meseta tomorrow. Extra water is recommended so I will carry 2 liters vs the normal 1 liter. It is what it is...