Tue 29 Sep - Day 15: Atapuerca to Burgos 20km

287km walked. 498km left to walk. 

The pilgrim gang of 6 that I had joined (6 including me) woke up in Atapuerca to a cool and fresh morning. We are clearly getting into autumn and away from the dryer areas as the temperature has gradually come down. This morning was positively fresh. 

Picture below is from the outdoor area of the albergue in Atapuerca. 
We were away before 8am and the track was steadily going uphill. There were sheep...
...and more sheep...
...before we reached a top. Stunning views and long shadows. 
Study of hiking poles. 
At the top of Cruz de Matagrande / Punto de Vista at 1050 meters, there was a cross with rocks underneath... 
...and an old rusty Camino sign. 
Yes, the cross. It wasn't explained on site or in the guide book the significance of the cross but it sure looked good in the early morning. 
Further west, there was this inspirational sign in Spanish with Burgos in the background. Well, I heard that it was supposed to be inspiring. 
Burgos could be seen from a distance very early on. As I told my fellow pilgrims, I was not sure whether that was a good or a bad thing.  
The pilgrim gang have now expanded to 7. Photo was taken by a bypassing Brazilian pilgrim. 
From the left; 
- Ben from Cairns via Melbourne, Australia; 
- Sophie from Germany;
- Aaron from Manchester, UK; 
- Me; 
- Marg from Majorca, Espania; 
- Val from Brisbane via Cook Islands and NZ; 
- Burt from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the new guy on the block at the tender age of 72.  
Burt told me a great story of something that happened to him in the 70s. 

Burt has worked on cruise ships and had been all over the world. In Osaka, Japan, late one night from 2am to 4am, Burt had a few glasses and chatted to a friendly bloke on a hotel terrace about anything and everything. 

The following morning as Burt walked down to the lobby, there were lots and lots of people there including many young excited ones. He asked the reception what was going on and was told that Eric Clapton was in town, had done a concert last night, stayed at the hotel and would soon leave. 

The lift doors suddenly opened and there was Burt's drinking buddy surrounded by security men. 

Burt had been drinking with Eric Clapton for 2 hours without recognizing him. 

20 years later, Burt worked at the Sports Palast in Rotterdam, a stadium arena for top band music and the like. 

Eric Clapton arrived and Burt sought him out. Eric unexpectedly did not first recognize Burt, but when Burt recalled what they had spoken about, apparently Eric remembered as this was the first conversation that he had ever had which didn't include discussing music. Something that he was very grateful for. 

Back to current Camino...

We had a late breakfast stop at a roadside cafeteria and I had a bacon and egg bread roll and an Americano. 

I had bacon for the very first time since I arrived in Europe to walk the Camino. The bacon was delicious. How could it not be after such a long time without it?
Getting into central Burgos was a long walk on hard surfaces and along busy roads. 

First the Camino followed along Burgos Airport, then a rundown industrial area and finally endless rows of crappy seen better days apartment blocks. Several hours of totally uninspiring walking. 

The most interesting we saw was this almost Art Deco restaurant that wouldn't look out of place in many South East Asian countries. 
Finally, us pilgrims arrived in the old town of Burgos. Which looked a lot better than its outskirts. 

We managed to get a very good accommodation deal for the night in this very central hotel called Hotel Norte y Londres. 

One 3 bed room and one 2 bed room were priced at a little over 21€ per person. 

A proper bed each, with bed linen and towels and space. Sheer luxury. 
Marg was going to leave the group and the Camino for a few days and Burt had already taken a bus ahead of us and checked in at the local albergue.  

Me and Marg and Win had a delicious "Menú del día" at this place while the others went for... A drink. Or two. Or...

I thought that it was better to eat something first. 
Drinking at Plaza Mayor is where we found them. 
The below is apparently a "Patatas Bravas". Aaron ordered it. Hmm... Looked like fries to me. 
There was no visit inside Burgos Cathedral for me today but here are a few pics from the outside. The cathedral is huge and very impressive. Mañana for
the inside. 

Today's "The Way" filming spot is this restaurant where Tom got his backpack stolen from outside by a gypsy kid. 
At 6pm or so, I left the drinking crowd to chill in the room and then take a 15mins walk to the launderette with the boys collective dirty washing. The hotel recommended this place and it and the area looked really suburbian. 
The plastic bag of dirty pilgrim washing would be taken care of and delivered to our hotel in the morning for 15€. Taken. 

I stopped in a supermercado on the way back to get some provisions. 

Rio Arlanzon, in what you could call it a river, runs through Burgos. Plenty of bridges are crossing the river where this one has become yet another lock bridge. 
View from our window on the first floor of Hotel Norte y Londres.  
Rest day for me and the others for tomorrow. I think I earned it. More than 1/3 of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela is now completed. 

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