Day 17-September 29, 2017
Burgos to Hormillos del Camino, Spain
Today’s posting will be short and sweet.
Leaving Burgos is a bit of a shock. Everyone taking a day off from walking feels the same way. Walking now seems so familiar, but so foreign. The aches and pains have not gone away, but they may be somewhat subtle compared to the day before.
As I finally bid the city farewell, passing through the university campus and entered country side. This transition is somewhat abrupt. The Meseta is spread out before me.
I would like describe the Meseta as the frying pan of Spain. It is flat, and when the sun is out you can expect the heat to be relentless. Trees are a rarity and shade is quite literally non existent. You will either carry your shade with you, or do without.
The flat landscape does not provide any vertical challenges unlike previous days. Your water supply is extremely important as there is no ability to resupply. I am able to burn though 2 liters of water without trying. The trail is just over 21km (13 miles) today and under any other circumstances would be nothing more than a walk in the park. Unfortunately I am feeling the same as many people today, like the day is extremely long and hot. The terrain allows us to make good time, thankfully.
I finally arrive in Hornillos del Camino. This is a sleepy little town looking like a treasure, or tiny jewel in the Meseta. The town is really nothing more than a small farming town of 30 or so buildings…one bar, and one Albergue.
I have been walking through the hottest part of the day and I probably look it. Checking into the Albergue, I am so happy to have a room at this stage and to have a shower.
Day 18-September 30, 2017
Hormillos del Camino to Castrojeriz, Spain
My dinner in Hornillos is quite nice, I had a very tasty veggie sandwich. Hornillos is a very small, isolated town. Accommodations and services are extremely limited. After dinner, I sat outside and watched the sunset, swatting flies and listening to one boisterous rooster. Despite all of this I am well fed, and able to have a very good nights sleep.
Morning comes and I head out around 7:30 am and the weather is a nice 54 degrees, with a very dark night above us. It’s cloudy. This is a bit later than I wanted to start, but today is just over 20 km (12 miles) and doesn’t appear to be much of a physical challenge.
About 5 km out of town I come across a sign saying there is an Albergue and breakfast available 100 m to the left. I headed down this side road to San Bolt. I discover a beautiful oasis and a small 12 bed Albergue hidden from the main view. A highlight of the site is a natural springing cool, clear fresh water. For 3 Euros I had a wonderful breakfast. Nathan from San Diego is there and a couple from Johannesburg, South Africa, and a woman from Scotland.
Before long I refilled my water bottles from the natural spring and resume the Way.
Walking through the Meseta is wonderful. The variations in the land are much more subtle and our trail appears to taken me mostly through valleys. The surrounding hills are actually plateaus and I weave my way smoothly between and around. For one stretch I was walking on the side of a plateau. The narrow path is easy to negotiate and provides a beautiful view of a valley system. I also have a gentle breeze keeping my “pet flies” away for a bit. Never fear… they will never fail to return.
I checked into the Albergue in Castrojeriz and got a bed in the attic of an old house.
Tomorrow I start at 6:30.