DAY 13 — ONE YEAR LATER
BURGOS TO HORNILLOS — 13 Miles
Last year I walked through day 12 of the Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Burgos, Spain. This year I’m starting where I left off with Day 13 of the Camino.
It was 7am by the time I finally woke up. Dick was already up, it was light out and I thought, “Oh gosh, I’m late”! I should have gotten out and started an hour ago, while it was still dark. But wait! I promised myself and others that I would take it slowly this time. Last year I walked too far, too fast, barely ate anything and was dehydrated. The result was muscle strain and tendonitis in my foot that resulted in my quitting the Camino. So why would I want to go back? Why would I want to try this all over again? The only answer I have is that something was pulling at me, something was calling me back. The Camino was in my blood and every fiber of my being told me I had to return. And besides that, I had recently watched the movie “The Way” for the 4th time and I burst into tears the minute it started.
I got up and showered, purposely taking my time because Dick was going to make sure I took it easy and didn’t leave until later. I arranged everything in my 18 pound backpack, gave Dick my iPad and charger, which reduced it by a pound, then added two pounds of water and a pound of Trail Mix, attached my camera and cell phone to one of the shoulder straps and put on my fanny pack. And I didn’t do the math because at that point I didn’t want to know how much weight I had just added to myself. I put on my trekking clothes and two layers of fleece jackets, my gloves, Smart Wool socks and running shoes and I was set.
A burst of cold air hit us as we walked out of the hotel. It was 41 degrees with a pretty good breeze. We walked a block and found a coffee shop by the river where we could get a cafe con leche.
Not only was it coffee but it came with a shot of freshly squeezed orange juice and a cookie. What a treat!
I was nervous about walking today. Our hotel was by the river but the Camino path was someplace else and I had to find it. Dick had decided he wasn’t going to walk with me at all this year. He was still having problems with his feet so decided to rent a car for this first week of the Camino. I would walk to the designated village (where busses didn’t go) and he would drive there and meet me.We finished our coffee, I turned on “Map My Walk” and we were off.
Dick walked the first couple of blocks with me before he turned around and went to get his rental car. It was 9am and I nervously walked along the river hoping to see other Trekkers but because it was so late in the morning and I wasn’t even on the Camino path, I didn’t see a one.
After about a mile I spotted it — that beautiful clamshell sign signifying the Camino. I turned left, crossed the river and then started seeing more yellow Camino markers guiding the way and more Pilgrims and Bikers. I was elated, I picked up my pace and was finally passing other Trekkers (Pilgrims), saying”Buen Camino” to everyone I passed.
After about 4 miles I turned to say “Buen Camino” to two people and realized it was the little blond and her mother who we had met yesterday at the bus station. So I started walking with them, and Carol, the Mom told me how she had arranged the Camino. The first two weeks she was on it she walked with her son. Then her daughter came yesterday and the son left. She’ll walk with her daughter, Leah for the next two weeks, then she’ll walk alone for the next week, then for the last week her husband will come and walk with her until they reach Santiago, the end of the Camino. What a great family adventure. I was kind of jealous of her and wished my family could have come, too.
In no time at all we had walked 7 miles. We came to a little village and Carol and Leah wanted to stop at a store and I wanted to find someplace to eat. So we said our good byes. I kept walking expecting to see a bar (what we think of as a restaurant) but before I knew it I was out of town. So I walked to the next town and found a cute little place where I ordered a Chorizo and Cheese Bocadillo and a Cafe con Leche. I love the way they serve food here — the Bocadillo (sandwich) came with a tiny cup of chicken soup and the coffee came with a little cookie. There were some very loud Pilgrims inside so even though it was cold I chose to sit outside where a nice German fellow joined me.
Up until this point the Camino had been pretty easy — in and out of some wooded areas and lots of flat very green farmland.
But now we were going uphill, which was the worst for me, and it lasted for the next 4 miles. When I reached the summit it was a very steep downhill and I could see the town of Hornillos, my final destination for the day.
Boy did I truck down that mountain. And just as I was entering town there stood Dick. He had come to meet me and show me where we were going to stay. What a nice surprise! I was tired after walking 13 miles and couldn’t wait to take a rest.
We walked through town to the Hostel called de Sol a Sol. The rental car was parked across the street so Dick got his backpack out of it and we went into the Hostel.
The man inside told us our room was on the third floor, then he took Dick’s backpack and carried it up for him. What? I just walked 13 miles with my backpack, Dick just walked across the street with his backpack and the guy carries Dick’s backpack up the stairs while I trudge behind??? Hmmmmmmm.
We had an attic room which was clean and comfortable but sparsely decorated. There were no windows but there was a large skylight in the ceiling so we got a lot of natural light. And we paid the same price for this room as we paid for our beautiful room last night in Burgos.
After a short rest we went out and toured the village which had a population of 60. We ran into Carol and Leah and just said quick hellos. We found a cute place for dinner. They offered a set menu (Menu Del Dia) of appetizer, main course, dessert, bread and all the wine you could drink for 9 Euros each. Dinner was fabulous. We started with big fat white asparagus with aioli and pasta with chorizo in a red sauce, followed by thinly sliced steak and French fries, then dessert of chocolate mousse topped with mounds of whipped cream. We ate it all.
I think I’m going to get fat on this Camino!