A year ago when I left the Camino because of a foot injury, I promised I’d be back. And here we are, in Burgos, Spain, back for another try at the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I walked almost 200 miles last time and have another 300 miles to go before I finish.
Things have gone much more smoothly this time. To get to Spain we were flying standby and easily made all of our flights — in fact we were upgraded to Business Class thanks to our lovely daughter-in-law Tracy.
During our layover in Newark I saw another woman with a huge backpack and immediately knew she was doing the Camino. She was about my age, was from Carlsbad (not far from where we live) and this would be her first time on the Camino. She had decided to avoid that awful first day from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles. Smart lady! We talked for about 45 minutes but I never got her name.
After landing in Madrid we made a mad dash outside to catch a shuttle bus that would take us to Terminal 4 where we were told we could catch a bus to Burgos. On the shuttle bus we started talking to a young blond girl with a huge backpack. (We Trekkers are so obvious to spot!). She was also doing the Camino and starting in Burgos where she would meet her mother, who was already trekking. She seemed kind of lost and couldn’t speak Spanish so I was able to ask someone where we should go and the 3 of us made it over to the ALSA busses. She had a ticket but we didn’t and we had to go back inside the terminal and get in a long line of people. Dick noticed other people were walking up and crowding in the line. We only had a few minutes before the bus was going to leave so Dick shouted out “Burgos” and the cashier called us up to the front of the line. We made it to the bus with minutes to spare and boarded it with the blonde girl. When we arrived in Burgos her mother was so excited to see her and was clicking photos of her as she got off the bus. We all said brief hellos but never got each other’s names.
By now it was 2 p.m. We checked into the beautifully restored, early 19th Century Hotel Fernan Gonzalez. The room was huge and beautifully decorated with period furniture. The cost — $45.00 a night.
Dick laid down and slept for the next 2 hours. We were starving when he woke up so we went to find a restaurant in Old Town.
And guess what! They were all closed. Siesta time is from 3 pm until 7 pm. So we went into one little bar that was open and advertised that they had food. I had a glass of wine and Dick had a beer and the cost astounded us. It was 3 Euros. The same thing had cost us $30.00 on our layover in the Newark Airport. We asked the guy if we could get some food and he said the restaurant would open at 9 pm! We were ravenous because we hadn’t eaten since dinner on the plane the night before. We walked all over Old Town but couldn’t find anything open except for bars and coffee shops — and none had food.
Finally at 7 pm we went to a great place where we had eaten twice before last year. And to our surprise the waiter showed us some things on the menu that we could actually order. The food was scrumptious, a huge Caesar salad with bacon, cheese and tomatoes and an Ox Tail Burger smothered in gravy, with French fries, and of course wine.
It was almost 8:30 by the time we got back to the hotel. I fell into bed and was sound asleep in 2 seconds. Dick fell asleep shortly afterwards. Being jet lagged I woke up at 1 am, wide awake and two minutes later my laptop started jingle jangling. It was our son Ricky, Face Timing us from Denver. He didn’t realize the time in Spain and we ended up talking to him and his daughter Ali for the next 30 minutes. We went back to bed and Dick started snoring about 20 minutes later. But I couldn’t go back to sleep. I laid awake worrying that I had to start my trek in a few hours and how I’d be able to do it with so little sleep. At 4 am I finally drifted off to sleep wondering what adventures lay in store when I would awaken in a few hours.