Sunday, May 1, 2016

10 April 2016 Hornillos - Castrojerez

Didn't sleep well.  Kept getting hot then cold.  These sleeping bags are really warm.  I woke up before the alarm - no surprise.  It seems to take me a long time to get ready.  We didn't want to pay 3 euros for a lousy breakfast so we had a cup of coffee (bad) and left the albergue.  6 miles to Hontanas then had a good breakfast.  Last time we were in this town the sun was shining and everyone was sitting outside.  A bit cloudy and rainy today.  The walk to Hontanas was hard today.  Partly because we hadn't eaten anything so we had a nice breakfast; cafe, tostada, tortilla de espangol and we also bought a bocadillo and kit kat for the road.  Met another Aussie here- Bob from Melbourne.  He was interested in staying at San Anton.  I told him it is very primitive and no electricity but he was still interested.  Hard walk - very windy and some incline.  Ran into the Aussie at San Anton and found it hadn't opened yet so he walked with us the rest of the way to Castrojeriz. We planned to stay at the Albergue Utreia and we stopped there, Bob kept going.  We saw 3 German women including Andrea, plus us so far.  Cullen managed to find the restaurant we ate at last time we were here and it was good.  After lunch we went back to the albergue and I did some stretching and aired out my sleeping bag.  We talked about wanting to do 2 weeks at Grañón again next year and maybe a couple of weeks at Emaus since Marie Noelle gave us her email address and asked us to write her about it.  I think tomorrow we will try to do 20 km to Boadilla instead of 25km to Fromista.  We have a bit of a climb out of here tomorrow but the next day is totally flat, we'll see.

Andrea complained about the cold temperature in the albergue all afternoon but the owner will not turn on the heat until 6, and he made us leave our boots outside (undercover) but it has been raining so we brought them in and put them under our beds.  Well the lack of heat in this place has been cancelled out by the ancient wine cellar underneath the building.  The owner has restored (non-working) the wine production apparatus, told us some history of the town.  Tunnels all the way to the castle?  Maybe.  Cullen interpreted the info to English since there are several English speakers.  There are archaeological studies being started.  Castrojerez comes through again with a Camino moment!  Lights out at 930.  The women with the carts both sound like they have pneumonia- coughing and snoring all night long!

9 April Burgos - Hornillos

Slept pretty good but I woke up early.  I've trying to drain the blister on my toe once or twice a day, apply antibiotic cream then wrap it up.  It isn't getting worse.  We had a nice breakfast with Marie Noelle's helper though she speaks no English and little Spanish.  In addition to the usual we had some persimmon jam she had made.  Feeling very good as we leave Burgos, the best so far.  Ready to walk to Hornillos though I'd like to get to Hontanas which would be an additional 6 miles which just don't think is possible for us.

Arrived around 3:00.  This was a hard day waking.  Our thighs are letting us know they are there.  We checked into the private albergue, Al Alfar.  Took showers and paid 7 euros to have our laundry done.  We went to a little bar a beer and a couple of vino tints.  Nice conversation with the young bartender who has a cousin living in Baltimore - he is a baseball fan - Orioles.  Went back to the albergue and met some good pilgrims today; Andrea, a very tall blonde German woman, 3 Spanish men - didn't get their names- one plays the harmonica.  We ran into an Australian family when we went to another bar looking for dinner.  So we went back to the first bar and the Korean man came in complaining about bedbugs at the last place he stayed.  We had an okay dinner at the bar then back to the albergue and had an enjoyable evening talking with Andrea and the Spaniards.  A Spanish couple came in and I think they are pilgrims walking for a week or so to lose weight.  They carry very small packs and walk pretty quickly with a pair of walking poles.  Bed at 9:30.
8 April 2016. Villa Franca de Monta de Oca - Burgos

Waited for the bus for over an hour.  It was chilly!  While we were waiting Dart passed by.  There is a young Korean man and an older Korean woman also waiting for the bus.  Based on the tape he is wearing, I would guess he is having trouble with his Achilles' tendon.  When we get off the bus they stay on.  They must be busing to Burgos.  When we walk into Burgos we are looking for the Peregrinos de Emaus, an albergue on the list of those recommended on the forum.  It took us a while to find it with help from a couple of old men "Camino Angels" who offered help since I suppose we looked lost.  A French woman (nun?), Marie Noelle, gave us a very warm welcome.  What a great place - clean, modern, only 2 sets of bunks in a room.  They charge 5 euros and provide dinner and breakfast for additional donativo.  There is a French couple here with us, Paul and Monique who have been put in another room.  We had rosary and mass in the chapel.  Then the pilgrims went up to the priest and he laid his hands on our heads one by one gave each of us a blessing.  I love that!  After mass we had a very nice dinner and then a spiritual exchange which was very nice.

7 April 2016. Belorado to Villa Franca de Monta de Oca

Worst.  Sleep.  Ever.  I was the first one up this morning.  Took care of my toe and did some stretching.  My back is still hurting.  Breakfast was fine - the normal cafe, tostada, yogurt.  I really don't like Belorado.  We were on the road by 8.  We stopped in Espinosa del Camino for a coffee and made it to Villa Franca around 1100.  We were trying to figure out what to do next; take the bus the rest of the way to San Juan de Ortega or spend the night in Villa Franca.  Cullen went in to the San Anton Abad hotel to get some bus info and liked it so we decided to stay.  We are in the albergue but with our own room and bath.  Tomorrow we will take the bus to Castanares then walk to Burgos - about 4 miles.  We are so fatigued.  We had a nice shower, washed our clothes, hung them out to dry, then to the bar for a couple of beers.  I suspect my backache is due to some sort of UTI as neither of us has been drinking enough water.  The weather has turned cool, our room is not very warm,and we are using the heater in our room to finish drying our clothes.  We heard a lot of complaints from the pilgrims while we were in the reception area using wifi.
6 April 2016. Santo Domingo- Belorado

We had a beautiful, sunny day, blue skies as we left Santo Domingo.  We walked the 4 miles to Granon from Santo Domingo.  We were lucky enough to notice Father Jesus walking by the church so Cullen called out to him and he was as happy to see us as we were to see him.  He walked with us to Bar Teo and bought us coffee.  Alberto was sleeping when we arrived.  We left the bar and walked over to the albergue.  Pedro and 2 other men were there and Cullen was able to find a replacement for the charger he left somewhere.  Next we left for the bakery to leave a bottle of wine forJesus.  While there one of the old guys showed up to buy bread.  Then back to the bar and Alberto was awake so Cullen gave him the bottle of vermouth he bought for him.  Alberto offered to drive us to Burgos and we declined.  Maria kept wanting to give us food!  We stopped by Ernesto's place to say goodbye to him and his wife.  I wish them a lot of success in their albergue.  Headed out for Belorado.  We had a wonderful meal at Restaurant Leon a few miles before Belorado ad were so pooped out afterwards that we took a taxi the rest of the way.  I have bad memories of this place (Quatro Cantones) from 2010, but it has gotten good reviews so we thought we'd try again.  6 beds (3 bunks) in our room.  Me, Cullen, and 3 Spanish men.  I saw the Korean man we were with in Ventosa but I don't think he remembers us.  Also the Italian from Logroño.

Physically I am feeling my worst.  My knees, my back, and now my toe is giving me trouble.  I felt like I had to drain this blister, so I did.  This same toe gave me trouble during our first Camino and I didn't take care of it and it plagued me the last 3 weeks.
5 Apr 2016

Had a nice night in Ventosa.  It was a little noisy going to bed and I am pretty sure the American woman snored more than Cullen.  We walked the 8 miles to Najera then decided to catch the bus to Santo Domingo.  Our bodies are not adjusting to this Camino very well!  When we arrived we checked into the Parador - heaven after 2 weeks as hospitaleros and a couple of days as pilgrims.  We had a king sized bed and a bathtub so we took 2 baths.  Had a nice dinner at the other parador.

Friday, April 15, 2016

4 Apr 2016

Well it's official-we start our Camino today!  Had breakfast at the albergue.  First 8 miles weren't bad.  The inside of my knees were really getting sore but we wanted to make it to Ventosa so we pushed on for another 4 miles.  It was drizzling the whole way..  We arrived at the albergue and it was very nice.  Incense burning, warm welcome.  In our room we have an Italian girl (chiara) who speaks very good English, 3 Americans from Washington state traveling together; a mother/son (Becky and Dartangnon), friend Ariel.  The mom is pretty heavy and she is having her backpack shipped from place to place.  Before that, her son was walking to the next place with his bag