Date: Mon 20th May
Left: Belorado 7:45am
Arrived: Atapuerca 5:00pm
Arrived: Burgos 6:00pm (Taxi)
Santiago de Compostela: 501km
Turned in early last night after an entertaining meal with a couple of Irishmen from a large group of 14 who are over here as part of their walking group. Slept solidly through to 6:00am (can’t say that everyone did that night!). Big day ahead so need a decent breakfast. Nothing open in town so will have to settle for the Albergue 4€ (each) breakfast. Although cheap, isn’t as good value as a typical local bar with freshly squeezed OJ and fresh Croissants with a Cafe con leche for around 5€ total!
We set off in high spirits! Cold, but no rain in sight (yet). Accommodation was our only challenge as the villages from around the 24-30km had very limited accommodation. As a result, most were already booking ahead! We decided to let the Camino decide for us!
The first 1/2 of the walk had numerous picturesque villages, the the second 1/2 was a scenic walk for over 12km before the village San Juan de Oterga that most were planning on staying at. Our plan A was to walk a further 3-4km to Agés and find either a private room at an Albergue or a room at a Hotel or Casa Rural (sort of a B&B).
Whilst the weather continued to be cold and overcast we enjoyed the day much more than the previous. We stocked up on supplies at a village called Villafranca Montes de Oca due to the long stint ahead. We walked through to San Juan before finally stopping for a picnic lunch and a hot chocolate whilst resting the weary feet.
The sun finally poked its head out as we entered Agés. After walking through the village with no hotels in sight some locals came to the rescue as so often they do and directed us to an Albergue with private rooms. Unfortunately they were “completo” (full), except for the attic space where we could sleep on the floor with 10 others. Forget it!
Plan B – it’s only another 2.5km to the next village of Atapuerca. With the sun shinning and our spirits still high (just our poor bodies showing signs of fatigue) we marched on down the road to Atapuerca and weaved our way through some back streets for the advertised Casa Rural. The hostess didn’t look too happy to see us land on her doorstep and with only Spanish we made out that there was no accommodation available in town!
Plan C – Now after 5pm, the next town looked too far off for our feet to carry us. We tried to ask the Casa Rural hostess if she could call us a Taxi. So she wrote down the number for us. Very helpful! We then regrouped, rang our Hotel in Burgos booked for the following 2 nights and asked if they also had a room available for tonight as well. Once confirmed, asked if they could arrange us a Taxi and was politely given the number again! Rang the Taxi company, told them where we were and 20min later were on our way to Burgos in a Mercedes! Secured our room… Happy wife happy life! Phew! Could have ended in tears!
Now there is no downside to skipping less than 20km of walking into Burgos the following day as this last 20km was going to be pretty ordinary scenery as most would be the outskirts of Burgos and it can be hard to navigate your way in as we found with Pamplona! We now have a full extra day in Burgos. The bikes have already been delivered ready for our cycle across the Meseta and our parcel from Paris was waiting for us. (Lots of small miracles as far as we’re concerned!)
Did anyone tell us how spectacular Burgos was going to be? It’s like Spain’s equivalent of Paris! Grabbed the first thing that took our fancy for dinner! Really healthy eating, but hey we are on holidays and we just walked over 30kms again!