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PeterS - Camino De Santiago Journal - 2015

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Peter Shaw
City: Rancho Palos Verdes
State: Ca
Country: US
Begins: Apr 25, 2015
Direction: Westbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, May 3rd, 2015

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 489
Journal Visits: 8,677
Guestbook Views: 352
Guestbook Entrys: 15

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The Stone Rings

Day 9

It was a very nice albergue and I would have had a room to myself if two hikers hadn't shown up around 9:00 pm. But I slept fine and was up and out early. I did stop at the local cafe to have some breakfast. I really do like the food here. Today, instead my usual bocadillo, I had a puff pastry filled with tuna. It was pretty big being about 6 by 4 by 1 inches and tasted really good so that filled me up with fuel for the morning. The orange juice is also outstanding and gives new meaning to "fresh squeezed" when I watch the oranges being crushed.

Once out of town there was a steep hill climb to nice views of rolling hills and the large city of Burgos in the distance. There was a short section that was extremely rocky and reminded me of all the rocks on the AT in Pennsylvania. There was also this series of stone rings on the ground - see picture - that I believe have been laid down by pilgrim's over the years. From then on the journey was rather uneventful except I took a detour around a small village to avoid another road walk.

As I got closer to Burgos, there were three possible routes. The first, and the one that looked at the decision point to be the most official, was a road walk on a busy highway all the way to town. I took the other route. This went around the city's airport on the other side and then past an industrial plant that was belching this acrid smoke blowing my way. I was quite surprised this pollution was still permitted given Europe is quite progressive with environmental issues. Getting past that ugly plant as quick as possible, I then had the option of a route through the suburbs or a park path beside the river. I took the park. It was very pleasant but quite busy with joggers, bikers and just people out for a leisurely stroll on a holiday weekend.

At the end of the park was a quite impressive looking museum that I believe mostly focuses on the early man find I wrote about yesterday. Outside was a statue of an early man and his son walking through some arches which I assume were intended to portray a cave. You can make your own interpretation from the picture.

Then I came upon a really nice looking church but I haven't included that picture as I'm sure you might be getting tired of churches by now and on top of that it was somewhat oushone by what follows in a bit. Then I met these two guys, one playing a pipe and the other a drum that I thought deserved a picture. Around the next corner was a frozen yogurt store and I simply couldn't resist a large one (but not the biggest they sold). It came with a topping - I chose chocolate - and a choice of candies - I chose sugar coated jellies. It was really good and ultimately, I just realized, constituted my lunch.

After chatting with other hikers outside cafes, I then came to the cathedral. Wow, that is a pretty impressive and beautiful structure. I took a lot of pictures walking around it and I think the one I've included is probably the best. I didn't go inside because there was a stream of tourists flocking through the entrance door. At just after 11:45, the bells started ringing and went on for nearly 15 minutes. I could see the bells in the tower but unlike ones I've seen before that swing backwards and forwards, these rotated full circle. I'm guessing they are all motorized and automatic now rather than monks getting exercise with a bell rope. Called the Catedral de la Santa Maria XIII, it is one of Spain's largest cathedrals and is essentially Gothic architecture with a few embellishments over the years of other architectural styles. But very tasteful and beautiful unlike that monstrosity Ann and I saw in Barcelona.

Burgos was really quite nice in the central area with many other architectural gems. The city had an interesting history with Ferdinand I splitting up the kingdom on his death by bequeathing parts to each of his five children. The eldest, Sancho, didn't like this idea so he started wars with his siblings and the Moors and he recruited El Cid as his henchman to lead the troops. El Cid was born in Burgos in 1040 and is interred in the cathedral.

By then I'd had enough of the city and with heavy rain forecasted for the afternoon I headed on out. It didn't take very long to get out of the city but as soon as the suburbs ended there was a firing range and all I could hear were ear-shattering gunshots for about half an hour. When I reached the town of Tardajos, I decided it was a good day to quit early so I went to this private albergue that was in a converted and renovated flour mill. It was a little up market as it charged a whopping twelve euros instead of the usual eight to ten. When I got there it was also a hotel and a restaurant and it was really busy. But I persisted and eventually got to my room where I found two bunk sets and a dedicated bathroom. The shower was really modern with four settings of where the water came out. I also got all my clothes machine washed so I'm actually writing this wearing just my rainpants and sweater as literally everything else is in the wash.

The heavy rain did show up late afternoon and it could be a wet night of the forecast is close. I had the pilgrim's dinner while watching a Spanish soccer match and then went of to bed. Nobody else showed up so I have essentially a private room for the night.

Entry 12 of 14
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Camino De Santiago

The Camino de Santiago is the name of any of the pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many take up this route as a form of spiritual path or retreat, for their spiritual growth.


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