Camino Day 10 - Thurs 6/6/2002:

40 km today
327 total
Mud, glorious mud

The day dawned cold and wet, and didn't get much better. Was awoken at 6:30 by the braying of a donkey (which two pilgrims from Holland had brought with them as a means of carrying all their baggage.) The poor shagger had a cold, wet night of it.
Left at 7, blisters and right shin now most painful. Funny how the pain seems to circulate between legs and feet. Took it easy, telling myself "Turly, slow doooooown!" every so often. I wish I knew what drives me to walk so fast, but I thought I took it nice and handy this morning. Even so, I ended up passing the few people I saw.

Art-Deco Fountain

outskirts of Burgos (74K)


Rabé de las Calzadas (32K)


On the meseta (68K)

Glorious Mud

On the meseta (75K)

As you can see, the vast plateau known as the meseta was today a bit of a quagmire. The going was, as they say, "soft". Managed to repeat yesterday's performance with the mud, thankfully this time without actually falling in the stuff.
Arrived in Hontanas quite wet but with black plastic bin-liner bag doing a sterling job of covering my pack, and my jacket doing the same thing for me. Though not as thorough as the poncho, I much preferred this approach to keeping dry. Far better mobility and vision (the poncho hood was apparently designed by Kenny from South Park.)

Calle Mayor

Hontanas (49K)

Distant Hilltop fortress

and Castrojeriz (31K)

Town Graveyard
Castrojeriz (38K)

More meseta

from Castrojeriz (38K)

So what is it with the Spanish and graveyards? They're always miles outside town (fair enough), but nearly all have huge high walls... is it to stop the occupants getting out? Now that I think of it, perhaps it was to stop animals like wolves or bears getting in... We don't have such animals here in Ireland, so most cemeteries here are unfenced...

Er, yessss. But anyway, to get back to the script, I arrived in Castrojeriz in the pouring rain at 3pm. It's a town which is wrapped along the side of the biggest hill around. The ruins of an ancient fortress are visible on the hilltop. I trudged through the town, encountering no-one, and came across the modern but tastefully designed Puerte del Monte hotel, which was offering a Peregrino Special -- a room with dinner for 18 euro. I looked again at my sodden, filthy state, and said, "Feck this, that's for me!"

Installed myself in a very nice room, had a hot shower (ah! bliss!), washed boots (in the shower, of course) and put them on windowsill to dry. Some hope. Washed clothes and hung them over radiator, tended to my aches and pains, and had a half-hour nap before heading out to explore the town. It had stopped raining, except for brief droplets every now and then, and exploring the town was thus easier. I stopped in a bar with quite a few elderly locals in it, and had a café americano with a tapas of jijos (sp? -- a delicious hot and spicy dish of what appeared to be fried chorizo, or "chorizo al fresco" as the barman called it.) Much better. Read in the paper that the USA had beaten Portugal (Portugal!) in one of the World Cup matches. Amazing.

It started raining heavily again, so I took the rest of the afternoon and evening off. Basically, I lay on the bed and watched teevee, wrote postcards, had the hotel's dinner, phoned home, etc. Slept the sleep of the just.