It’s coming to the end of my rest day in Burgos, a small city some 250km down the road from Pamplona.
It has been quite a leisurely ride, flanking or riding along the Camino de Santiago as it goes from village to village. It’s a very picturesque route but I can understand some of the criticism about it being included amongst the world’s great treks.
As a pilgrim route it obviously developed in a time before leisurely (let alone challenging) trekking and is essentially a walk from town to town on the way to a destination. While there are a few sections of “trail” much of the route is along roads – some dirt, some sealed and in some stretches the main highway is the only path.
For the many pilgrims this is not really an issue, but for those seeking a trekking experience, I can understand the disappointment. The many towns and villages are definitely worth seeing but well-cushioned walking boots are highly recommended as there is a lot of bitumen and crushed rock tracks in between. A bike is ideal – though I have only seen a handful of other cyclists.
Contrary to the warnings the pilgrims haven’t thrown any stones!
While I followed the Camino through the parks and along a few dirt roads, most of the the time I stuck to the secondary road that flanked the main highway. The climbs were a lot easier than anticipated and the days short leaving plenty of time to stop wherever I saw a coffee shop and to explore the town at the end of the ride.
I must admit that the alleyways and cathedrals are beginning to blur, but it’s still a pleasant way to stretch your legs after a ride.
Tomorrow I head to Castrojeriz, where I will leave the Camino and head southwest via Palencia to meet up with the Ruta de la Plata in Zamora. By tomorrow night the odometer will have past the 7,000km mark and the distance to go dropped to three digits!
I’m at that point where I am starting to wish it was over. Physically I feel great, but mentally it is becoming increasingly difficult not to focus on the destination and see each day’s journey as one step closer to this.
But the remaining journey will take me through some amazing places – Palencia, Toro, Zamora, Salamanca, Càceres, Seville and Càdiz – to name a few, with a chance to see remnants of the Roman and Moorish history of Spain.
Enjoy the photos (WIFI here was painfully slow and it took three hours to load them).
To Santo Domingo de la Calzada