Day 14: Burgos to Castrojeriz aka Glamping
Woke up late and wasn’t feeling too hot. I think yesterday took a lot out of me. At breakfast we were told by the waitress that there were no busses heading to Burgos for the remainder of the day. We’d forgotten how far out of town we were and found out a taxi would cost us €20 to get to the city's center. Bummer. Minutes later, the waitress tells us that the owner was heading to Burgo’s to go to our old hotel to drop off a couple of things (same company) and that if we wanted we could ride with him. Once again, the Camino provides!
We got to our old hotel (Gotika) and dropped off our big backpacks, which was luckily cool with the staff. We said hello to Marcy, who was sitting in the cafe with her Australian friend. It was in the cafe, we decided we would Glamp it for the day, and take the bus 40k forward to Castrojeriz. Between it still being stormy outside, and not feeling well, this was the best decision. Plus we were a couple days behind schedule.
At the bus station, we found out that there was a bus heading to Castrojeriz at 5:30 PM, which meant we had time to explore Burgos. We went on a quest to find a nail salon. I was overdo, and we’d hear way too many nightmare tales of women losing their toenails and or having infected blisters. I just wanted to make sure that everything was in order underneath my laces. We found a Nail Salon that was offering gel manicure and pedicure for €27. They just opened a couple days ago and the owners were extremely nice. We mainly talked about the food in Spain, as they’re both originally from China, and the husband had also lived in Korea and Japan. He said if it weren’t for his wife, he’s still be a translator in Japan. “I suppose love wins," he said. I laughed. Anyway, we all came to a consensus that Spain doesn’t have much diversity in terms of cuisine, amongst other things. It is always the same thing every single day. Burgos is the largest city on the camino, and in exploring, we didn’t find anything but Spanish food. The food isn’t terrible, it just gets old fast. I went ahead and changed the subject, and told them to place flyers at all of the local albergues and offer a pilgrim's special. Most pilgrims are in dire need of pedicures. They thanked me for the idea. Once we finished up, the wife insisted that she walk us across the plaza to a restaurant that she really likes, that has semi-spicy sauce for the fries. It was okk, and the sauce really wasn’t spicy, plus they didn’t have any Wi-Fi. Which lead us so to visit this other café I’d seen the day of the Renaissance Fest, but it was too busy to walk into, It’s darling and they even have fresh smoothies (rare). They played really good music.
Let me talk about the music in Spain for a second. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the music played in a lot of the restaurants and cafés. I thought I would only be hearing a mix of English and Spanish Top 40’s, but often times it’s decent indie music that I would never think anyone abroad would know of. I suppose good music is international. Noah and I had gotten into a discussion about this last time I saw him, and he felt the same way. He intentionally doesn’t listen to music as he walks, because he thinks that it takes away from the experience of the pilgrimage. I on the other hand, only other hand have music playing at all times. I don’t feel like it distracts me, but rather gives me strength. So, Kenan and I have a playlist, where I’ve been adding any songs I hear that catch my attention, good or bad. I look forward to reflecting on it when I get back.
Ok, so guess who walked into our cute cafe before we headed to the bus station? Lane from TX! We hadn’t seen him in a couple days, and assumed he was way ahead of us. Apparently he’s been walking slowly because he’s also been having some pretty bad knee pain. He ended up buying our smoothie and coffees, which was super sweet. We mostly spoke about Spanish cuisine, which is when he said, “If I see another Bocadillo or pinxto, I might hit someone with it." I definitely feel the same way. After parting ways, we rushed to the bus stop where we each paid €4 for the bus ride. We weren’t surprised to find more pilgrims on the bus, including our South Korean friend, Tongdo.
We arrived in Castrojeriz at 6:30 PM and the sun had finally come out, just in time to create a welcoming sunset. I read about this town before getting there. Apparently there a 2 km stretch of old tunnels underground that were built in the ninth century. Our albergue (Ultreia - €30 for a double room) was a good 10 minute walk away. It is clean and beautiful. Turns out. This albergue is one of two households who has renovated their tunnel underneath. The owner was a teacher and is a history buff. We unfortunately didn’t have time or energy to visit the Midieval castle looking over the city, as it was time for dinner. Dinner at the albergue was €10 each, where we ate a decent meal and sat with a Cuban, an Argentine, an Uruguayan married to a Chilean and an English couple. We mostly reminisced over the taste of maté. Apparently one of them had seen this Argentine sitting underneath a tree, sipping on some, somewhere on the Camino. I was jealous, as were they. But who wants to carry a thermos with them? Forgot to mention that the owner's daughter took the family to do a San Diego brewery tour last year. Small world, right?
After dinner, our old friend from France, Alban and his Camino girlfriend from Quebec come stumbling in after walking 40 km that day. We were so happy to see him. He’s good energy and fun to talk with. Shortly after, the owners took us on a tour downstairs to the tunnel. It was beautiful, wished more households would decide to renovate these beautiful tunnels, or that an archaeology dept would take it on as a research project. I was grateful for this experience and definitely recommend this albergue to anyone staying in Castrojeriz. Glad we glamp’d it up today, but I’m eager to get on the road again, and this time by foot.