Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 12 - Burgos to Hontanas (32 kms)

Burgos - Tarjados - Rabe de las Calzados - Hornillos del Camino - San Bol - Hontanas

Each day, The Camino provides a reward. Yesterday, the soul-less last 10 kilometres through the industrial outskirts of Burgos led us to the beautiful old city and the iconic cathedral. Today, our 32 kilometre walk led us across the peaceful Meseta to the mediaeval village of Hontanas and the private albergue Santa Brigida. Brigida was a monk who was the first woman to walk the Camino. The village has a monument to honour her and this wonderful private albergue, one of Jenny's favourites from 2011, is named after her.

Magically yesterday evening in Burgos, the rain stopped at around 5 and the sun came out, at almost the exact time as the locals emerged from their homes after Siesta, and the shops and cafes reopened. By that time, we had showered and changed, the cold and wet behind us, and all was right with the world.

We did some exploring separately and met up in the plaza in front of the Cathedral. We ran into a few Camino buddies while wandering the winding and narrow streets of Burgos and ended up having a wonderful seafood paella (our first of The Camino) with our southern friends from North Carolina, Sheryl and Glenn. It was great! We've included our photo with Sheryl.

This morning, after a restful night, we left our hotel around 7.30, and stopped for our caffe con leche at an 'early opener' cafe near the Cathedral. We followed the yellow arrows out of Burgos, a delightful walk out in sharp contrast to the walk in.

We saw no pilgrims ahead of us but, less than an hour out of Burgos we turned around to see an 'entourage' of 7 or 8 peregrinos not far behind us. We soon saw that this group included Sheryl and Glenn as well as two young walkers, Evan and Jane, from New Mexico. Today was their first day on The Way, walking from Burgos to Santiago de Compostela. Each of us walked and chatted with them at various times throughout the day, and they are great fun.

We all ended up in the same albergue tonight and, shortly after we arrived, we saw that our young friends Alessio, Adeya and Klaus had made it to Hontanas too. Smiles and hugs all around.

It's just after 9pm now and again tonight we have been blessed with a unique Camino experience - a community dinner at the beautifully restored Municipal albergue, directly across the street from where we are staying. A delicious salad and enormous chicken paella, prepared by two local ladies of the village with bread, wine and dessert included for 9 euros each. The room where we dined is built over the original mediaeval foundations (visible through the glazed floor) and the hostel won an architectural award for its imaginative reconstruction.

Forgot to mention, there was no rain today! Coach / Martin, we know you will be thrilled to read this as you have been assuring us that this day would come. In fact, much of the day was sunny, with clouds appearing only after lunch. While it was windy at times, it was nowhere near as difficult to negotiate as previous days. And with the sun shining and milder temperature, we thought the walking conditions were just about perfect. We will be beside ourselves if the sunshine continues, the mercury rises and we can get to shorts and t-shirts. But too early to make such a bold call.

Time to sign off as it's been another big day - and a perfect one. We are both tired and happy and feeling grateful for the good fortunes of today.

Before we go, special thanks for your emails and comments to Julie, Marian, Sharon, Jan, Rosanne, Jennifer and Phil, Sue, David, Nina and Martin.

Hasta Luego familia y amigos
Jenny xx and Jill. xx

P.S. There are so many characters we have met along the way including Bob from near Philadelphia, who we first met a few says ago and caught up with again today crossing the Meseta. Bob has clocked up almost 100,000 miles walking in aid of educating people about living an active life with diabetes. His is an interesting story, which you can read more about at


  1. Hi gals,
    Loving this morning read so much I think it's becoming more important than my morning coffee!!
    So yes I too missed day 10, but two posts yesterday more than made up for it.
    Great to hear about the food and friends you're meeting along the way.
    Stay safe and well.

  2. I totally agree! The posts & photos are anticipated with pleasure by your devoted followers. It is great to read of your encounters & sharing of stories with new friends. Those dinners look delicious - la paella para mí por favor! Excellent to hear the weather is more favourable. Hopefully less wind & rain ahead.
    Love & prayers for our intrepid walkers. Jeanette x

  3. Greetings to you two Globetrotters Extraordinaire.....what a privilage to read your update every morning and walk with yoou at least in spirit.The photos are telling a real story abaut your walk, so much history and heritage, so different from OZ, and was that a PAELLEA or what!!! I look up the places you been to on Google Earth, amazing stuff! I hope you have time to absorb it all. Happy walking Jill and Jenny, much love and blessings, Luise

  4. Congrats Girls on making such brilliant progress-I am loving your photos which are evoking such wonderful memories from my Camino-who could forget that walking through the dispiriting outskirts of Burgos into the magnificent centre of town.
    You both deserve plenty of kudos for battling through very tough weather-here's hoping you soon get some warm.sunny windless days as you walk the Mesete.
    You are certainly meeting an array of pilgrims-there stories will stay with you forever,
    So far no mention of any blisters ???
    Be well,travel safe and keep smiling,
    Phil xxxx

  5. Hi gals
    Nice to see some rays on those great legs!
    Your smiles are just a bit broader today and boy, did that lunch look great. Loving the wonderful photos every day.
    Keep up the good work. Love Libby