Buen Camino

Moving on from Burgos

Negative temperatures and morning showers awakens every element of your being, like the blissful melodies of a three month old with a tummy ache. It’s 8am and nowhere is open to grab a quick breakfast. Luckily we know of an important landmark where many, many, many, cafe’s reside and early starters are guaranteed to gather. Thankyou Santa Maria, you do so draw the crowd. Yep, coffee, toast and another coffee consumed, body fuelled and onward if not westward.

On da trail – da Camino Santiago

We have made our way inland to do something different. Something different often brings its own surprises and with this scenario, we have a status quo. Unexpectedly, we have joined the Camino de Santiago trail; with a couple of thousand pilgrims. Buen Camino – is the call when you pass. “Good way” is the translation, basically have a good journey.

Our massive planning centred around travelling on cycle routes West, for a couple of hundred kilometres and that was the extent of the planning. Turns out, this is also the path used for the Camino trail. Being mainly on dirt paths with a few secondary vehicular roads thrown into the mix, this trail suited us down to the ground. The pilgrims are mostly friendly and are of all ages and nationalities.


The rock piles are everywhere. You are supposed to carry one on your pilgrimage from beginning to end. I reckon I have the start of another kidney stone, so I’m just going with that (just jokes). The young lady with the dog was in the mindset that if she had a euro for each photo of her dog, she would be a millionaire.

The views

There are some steep, long, grades that make it a hard slog up some of the hills. However, the payoff is worth every element of perspiration. The views are magnificent. Widly spanning across the agricultural plainlands. Gazing to the North to ‘Picos de Europa’, the snow-topped mountains are perfectly positioned behind fields of yellowing flowering Canola flowers.


One downhill, Mandy actually hit 47 Km/hr. The fastest she has ever been on a loaded touring bike. This journey is full of new experiences. For example riding in so low temperatures, with questionable ‘sub arctic required’ clothing, makes your toes and fingers so frozen that they are not just cold, they are in great pain. Simultaneously, sweat is pouring from your forehead as you push up a massive incline.

The joys and challenges.

Built Environment – Built Life

Every turn, every town, everywhere we traverse brings me joy. Each town, each building, each stone has a story. Not recorded in literature, memoirs or town records. Recorded within the work of a woman and man. Recorded within the need or want to survive. Recorded within necessity for life. I love these places, these visions.


It is still freezing at night, so we found an Albergue (lodge). We slept in the roof space with 16 others, ah… what a symphony of snoring. It was quite spectacular as some were two-toned, others remained on a preselected pitch throughout the performance. Earplugs become a survival tool. Actually, it was great fun, a group dinner was included involving Bread, Pasta Entree, Main of Chicken or Tofu vegetables, dessert a Mousse, wine and coffee.

So many different personalities, ages and nationalities around one table, with wine and good spirits, evokes considerable conversation of numerous categories. It was a fun night.

The fridge

I’m now sitting in Leon. We have completed some 200Km of the Camino de Santiago. It is currently raining, it’s 16:00 and 9 deg. Mandy and I have had enough of living and riding in a refrigerator/freezer that springs a leak every afternoon.

Tomorrow we make a move to the east where we can ride and camp in the warmth.

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