BURGOS – HONTANAS
±2.0km (for Corna – I was staying in Burgos to give my aching knee and blistered feet a rest)
31.8km (for Berto – he continued walking)
When I was trying to get off my upper bunk bed this morning, I realised that I would have found it extremely difficult to walk today … reassurance that it was the right decision to stay in Burgos for the next two days.
I accompanied Berto downstairs to see him off at the front door of the albergue. Then it dawned on me: I am now alone in a foreign country with our only hope on a bus to bring us together again in 2 days’ time … how’s that for trust?
At least Conchi and Pili were still with me and we left the albergue together at 7:30 to have breakfast in the café opposite the albergue. They were sad to leave the Camino, but for them, it was now time to get back to the ‘normal’ life outside the Camino.
A last breakfast with Conchi and Pili (who took the photo)
I accompanied them to the bus station (now I will at least know how to get there tomorrow). At enquiries, Conchi asked about the bus times to Fromista for the following day and was informed that I can buy the ticket at 13:00 that afternoon.
And so, two dear pilgrim friends, Conchi and Pili, left Burgos on their bus back to their homes. We will always remember their friendship and kindness.
After asking for directions, I found a medical center for pilgrims. The lady at the reception desk however struggled to understand English as I was trying to explain my needs.
Eventually a young man came from the back and introduced himself as a doctor. He said that they are treating pilgrims from the EU for free (that’s probably what the reception lady was trying to explain to me). I mentioned that I was not an EU member, but that I do have medical insurance … but then, to my dismay, I remembered that my insurance documents were still in my backpack at the albergue. And to walk back to get these and then back again to the medical center, would almost be impossible.
At this point, I think the doctor must have felt very sorry for me and he asked what problems I have. I explained to him about my aching knee and blisters. Without further ado, he issued a prescription for me to get antibiotics, ointment and a knee guard at a pharmacy – a free consultation. He also suggested that I should rest for at least 5 days … I did not bore him with the detail of the availability of only 2 days …
Lesson learned: Never doubt that there are people with goodness in their hearts!
I spent a lot of money at the pharmacy and were hoping that with my medication (and knee guard), I could probably continue (and finish) my Camino.
In the bathroom at the bus station, I applied the ointment to my knee and then put on my new best friend – a very sporty knee guard 😁. Maybe it was all in my mind, but I could immediately feel that it was easier to walk … I was sure that with one more rest day, I will be back on the road again! I bought my bus ticket to Fromista without any problems and at 14:00 I was back at the albergue to check in.
Here are some photos that Berto took on his way to Hontanas – he was now walking towards the Meseta (the large and expansive flat plains of Spain).
Walking into the small town of Tardajos
Even the cyclists were getting off their bikes for this steep downhill
The Meseta – during summer this flat part of the Camino can be as daunting as climbing a mountain! There is very little shade here – put on your sunscreen and carry plenty of water
I was fortunate to get a lower bunk bed and spent the rest of the afternoon on my bed while reading a book that I brought all the way from South Africa. The book, written by Francine Rivers, were almost a copy of my Camino … but that is a story for another day 🙂. I can just say that I was very pleased that I decided to bring this book along on my Camino (it was worth the extra 500g)!
I was doing exactly what the doctor prescribed – rest! I was only getting up to go to the bathroom, because I knew I had to rest my body now for the next couple of week’s walking that was laying ahead.
To my surprise I received a phone call from Berto later that afternoon. He borrowed one of his fellow pilgrims’ cell phone to contact me. He arrived safe and sound in Hontanas and were staying in Albergue Juan de Yepes. I was really happy to speak to my husband and could hardly wait to join him again tomorrow afternoon.
Dinner time at Albergue Juan de Yepes
Berto and Deulet enjoying a communal dinner at their albergue (The three wise men were also at this albergue – they are sitting at the back)