When I got up, I knew that this will be a day where my willpower will be tested to the maximum. The good news was that the pain was not in my upper leg anymore, but the bad news was that the pain spread to my knee! So, every time I put my right foot down, the pain just got more intense in my knee … at least with this constant pain in my knee, I (almost) forgot about my blisters 🙃.

However, the morning was one of beautiful colours just before the sun was making an appearance. This can easily be the most beautiful morning yet on our Camino!


The colours of the upcoming sun were mesmerising – on our way to Atapuerca

Before we got to Atapuerca, we walked past the sign that indicated the prehistoric caves of Atapuerca (a UNESCO World Heritage site) – apparently where our ancestors came from.

The site however, was another 3km off the route, and there was no way that I would walk any extra kilometers today! Maybe one day we’ll come back and have a look … I’m sure our ancestors’ spirits will still be here in a couple of years.


UNESCO World Heritage site sign outside Atapuerca

It was still early and we saw a couple of pilgrims heading towards Burgos. We knew that we were approaching one of the big cities on the Camino and therefore enjoyed the last couple of quiet kilometers on the dirt roads.

A steep hill was laying ahead of us as we walked out of Atapuerca. This is a hill that would normally not give me any problems, but today it was a challenge for me. I asked Berto to wait for me at the top and took my time … stopping every now and then to give my knee a rest.

The way down to Atapuerca … and the way UP to Cruceiro – the highest point of the day (1,070m)


On top of the highest point of the day


I am almost certain I can see Burgos in the distance

The way downhill was even more difficult than going up … I had to put a constant effort in to slow down in order not to put too much pressure on my knee.

Lesson learnedDownhill is not necessarily better than uphill


I had to laugh at this mural – I felt like this guy today (as if I’m carrying my household with me on my back)

As we walked past the Burgos airport, we went into a café where we saw a couple of pilgrims drinking coffee. They were discussing whether it’s easier to take the bus into Burgos (and therefor skip the industrial area of Burgos). Berto suggested that I do the same. But after we rested a bit (and two pain tablets with my coffee), I felt much better … on hindsight, if I knew it was still another 10km to Burgos, I would have probably choose the bus!

For the next 10km, we walked next to the main road and through industrial areas that took us into Burgos – it felt like an eternity! The quietness of the Camino was gone and we were now in the bustle of the city – traffic and lots of people.


We are in Burgos – walking through a city is sometimes a challenge on the Camino

It is quite difficult to find your way to your albergue in a city. Sometimes it is as if the yellow arrows “get lost” in between the commercial signs.


Although we struggled to find our albergue, we still made use of the opportunity to take photos in Burgos

We had to stop several times to ask for directions until we finally saw La Casa del Cubo– a municipal hostel with 150 beds spread over 4 floors (and the best of all: there is a lift!) We had to wait in a long queue, as a big group of “touring pilgrims” just arrived and they each had to be checked in. But we waited patiently for our chance to get checked in and then found our way to our beds on the 2nd floor.

Lesson learnedPatience with circumstances beyond your control  is only one of the characteristics you are taught on the Camino

We made our beds and then walked out to find the Burgos Cathedral (which was actually just around the corner from our albergue). This is probably one of THE most beautiful cathedrals in Spain. We took our “credencials” inside the cathedral to each receive a stamp.


Beautiful Burgos Cathedral – 13th century Catedral de Santa Maria

History on Burgos Cathedral:

Construction started on the site of the former Romanesque cathedral on the 20th of July 1221. Work began at the east end, which was completed in nine years. The high altar was consecrated in 1260, then there was a lengthy hiatus of almost 200 years before construction started up again. Construction of this cathedral was eventually completed in 1567. 

Back at the albergue, we were very happy to see Conchi and Pili again. They saw my blistered feet for the first time and were quite surprised that I can actually still walk.

Berto suggested that I needed to rest for a day or two, otherwise I might not be able to complete my Camino … it was a difficult decision to make, because I really wanted to keep walking. But I knew the right choice would be to rest my body (well, for at least 2 days). After a bit of planning, we have decided that Berto will continue walking and then I will meet him again 2 days later in Fromista (66km further).

We found the time table of the bus service on the internet and got information that there will be a bus in two days’ time that will leave from Burgos on route to Fromista.

Let me just mention here that between the two of us, we only had one cell phone (mine). Berto wanted to disconnect from technology on our Camino and left his cell phone at home. We were therefore totally relying on the bus services of Spain (and some good luck) if we had any hopes of seeing each other again!

Lesson learnedListen to your body. Rest when needed, in order to continue with renewed energy

Once we made the decision, dear Conchi went down to the ladies at the reception of the albergue to inform them that I will need to stay another night in the albergue in order to rest my knee and blistered feet. They were happy with this and said I will have to check out the next morning (but can leave my backpack in a safe place with them) and then check in again at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

As this was the last night that we would be with Conchi and Pili – their Camino ended here in Burgos to be continued at another time – we decided to go out and have a last meal together. Deulet from Kazakhstan also joined us and we had a wonderful time together.


Conchi takes a group photo for the last time. Pili, me, Deulet and Berto

I got into bed that evening with mixed emotions. Really glad to rest my body, but sad that I would not be able to continue for the next 2 days with Berto …

… But I’m sure everything will be ok …


9 thoughts on “CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 9

  1. I know you have read my Toledo page and I had read that the Cathedral there is modelled on this one. I can well believe it with the offset spire and tower, they look very similar. Shame your friends were finishing there but that is the joy of travelling, there are always new people to meet. Great decision to rest up and excellent advice for others. I love Berto’s idea of getting off the grid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, after reading your post of Toledo, I could also see the similarities. We’ve learned so much from other people that we hardly knew – the beauty of travel. Just to clarify … Berto hates a cell phone (and that’s a very strong word for a reason)!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it is the eccentricity (in the proper sense of the word) that makes both of them stand out. We expect Gothic buildings to be perfectly symmetrical in aspect and this is not always so.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja, net die idee dat ek totaal en al alleen in ‘n vreemde stad moes agterbly … sjoe, dit was nogal angswekkend! Ek dink Burgos se katedraal is een van die mooistes wat ek nog gesien het (en daar’s baie in Spanje)!


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