High Plains Drifter .

Day behind Blogging – this is yesterday:-

From Burgos in a chilly dawn and surprisingly quickly into the meseta central, the central plateau of Spain, or high plains of Castile.

People , Places start to Mix as tiredness takes over and a series of 32k days Start .

This one starts with an excellent LGBTQ 6.30 am meeting with a 4 x Camino character – the Tiger Lady outside a desayounos / breakfast bar near Burgos Cathedral . Lovely Lady .

I started the day having THE most fascinating conversations with The “Professor” ( Engineering) Mr Roger White . An incredibly accomplished man – 82 !! Good Pace too – Respect.

Band caught us up and we visited the simplest but most moving little chapel so far . This kind and serene girl gave me a small medallion from her chapel and I just about kept from full tears .

The Mesteta continues with high climbs and remarkable stark views

Lawrence / Lorenzo from Lithuania catches up and kindly posed this shot for Brigitta’s Mum Tereza and Auntie . She’s 5’5″ just to give you an idea here . 😲

There follows the finest impromptu lunch on the side of the road . Never happier than sat on the kerb with Chorizo , Cheese & 250ml Campo Viejo Crianza .

New faces but known for a week now in pic 2 below are Hayley and friend from Silicon Valley . Awesome girls – wicked sense of humour.

Gutter Gourmet 😝

And Roger – ( 1935 remember ! ) catches up . !!

30k of dusty contemplative tracks later – Hontanas appears , our bed for the night , sheltered in a valley from the stark Meseta winds and Sun . You can’t see the village from the plains until you are 100 metres from the valley edge

Top dinner table ( still €10 remember) with Argentina, Chile , Columbia adding zest to our already crammed Internatiōnalè.

A tad hazy after this .

See you tomorrow 6.00 am 😫. xxxx

Ice Cold in Burgos

From Atapuerca before Sun Up was a good move for our timetable ….. but crystal clear and very cold – somehow the palaeolithic hills at dawn made 10,000 BC seem current day .

It’s become habit to add a stone to little creations left in our path and I couldn’t resist this one for my distant family. Hey All 🖖!

The temp’ lifted a little and this work of thousands and now me , added a reflective moment to the climb.

The immediate climb of 1500 metres was actually welcome to warm us up and fuel the 4500 Daily Calorie usage that the big breakfast and huge hug from the lovely Chilean landlady at our Alberque had provided.

I’ve played “hold the moon ” with Ciara and the babies on holidays over the years – Here’s the Sun version with Carmen and Brigitta , a memorable early light .

Of course the objective driven members of our walking group weren’t waiting around for any of this New Age nonsense .

Until we met up for a 2nd breakfast of champions – Cookie , Café , Soberano .

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And good spirits restored. A really happy band . L to R .

Warren , Carinne , Moi , Heather 1 , Heather 2 , Ken , John , Brigitta , Carmen , Mr South Africa , and Lorenzo on the floor . 11 people – 8 countries (Normal )

Short day at least gets us into Burgos by 1.30 to the Huge but really well organised 150 bed Municipal Alberque . Boxed bed bunks , loads of ( relative) privacy – rather like a Japanese business hotel .

But Burgos ! ….. could easily spend 2 days here .

I’ll do something separate on groups breaking up and reforming another time – but today Heather and Carinne go home. A real shame – we’ll miss them . They are doing a talk when they get home and we’re included as Positive upbeat Camino folk – a recording of our limited repertoire of walking songs ( mainly – in fact only – Yellow Submarine due to vast number of nationalities) . The Wild Rover 🎶 is currently in production . 😳

A top band in the Square – El Sur Del Norte made emotive songs as the afternoon progresses into more break ups as ………

….. The German Folk leave – Stuttgart and Berlin – they could only carve out 2 weeks doing St Jean to Burgos. . It’s been good to have handshakes and stories in random bars . Wherever we went they’d been there hours . 🍻🍺

Such is the exciting life on the way – THERES A CURFEW – lights out at 10.00pm and out before 8.00am . But still the nightlife functions really well .

Here in the common room tonight . Beer machine after tapas .Cans at 80cents for St Miguel keeps chat on for an extra 30 mins .

Before ….. ……. …… Click !!!

Xxxx

Extremes……

From 8′ C to 28’C in a Day – starts dark / Raining .

We left the Alberques Quattro Cantons in Belorado in the dark whose fabulous food and wooden beams at €11 plus same for dinner on a (deluxe )Menu Pelegríno ( PG ) still astonish . The whole town ate there .

Our Typical Room and boot room . You can get a lot of PG’s into one if these 😳

Here’s the start with my oh so stylish storm poncho – …. lashing it down – the idea is it covers your pack as well !!

Girls looking a tad more stylish !!

And the last sunrise in Rioja

As we walk into Castile y Leon

Where there care and consideration for travellers extends to pavement art .

Six hours of rain and 25k later on these endless forest tracks we passed some chilling 1936 civil war execution sites ; gripping memorials , careful names and family histories largely based on local hearsay and DNA and photo boards of the recent excavations in the loneliest of places – … photographing it felt inappropriate.

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Sun lifts the day by 2.00 pm and as I move ahead I meet up with Johnny Boy – top bloke – for a lunch of basically what we carried – Sausage , Bread , Semi-Curado , Cheese and ( just the one 🤣) 70 cent a glass red in St Juan de Ortega .

Joined later by straggling PG’s to sit in front of the monastery and share the usual stories of track boredom , blisters and reflections .

We pass through the village of Argès with an encouraging sign that says we have reduced our Km’s from 800 to 518-..nice.

To end a 32k day in Atapuerca – whose history and Stone Age Archeaology we completely ignore to reach a chilled Cervesa Grande and extraordinary service standards and dreamy Paèlla in a simple Hostal .

Xxxxx – Ian

Camino People …..

When the way is unremarkable – it’s the people who make it ….

Heather Goodall and Carine – Fabulous Ladies – with a great take on life through their Quaker beliefs – of which Heathers family tree goes back to very early Quackers.

Our MorMor – Swedish for Grandma- the wonderful Carmen ! – 62 retired teacher with 4 grandchildren ! – who has overcome incredible hardships .

One of my favourite Typical Camino conversations was with her as we discussed French literature in English with this Swedish woman Who is originally from Romania – whilst we were in Spain!

She says hello to families Kristiansson,Taylor and my husband Valle❤️

Everyone relies on this next character – again her Camino story just fills me with admiration for her resilience. Brigitta from everywhere – Hungary via Switzerland via Vienna and ………. here with the Ace Papa Smurf and eternal 9 month of the year traveller

BTW – we all say Hi to Brigittas’ Mum who’s following this at home – Szia Mama Magyar ! – Tereza ❤️❤️

And this guy – who just came and gave us fresh peppers and tomatoes with salt when we were having a picnic

Plus the bad influences – Johnny Uk , Heather from LA – film trailer production , Ken from Sydney . I have a first bad head this morning after the NO LABEL €1.5 a bottles of Rosé ( yes less than €2 😘🔥😳) last night . Thanks for that !

I thinks this last selfie of Heather and Lorenzo taken when they grabbed my phone just about sums up the evening !

And lastly yesterday was my one-week Camino anniversary and Fitbit emailed me this report. 😘😘catch you later. Everyone has covered this same distance .

A Day …. where nothing happened😳

I suppose it’s a good counterbalance to yesterday.

Dusty – long , humid , foot injuries ( others) , not so scenic , people silent as we past 25k – heading for 31k – digging deep to make it . The last hour a real slog .

So it’s a good time to include some of the things that happened on other days that got missed from busier blogs .

The free wine fountain …. as we pass a working Winery / from Thurs …. yes really …

The REAL price of a night from the “stand up and eat” bars in Spanish provincial towns …..

The endless vines – mind you it’s a bit special grabbing a bunch of ripe Rioja grapes – splashing precious drinking water over – and then eating along the way .

– La Vie en Rose🙏🏽

Or simply – Crossing a border , Spains most er hum ” Authentic ” Bull silhouette, or horsing about with signs and fountains.

… gets you through the long pelegrinōs day .

Xxxxx

Hemingway Sunday Edit # 1

This will have to be an Edit as it started as simply as a long day could – our first 30km … AND … my 23rd wedding anniversary !! -❤️- Lovely to talk to Ciara .

But it ended in Logroño – the capital of Rioja via a day to remember ……. via this at 8.00am – Hodo singing in a Bodega in Tiny Torres Del Rio not for any tourist reason – just because ……

https://caminoramblingscom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/img_8856-trim-1.mov

And meeting up with Vanessa – who is a Logorno local and will meet up with my group in the future – when i return to UK

Followed by arriving in Viano – it didn’t look much in approach – but turned out to be the best little town in Spain so far – on Fiesta Day …….. including ……..

Running the Bulls ……..

And if that looks close here’s a sequence that is best called Going , Going .*%<*! That was a tad close 🔥😳

Followed by carnival . dancing ……

Wedding Anniversary Cava !!

And then as we tried to leave Viana we were invited by a very insistent table of local people in a backstreet to join them. They would not accept no for an answer and English reserve was soon overcome with Rioja and Fab Lamb

It took a while to reach our destination.

But it was such a. Day .!!!

Logroño!

Fave Pinchos – / Tapas – a glass of Crianza and 2 dishes for 3.5€ xx

And farewell to our Rugby friends from La Rochelle this morning as they leave for home . We’ll miss Gills , Claud and John Pierre .

A Town where the One Horse left 😆

To Los Arcos – a town the size of a large English village , restaurants 1 , nightlife 0 – – consists of well preserved Spanish widows playing dominoes.

You make your own diversions and this started with an incredible Baroque church out of all proportion to the community’s standing. Even the basic wall coverings were leather patterned with silver .

6.00am up and out shortly after in Estella – into streets deserted save for pelegrinos and of course The ever optimistic Carmen and Brigitta Jones .

Next pic is thanks to Heather and Carreen ( Welcome to this ladies and guessing your spelling Carreen ! )?

– with a rare dawn ” MoonBow ” ! ( never heard of it 😳- ) Where the Sun is behind and Moon in front through rain drops .

……….. x

Estalla + Pain & Gain # 2

Firstly – Pain – I just found the stats from the first days walk – St Jean to Roncevalles a real baptism of fire – for ref’- one floor is 10ft approx’ – I thank my fellow walkers for the amount of times I stopped with an overweight pack .

And the Gain – back to today – Estella main Square- the Happiest Man after 25k with hills in 28c

With our extended walking group :-

Internatiōnalè. – L to R – Facts a tad Hazy

Brigitta- multi lingual tour manager

John – Asda Manager Eastbourne

Forgot to ask – lovely girl

2 metre – Sven from Denmark

Moi – x

Jane – literary genius

Warren – Kiwi – Travel & Gambling Expert

Carmen – Retired Gym teacher – Sweden

Xx

Heading for Rioja

A startling change in heat , climate , colour of soil as I pass over the famous bridge

And one for the Internationalé

Csodas tajak , onfeledt pillanatok. Lassan elhagyjuk Navarrat es Rioja regioban folytatjuk utunkat a spanyol vorosbor hazajaban Logroño fele.

You can tell you are heading for the border with Rioja – Red earth Olives , Vines , beautiful grapes

I’ll miss the passion of the Basque – it’s everywhere

But on through streets like this – to overnight in Estella .

Tired but happy boy !

To Puente la Reina

A warm welcome after a relatively easy day – flat last 4 hours after the amazing Perdon . Medieval town – stunning bridge – Classic plaza. Via pilgrim sculpture.

With some creative feminist messages on the way ! ❤️ in Basque – so I’m not quite sure