7.00pm Just a quick update as we´ve only just reached Burgos and are about to go out for dinner. We´re going to have a rest day tomorrow and I´ll get some time to do the update then. First impressions are that it is a beautiful city and there just happens to be a big festival this weekend in rememberence of El Cid. Well it would be rude not to help our Spanish friends celebrate wouldn´t it ? .
We set out a bit later than usual from Atapuerca owing to the fact that none of us had slept a wink. I was allocated one of 6 bunks in a room that was already occupied by a couple from Bath , a lady from Idaho and two very big Californian guys who both apologised in advance as they were aware they both snored loudly. That proved to be an understatement.
A couple of guys I had hooked up with that day cooked pasta and shared it with us and we continued chatting in kitchen. I went off to bed and the others stayed up talking for a while. The Californian guys were both asleep and snoring to beat the band. One of them had an incredibly loud snore on inhalation that was followed by a loud sighing cum groaning sound on exhalation. It quickly became obvious he also had a problem with flatulence. The others I left chatting in the kitchen were in fits of laughter when a particularly loud episode of flatulence reached their earshot. They were also tickled by the fact that I was stuck in the midst of all this.
We set out around 8.00am and I walked all day with Omar ( from Barcelona ) , Martin ( from Hannover ) and Jolanta. Omar has great English and we spent a long time discussing a wide range of subjects including the legacy of the Spanish Civil War , the differences between the Catalan region and the rest of Spain and Spanish football. At lunch Omar introduced me to ” Empanada ” , a type of Spanish stuffed pastry , that was delicious. He ordered a light red wine that had been chilled to go with this and we set off again at around 3.00pm in fine fettle.
We reached Burgos around 6.30pm and booked ourselves into the Refugio behind the amazing Gothic Cathedral. On the counter was the birdcage containing the Parrot belonging to the guy with the Shetland Pony ( see photo ). We were delighted to hear there was a festival on this weekend with an ” El Cid ” and medieval theme. A gang of us went out for Tapas and a couple of beers before the 10.00pm Refugio curfew. Whilst we were eating I heard the funniest Camino story yet. We were joined for dinner by a chap named Peter from County Cork who had been walking towards Torres del Rio a few days ago and at one point was feeling very tired , sweaty and footsore so took off his backpack and sat down on the grass for a rest. Along comes a local shepherd and sits down next to him. He tells Peter he has a house nearby and Pilgrims sometimes stay with him. Then he pulls out a camera and starts showing him pictures of some of these Pilgrims , all men. Peter’s tired and weary and misses the alarm signals. They chat for a while during which time the shepherd touches Peter’s knee several times , still the penny doesn’t drop. The shepherd then gets up , goes around the back of Peter , puts his arms around his shoulders and says ” I really like you “. Peter then picks up his rucksack , throws it on his back and takes off like a rocket in the direction of the yellow arrows leaving a cloud of dust and a lonely gay shepherd behind him. He told it very well .
There were loads of people out on the streets and a couple of musicians started playing Irish music , which was the cue for Ian Hanratty to do a bit of Irish dancing ( see photo ) . He was good too as he told us he was an All Ireland Champion as a teenager.
Good news , the Japanese contortionist is no longer blanking me.