Buenos dias from Burgos, one of the larger cities along the Camino. I was a bit hesitant to take another day off in a large city after not liking Logroño too much. But so far I have to say Burgos is a pretty cool place. The people are friendly and last night at a tapas bar we hung out with several locals drinking really good regional wine till late. Well, late for a peregrino which is around 11 p.m. It´s usually lights out by 10 p.m. when you´re staying in the Albergues (hostels) but I splurged and got a hotel room last night and slept like a baby. It was definitely much needed. Unfortunately my body still hasn´t fully accepted the fact that we´re going to be walking everyday for 5 weeks and it is still acclimating. Every night I´ve got a half hour ritual where I tend to my aching muscles and wrap up my toes that are still recovering from early blisters. It´s become second nature now, just like brushing your teeth before you go to bed.
I ran into some peregrinos (pilgrims) on the Camino yesterday that I hadn´t seen in over a week and it´s always a pleasant surprise, like you´re running into an old friend. You never know when you say good bye to someone if you´re seeing them for the last time or not. I guess that´s also true in everyday life although probably more predictable on a day to day basis.
The Camino really is a metaphor for life in many ways. Everyday is different, in the way you feel, in the weather, in the terrain you walk through. One day you´ll be walking through endless vineyards on both sides of you under a scorching sun, then the next day it will be overcast the entire day as you walk through man made gravel paths with pine trees and oak trees on either side. And no matter how rough the terrain is to walk through, such as the slush and mud puddles, if you look around you´ll always find a way through because you have to if you want to continue on the journey. And the hardest part of each day is right at the end, when you can see the town where you´ll be sleeping that night in the distance but it doesn´t seem like it can arrive soon enough, and your body is tired and you´re hungry and you just want to shower and rest. But you put one foot in front of the other and surely you eventually arrive, proud of yourself for having made it. Everyday is truly a new day. Except for my aching feet. They probably think it´s been one continuous hazing experience. But hopefuly that will change soon too.
The rest of my off day I plan to find a sporting goods shop then lay off my feet for a while, stretched out on my hotel bed. Then in the evening off to watch Manchester United play F.C. Barcelona which the locals are all excited about. Every Camino journey must involve at least some football. That´s the way St. James would have wanted it.
And last but not least, Mick Jagger is now done with the trip as he was only walking to Burgos and is now on his way back to Germany, which is too bad because I never got his picture. But in his place we ran into Johnny Cash, a scrawny Spanish guy who wears all black, black jeans, black shoes, black shirt and even a black backpack. I need to learn how you say I Walk the Line in Spanish.