Burgos!

And so to Burgos, the largest city on the Camino and one of Spain’s most beautiful.

Burgos Cathedral, just outside of my Albergue.

Burgos Cathedral, just outside of my Albergue.

The Camino passes through so many varied landscapes…

First there were the rolling hills of Navarra, soon to fade away into the Rioja wine country. Then came the wide open expanses of the Castille and its wooded hills before the descent into the outskirts of Burgos; a long trying slog over concrete, past factories and an airport.

The Rioja gives way to the open Castille country.

The Rioja gives way to the open Castille country.

Many folk try to miss out this part, but to me, the Camino is just this; a combination of terrains, all of which are designed to test one’s mettle. Surely, dipping out is a form of denial of ‘what is’, unless of course, one has limited time to complete the whole Camino.

I have been on the Camino long enough now to notice certain habits developed by different folk. Most disturbing is the rush to get up and on the road before light, producing an irritating noisy awakening that robs one of the last valuable hour of sleep. The dormitory becomes a fusion of coughing and rustling plastic bags, as well as slamming doors and unnecessary lights being turned on and off. It can be incredible just how selfish some folk are! Interestingly, many of these competitive types are soon dragging themselves along on bandaged knees having over-extended themselves.

Pilgrims at rest! My American friend Sarah and I taking time out before the final approach to Burgos.

Pilgrims at rest! My American friend Sarah and I taking time out before the final approach to Burgos.

Usually I am one of the last peregrinos out in the morning and yet I am still in touch with the ‘pacesetters’. It doesn’t have to be like this, but of course the Camino mirrors every day life, which is exactly like the mad rush replicated here in Spain. What is everyone so busy about? Do tell…

On the contrary, there is nothing nicer than the smile of an old friend as you arrive at a new Auberge. Sometimes it feels like I have known my fellow peregrinos all my life, so intense is the way.

I will never forget the love and companionship of my fellow peregrinos at the end of the day.

I will never forget the love and companionship of my fellow peregrinos at the end of the day.

Everyday it is necessary to receive a stamp in your pigrim’s passport, known as a ‘Credencial del Peregrino’. Every Refugio or Albergue visited can only be done so on receipt of one’s Credential and it is necessary to complete one stamp per day to receive the ‘Compostella’ of completion in Santiago.

Here is my 'Credential', with each stamp reflecting my progress along the Camino.

Here is my ‘Credential’, with each stamp reflecting my progress along the Camino.

I intend to stay for an extra night in Burgos to sample the atmosphere of this ancient city. I can’t seem to go any slower than I already am without losing my rhythm. I am a strong and experienced walker, but I have even surprised myself with the ease in which I have proceeded thus far. However, I am only too aware how easy it is to slip and damage one’s ankle on the steep descents, especially in the wet, so I am not ‘counting my chickens’!

The pilgrim’s way must be with care, both physically and consciously. A pilgrimage should hopefully slough old habits and sublimate a keen raising of consiousness, enough hopefully to contribute to the improvement of our poor long suffering planet. I don’t know what effect mine will have, but if I become one less problem to the world, it will be more than enough…

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About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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18 Responses to Burgos!

  1. Why are they rushing? Are they on a time limit? Are they worried about getting a bed at the next Albergue? You have drawn an Interesting analogy when you compare it to life. What would happen to the world, if everyone stopped to “think.” If nothing else, you might get to sleep in!!!

    • Viking Queen says:

      You are so correct Amanda! This morning was exactly the same… Rush, rush, rush! Net result, a freezing cold morning, hanging around waiting for the next Albergue to open… Why? Goodness only knows.

      • You might have to open their eyes, Poppy. 😛

      • Viking Queen says:

        I think it’s probably for the next generation! Too late for me!

      • Well, I do wonder what the next generation will be like, if the parents run around chaotically perpetuating a sense of rushing, for unknown purposes?

      • Viking Queen says:

        I dread to think!
        Already there is a terrifying lack of awareness, coupled with a mobile phone tapping obsession that projects many massively out of the present moment! The present moment may become a scary place to be!

      • Don’t get me started on the mobile phone obsession. It intrudes into our lives, like a poison dart! For me, it is merely a tool, but others can’t seem to live without it. I see them using them whilst waiting at bus stops and walking down the street. Their awareness is diminished so much as well as the quiet time to think and just ‘be’. Perhaps it will be that people will only travel to places through technology and not in real life. That would be tragic.There is nothing like the real experience, for me.

      • Viking Queen says:

        It’s already here! Especially with young folk. I call it the finger shuffle! Sometimes it’s not worth even attempting to converse with ‘phone-folk’ ;you may as well, be on the moon.

      • haha! Laughed at the phone-folk, and so agree. I find it a cause of frustration when you are deep in conversation with one of your friends having coffee, and they feel the need to check their latest text just received, even though it may not be of an emergency nature. Then continue the conversation whilst texting back. It is great myulti-tasking, but leaves me feeling I only warrant half their attention! It

      • Viking Queen says:

        True!
        I normally just stop talking at that point, but they don’t seem to realise sometimes… So they were never even listening in the beginning!!! Silence is golden, I think!

  2. Simona says:

    These ‘pilgrims’ simply haven’t switched off. They are on the Camino but operate as if they were still living their hectic lives back at home. Isn’t this defeating the purpose? They should make ‘take it easy’ their mantra.

    • Viking Queen says:

      It seems so, but I wouldn’t dare to mention it! However, I suppose we all have our reasons to do this, I JUST WISH THEY WOULDN’T WAKE ME UP SO EARLY!!! I find that last forty minutes so therapeutic. It is normally cold and dark when we get out of the auberges so I can’t see the point.

  3. Christian says:

    well you have had your card truly stamped. what lovely markings each stamp has would be nice to find out the history of each stamp. perhaps they are rushing because they think there is a prize at end of all the stamps or as you stated a time limit perhaps only got 2 weeks off work?
    why the rush in mornings as now still dark at 6-7am. take care enjoy who knowns perhap you will take this journey again one day.
    Cx

    • Viking Queen says:

      Yes I like the tradition of the stamps. It’s really interesting how varied folk are. Many are friendly, some are almost hostile for some reason. Luckily those are rarely in my universe. The same people keep turning up,over and over again.

  4. How about “Haste not,miss nowt”? Pity is folk don’t know what they’re missing!
    Burgos looks stunning and that countryside,wow!
    R

  5. christian says:

    you know me that was the one picture i wanted to see the cathedral, did u make time and go inside. hope u have a better sleep and they don’t wake too early, bet it the oldies getting up early not the youth. take care Cx

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