El Camino, phase 2
We enjoyed our rest day in Burgos. It's a beautiful city, the weather was gorgeous and there is a cathedral there unlike any I have ever seen. I stopped taking pictures because they just didn't do it justice. There was a medieval festival that was going on throughout the city which we walked through but our focus was really on resting.
We left Burgos Sunday and entered the part of Spain known as the "meseta" or plains. Peggy joined us once again after taking a week off to allow her blister to heal. It's a good section in which to restart because it is fairly flat, but the temperature has gone up again so the past 2 days have been in the low 80s and there is very little shade. Many people skip this portion of the Camino because while it is physically less taxing, the landscape is much less interesting. Earlier in our trip we met a fellow pilgrim named Mark from Dublin who described the Camino as being in 3 phases, the first being extremely physically challenging where all you can think about is just finishing the day. The second phase is the more " spiritual" or contemplative phase. The final section, as you approach Santiago de Compostela is when you start thinking about life after the Camino and what that will look like. That is probably not exactly how he put it but his description was beautiful and was the best breakdown of the Camino I had ever heard. So, thank you Mark from Dublin.
Food continues to be an issue especially as we are now staying in smaller towns. On a good day we arrive in town between 2 and 3 and often find that everything is closed so we have to wait until dinner at 7:30 to eat. If we are really hungry we often have to get creative. See picture below for today's gourmet lunch. The general consensus among our fellow pilgrims is that the food on the Camino is the worst part of the trip. Breakfast is often just various types of bread/toast. We will arrive in Santiago skinny, undernourished and over-carbed, but I'm sure we will take care of that in Paris! (Well, maybe not the over-carbed part).
Another odd thing about the hotels we have stayed in during the past week is that in order to lock your room while you are in it, you lock the door with a key. I am not a fan of this system at all! I hate the thought that if I had to get out in a hurry (think fire) I have to fumble with a key.
At moments I am filled with joy and wonder on this trip and other times I seriously question my sanity. I fear my traveling companions will never to speak to again after this trip! Definitely taking a cruise for my 65th birthday!