This blog is a record of my observations, experiences and crazy thoughts about my 800 kilometer pilgrimage across northern Spain: the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (April-May 2009).
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Day 18 - Burgos - Friday, 8 May 2009
Villafranco -> Burgos = 40K (487K to go!)
I walked ten hours today. I can hardly believe I walked 40K!
The full moon was still dancing across the sky (about 0600) when I began the initial steep ascent up the Montes de Orca. It is a desolate 12K walk through oaks and conifers. Despite the trees, the path is not shaded. At the top (Alto de la Pedraja) is a cross commemorating those who died in the Spanish Civil War. I began my walk with R. but did not see her after the first hour or so of walking. I passed many pilgrims early on and then for most of the rest of the day, I saw no other pilgrims.
Walking felt good so I continued on. I felt exhilarated and filled with energy.
I decided to stop at Ages or Atapuerca (famous for prehistoric archaeological finds) and arrive in the city of Burgos on Saturday. Unfortunately, I inadvertently followed an alternate route which extended my walk by about 10K. By the time I realized my poor choice, I was too far along to go back.
So onward I trudged and made it into Burgos by about 1615. The 2 ½ hours (at day’s end) of walking around the airport and through industrial suburbs on concrete was very challenging both physically and mentally. I must admit, I felt like Wonder-Woman when I arrived at the beautiful new albergue in Burgos and the other pilgrims ooh-ed and aah-ed about my physical prowess!
I am too tired to seek out a meal – I will venture out later to eat and visit the cathedral. First a hot shower and a nap. I hope to stay in Burgos a while tomorrow and do some site-seeing. The castle perched above the city will be my first destination.
Friend Judy’s Inspirational Thoughts for my Day:
Below are a few excerpts from a chat with Elise Moore on spirituality .com. She was on a walking vacation in Mexico when she had a healing of a injury to her foot. She prayed with the Bible lesson:
Before I started to read, I was aware that I really needed a quick healing. This vacation was going to be a walking vacation, and so, as I was thinking about that, some negative thoughts began to crowd in. The sort of “what if” thoughts—and I didn’t even want to go that way.
…….. also from Science and Health, “Every step towards goodness…........is like a step towards God". And what that meant to me at that moment was, I wanted to have every step being a step more spiritual, a step toward the understanding of God and His presence and power, the understanding of divine Love.
I got up at that moment, and began walking down the beach. When I needed to, I would know that every step was toward God, toward divine Spirit, toward the power of Truth to heal. I was not going to agree with pain. As I stepped out across the road from the beach, I realized I was completely healed.
In April 2009, I began my 500-mile trek across the rocky paths and mountains of northen Spain. I finished my walk on the the ancient Way of St James (the Camino de Santiago de Compostela) in early June 2009.
I consider this a pilgrimage of gratitude. Each step was an opportunity to express gratitude for the abundance life offers; each footstep, one of finding joy. It was a humbling experience. It was a character-building experience. It was a spiritual adventure and a physical one too - who knew I was such a mountain goat? I hope you will enjoy my rambling, stream of consciousness obeservations of my experiences as a pilgrim on this historic pilgrimage route that really is only the begining.
Of course veteran pilgrims know: the Camino never ends - once a pilgrim, always a pilgrim. So, wherever YOUR path takes you, I wish you "Buen Camino".