Monday, June 2, 2014

Progress report: Hontanas--over a Third of the Way There!!

Hello, everyone!
We did stay in Burgos the last 2 nights--but attentive minds will notice that we were there all day ong on Sunday. The public library in Burgos isn´t open on Sunday. We didn´t see any other place to use the internet--the little hotel we stayed in didn´t have any--so I had to wait until now to do a progress report.

We are in Hontanas, a village in the midst of the meseta. (Think the Kansas of Spain here!) We didn´t get rained on today, nor yesterday when between naps we strolled the city of Burgos, nor even the day before when we walked from Ages to Burgos. Prior to that, we had walked from Villambistia to Ages, stopping briefly at the church of St. Juan de Orbigo.
St. Juan de Orbigo was a road builder and started a monastery and aided pilgrims traveling to and from Santiago, hundreds of years ago.In later years, his monastery failed to continue, but now there is a working church there in the old building, which is being restored as part of "ínfrastructur of the Camino improvements" as part of a grant from the EU of all places. We had good bocadillos there, after our long, long walk from Villafranca on the other side of the Montes de Oca.
Ages is also a village, not miniature like Villambistia is (sorry, Villambistia, but you only had about 10 houses that we could see.) but still small. The albergue there had a U-shaped dorm with everybody in it. The showers and bathrooms were divided, but for some reason the top 2 feet of the wall below the ceiling was left open. Let me tell you, being closed up in the "ladies" potty and hearing a bunch of unexpected male voices was a surprise!
We took a wee wrong turn, sort of, and ended up walking all of the long way (6 miles of sidewalks) through Burgos and its suburb to get to the old-town area where the pilgrims´albergues are. We were kept company by a lovely girl from Australia, who is preparing to return home and finish her college classes, up until the region of the albergue. Then we split off from her and went to hunt down a hotel.
We walked past two weddings that were setting up bridal entrances: the one at the city records office, the bride was wearing a more traditional (for Spain that is) dark gray chiffon gown. (At least when I was looking up Spanish wedding traditions before my elder princess´ wedding, that was what the info sites told me.) The other wedding, in the Cathedral of Burgos, had the bride in a full white dress with a headpiece that, of course, reached to the end of her full skirt.
We walked 20 miles today, crossing over 3 mesas in the bright sunshine. I started shedding layers an hour in, and by the time we got to Hontanas, I was down to the inmost shirt and the pants. It was great weather for a South Texas pair of hikers.I particularly liked something I couldn´t take a picture of: the way the grain looked, kind of like God´s fingers ruffling the heads of grain the way I might run my fingers over velvet.
We´re starting to think of sending a box of unneeded weight home, too.
That´s it for today. I´ll try to do another update tomorrow but it might be a few days.