The Meseta, Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago day 9-12

Day Nine: Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Villafranca Montes de Oca,
34,75 km, asc/desc 582/288m, 9:10h
September 20th, 2016

  • Slept in the communal albergue in Villafranca as everything else was sold out. Got the last spot when I arrive at 8 pm.
  • This is where I found out I had forgotten my Pilgrim´s Passport in the Parador in Santo Domingo.
  • Since free wifi as well as electricity is available everywhere I decided not to carry any physical books – I have the Brierley guidebook on my iPhone.
  • I quickly started to listen to podcasts or music during the day: The walk is so straightforward and the trails are so wide that people can pass you without you having to give way.
  • I finally listened to the entire Serial podcast.

    On the way to Villafrance
    On the way to Villafranca

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

Day Ten: Villafranca Montes de Oca-Burgos,
37,32 km, asc/desc 392/415m, 10:44h
September 21th, 2016

  • As I stayed in a communal albergue, I was forced to leave at 8 am. At 7:30 everyone else had left.
  • As the sun was not yet up, I went to the wonderful new San Anton Abad hotel, a renovated pilgrim´s hospital, at the top of the hill for breakfast.
  • The Cathedral of Burgos is stunning.
  • many people say they took the buses into the big cities such as Burgos and Léon. First of all, for me, this would completely undermine my intention to walk all the way to Santiago. Secondly, I fail to see the point: The approach to Burgos is max. 5 km, and if you walk by the river it is quite pleasant.
  • Got a new Pilgrim´s Passport at the albergue in Burgos to replace the lost one.

    House before Burgos
    Note the shells symbolizing the Camino on this house

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

Day Eleven: Burgos-Castrojeriz,
40,92 km, asc/desc 293/312m, 11:13h
September 22nd, 2016

  • The beginning of the Meseta. Some skip this section and take a bus to Léon. For me, it was probably the most beautiful part of the Camino.
  • In Hornillos del Camino, 20 km from Burgos, all albergues were sold out before lunch-time.
  • Hontanas is a wonderful, atmospheric place, with a outdoor café on the main square.
  • I beat my personal walking record with 40,92 km.
  • As usual, I was completely alone on the trail after 3 pm, arrived in Castrojeriz at 8 and had dinner at a small bar where a crazy Irishman bought me four glasses of wine.

    Coffee in Hornillos
    Coffee in Hontana

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

Day Twelve: Castrojeriz-Villamentero de Campos
33,93 km, asc/desc 220/268m, 10:08h
September 23th, 2016

  • A tough day – I tired after the 41k and the four glasses o wine.
  • The scenery is wonderful and desertlike with expansive views.
  • For the first time, I took sort of a wrong turn – there are several alternative trails also marked as the camino. It cost me only one kilometer and I could have avoided it had I looked at my map.
  • I slept at La Casona de Dona Petra in Villamentero de Campos – an atmospheric casa rural. I thought I had booked via booking.com, turned out my booking was for one week later. Luckily they had space.
  • I try to book accommodation 2-3 days in advance – to maintain the flexible schedule, allowing for breaks if needed and at the same time not having to participate in the “race to the next albergue”.

    The road to Villarmentero
    The road to Villarmentero

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr
This post is part of the Camino de Santiago in 24 days series.

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