We hiked to Villafranca Montes de Oca on Day 8, about a distance of 21 km. Strangely I do not remember much about this day. Luckily Marie took notes. We decided to stay in the Hotel San Anton Abad which was a cross between a real hotel and an alberque if we remember correctly. Here are a few pics from that day. Crumbling buildings, old monasteries, small churches and cured meat. It was freezing in our dorm. A young lady walked in named Ainsley and exclaimed “Holy f**k it’s cold in here. She was from Edmonton and we are still connected on Facebook. We had an interesting dinner. Dave invited a lady from Milan to join us and she walked out halfway through and left us with her bill. A few bottles of wine later we had forgotten about the whole incident.
We got up the next day and set an aggressive goal – Burgos. However it was some 37 km away so we took a bus. Next to Pamplona, Burgos was the biggest city we had traversed – 170,000 inhabitants. Wow we thought, civilization again.
Burgos is an historic and hectic city. It is home to the Cathedral of St Mary a beautiful gothic structure dating from 1221. We spent a lot of time looking inside and out. It was right around the corner from the 110 bed municipal alburgue we stayed in.
We decided to take a break. Marie’s pack was proving too heavy and cumbersome so we found a store and she bought a new lighter one. We sent her old pack ahead by post to our hotel in Santiago. A note on weight. Marie’s loaded pack weighed 14 to 15 lbs and mine was 18 to 19 lbs. They recommend that your pack weigh less than 10% of your body weight. Particularly at the start, we saw people with huge packs, hanging fry pans, extra shoes, clothes etc. that they were soon shedding. We each carried a change of clothes, a pair of flip flops for the evenings, extra socks, a couple of small devotional books, camera and charger, toiletries, rain gear and a warm sweatshirt I carried both our lightweight sleeping bags and a roll of TP. That was it. It was all we needed.
We had a cubby hole to ourselves at the large refugio and I remember the huge pile of boots at the door. A Danish man came over and asked to borrow our plastic wine glasses. I remember Kim from S. Korea was there and popped over to say hi. We had a good time in Burgos.