San Juan De Ortega to Castro Jeriz, 48.2 miles 27/08/04

Slept right at the side of the Camino last night, surprised to hear night walkers (I can tell the camineros by their limps.)
Silent night as regards dogs, sheep, music, snorers, cars, tvs, partys, drunks, etc. Finally a good nights sleep.
Left at 0915- back roads to Burgos. Big town, sprawling industrial suburbs, warehouses etc, 20 mins riding through this to the centre.
Through this archway...

...and I'm in front of a huge cathedral, lots of people here.
A bronze statue of a pilgrim on a bronze bench, quality piece, why can't we have these things in England?

The cathedral has an impressive interior, the Camino is showing me some beautiful places, it's almost a regression to medieval times following this route.
Burgos has been a rich town for a long time, letters and books from 972 and 1070ad in the museum, along with countless bejewelled relics and paintings.
On to the bike shop, Avenue de Los Catholicas (from memory). Excellent shop, new gear shifter unit fitted on the pavement, thank you lads. I was a bit nervous about letting him work on the bike, I prefer to do it myself but as I was paying the bike was being stripped outside. Almost ready for slapping him when I went out but he did a good job. I've been holding the bike in gear manually for 2 days now, not good up the hills! Left Burgos late at about 3pm and back onto the N120 again, am getting sick of the sight of this road. Chaos leaving town along the riverbank, articulated lorries cutting me up!! Diesel fumes and noise.
Out of town it's different, they've built a new motorway and the heavier traffic uses that - its like the N2020 in France - a huge cycle path.
I'm riding across mesas now, up a hill and along a FLAT hilltop for half a mile, heat shimmer everywhere with empty fields of corn stubble. No birds, no crickets, no cars then drop into a gully and climb back onto the plain.
Photo Burgos 17km? feels like the middle of nowhere.
Turned off to Yudego and its onto tiny roads again, a few beers in the small bar, lovely old barmaid, definately in charge, kid with a baby bird in a cigar box taking it round to show everybody Blokes sat talking and watching Spain playing hockey in the Olympics. Just leaving and people giving us directions to this campsite, all the flattest roads to Castro Jeriz, and a lollipop from the barmaid, ha!
Stop on the way, another old church in an out of the way forgotten village. I've seen statues and reliefs carved over doorways all the way here, the moor slayer triumphant on his horse with bodies all around. They are mostly the same, but this is the first one I have seen that the statue still has his sword in his hand, steel and rusted but still there!!
For how many years?
Now thats what you call a quiet village.
Campsite is free, free showers, free cooking, free tent, (already up), Castro Jeriz, a castle on a small hill in a long smooth valley surrounded by mesa hills, like Glastonbury but on a larger scale.

On my own in a 6 man army style ridge tent now, Space to Move :D, sleeping with the doors open cool breeze and a 3/4 moon right in the middle of the doorway. Is a farmyard directly behind the wall I'm camped against, can smell the donkeys, glad the flies are asleep now.
I have more than enough time and energy to reach Compostelle, but Frank has till the 12 sept. If we keep going at this pace we should just make it, just.
48.19 miles today



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