Day 11: Belorado to Atapuerca
My hands turned blue and I began to find it difficult to talk. This early morning’s walk out of Belorado was icy cold and it took several hours for the day to thaw out. The walk started out evenly enough before beginning to climb high and then skirted across the top of a series of high hills. Today’s walk I’d planned on being a long one of about 30 km’s, something like 7 hours of walking. This would make my walk into the big city of Burgos tomorrow a short 20km that I should beanle to knock over before lunch.
After a morning stop for coffee at a truck drivers stop, the first open cafe any of our beehive had seen that chilly morning it was up into the hills. A pleasant climb through forests of oak, ferns and yellow and purple wild flowers. At one stage a bright yellow butterfly joined me on my journey fluttering along by my side like a loyal pet before the siren call of a similarly coloured flower beckoned it away.
After another break at about the 22km mark I psyched myself up for the last stage. I was still travelling with my Lithuanian friend and her thoughtful conversation made for a quick trip into Ages. Not before being overwhelmed by flea like beings which at first, being so small and light we mistook for cobwebs strung across our path. The lack of trees or high bushes soon had us looking for these feathery brushes against arms and legs only to find them covered in little insects. Another Camino challenge. It took about a kilometre or so for me to brush them off my body.
In Ages I left my travelling companion, although I look forward to meeting up with her again in Burgos. Then it was the long last haul. By this stage the day was stifling hot, the path alongside a paved and steaming country road, the destination Atapuerca, a town I could clearly see but with each step seemed to draw no nearer.
And then the flatulence started. I looked around and saw no one. It wasn’t I and yet I heard not one but many bursts of flatulence. As I walked the flatulence would sound ahead of me and behind me but go silent just around me. This road of flatulence continued for several kilometers and I never could see the wayward whoopee cushion, practical joker or animal that caused it. Flying happily amidst all if this were butterflies of yellow, black, white, chocolate brown and all the myriad variations and combinations in between. Many had chosen to make the road their final resting place and their brightly strewn bodies on the road reminded me of flower strewn streets I’d seen in Guatemala years ago.
Then finally I arrived. A long hot, cold then blistering day. My knee ached, my back hurt my feet cried out but I felt satisfied with my day. A sense of achievement. I took off my boots, one of life’s great pleasures at the moment, and noticed the sole worn thin with holes appearing in multiple places. time to replace these boots that have been with me through Egypt and Jordan and China and nameless other places in between. I am not looking forward to breaking in a new pair of shoes on the Camino. C’est la Camino – another day another challenge.
— Posted from my phone