Day 11: Burgos – San Bol: 16.5 miles
Tuesday, September 20, 2016: Departed: 9:00am, Arrived 3:45pm
Again, having the comfy and quiet of a private room in Burgos, we slept in later than the typical pilgrim would and got a fairly late start, which we didn’t feel guilty about in the least. We enjoyed a nice full breakfast at the hotel, and on our way out of town, we diverted off the actual Camino route to walk through our favorite plazas.
Having the late start, we progressed steadily on our way to catch up, stopping only briefly to grab some snacks in some small towns, such that now that I try to reflect on it, I’m having trouble actually recalling what we saw. The Camino itself is entering into a dryer and flatter part of Spain, such that the thing that I think that I recall the most is the cool wind and the lovely sky.
Probably the highlight of the day is the end: our lodging at the San Bol albergue. It’s not even a town, but more of an oasis in a remote valley that comes to you as a surprise after walking across flat wheat fields. It has a solid spring of cold water in a grove of trees creating a peaceful hamlet. The albergue is a solar powered building, with only 12 beds. We claimed two of the few remaining, and the place filled up after a few more pilgrims arrived behind us. After having a private room for the previous two nights, this was a very nice way for Kim and I to rejoin the pilgrim community. The larger ubran albergues have more of an assembly line feel, but when there’s only 12 beds in a little hamlet, you have no choice but to get to know your fellow pilgrims. There’s no other dinner option, but the community dinner, which is served to all 12 of us in a big round table so you can all see each other’s faces and be part of the same conversation. We had pilgrims from Belgium, New Zealand, Korea, Germany, USA, & Canada, but Kim and I were especially glad to be reunited with one of our favorite pilgrims, Mo from Jersey (Not New Jersey, but the island Jersey in the English Channel). He’s my dad’s age, and we figured we wouldn’t see him again when we left him behind amid our big mile days getting to Burgos. And yet, when we arrived at San Bol, there he was to greet us. He was wearing a T-shirt with Darth Vader riding a bike. I like him very much. In all, such a nice fellowship of cozy strangers.