El Camino de Santiago from Burgos to Leon

We really enjoyed our time in Burgos exploring the city, resting and taking care of ourselves and meeting up with our Camino Amigos who also happen to be in the city. It still amazes us how our fellow pilgrims come and go. Stopping for one day allows some of them to catch up with us and others move on ahead. Being a larger city many other people also take an off day and we tend to stay together for another few days.

As we leave Burgos today we will have our first glimpse of the Spanish Meseta which is the large flat plateau of central Spain. We will be walking for 120km or 75 miles across the Meseta. It is known for its long boring stretches which can be brutally hot in summer with no shade and very cold in winter with gusty winds. Fortunately we are here in fall and the weather should not be an issue.

Leaving our hotel at 07:40. This is our traditional picture in front of the hotel to remind us to start our watches to record our statistics for the day. We are heading for Hornillos about 13 miles away.
Fortunately we ran into quite a few other pilgrims this morning as there was roadwork being done blocking our way and we all had to figure out a detour together.
Another picture of Oscar who is also walking the Camino.
The beginning of the Meseta.
Lovely homes in this town with beautiful flower boxes and family crest above the door
So many great murals on the buildings.
The Meseta is not completely flat but has rolling hills.
Sandy and Baxter.
Entering Hornillos, the end of this days easy walk.
This is Katie who is from Boston. We lost track of her after a few days.
13 miles as promised and fairly flat.
There is always a bar next to the church in all the towns which is where we stop and have a beer and snack.
Our room in Hornillos. We never unpack our suitcases or put things away in closets or drawers as it makes it easier to leave the next day and not forget anything. We are so proud of the fact that after 30 different stays we have not left anything behind.
07:45 starting photo. Walking 12.5 miles to Castrojeriz.
We passed this grandmother from Australia who is walking a portion of the Camino with her 10 year old grandson. She met her Dutch husband while walking the Camino many years ago. She was waiting in line for an albergue in Belorado and he was in front of her. He had walked out of his home in Holland and walked all the way through Europe. They now have three children and six grand children. She started this Camino in Belorado.
Pilgrims love to make rock piles, especially around the base of Camino crosses.
It sometimes seems like the miles go by so slowly but It makes such a difference when you meet someone and start talking then miles go by much faster. We enjoy meeting and sharing stories with other pilgrims. It seems like everyone we met had a story to tell.
The old Spanish towns that we walk through are so interesting and yet so often they seem like ghost towns with the only activity coming from pilgrims and the pilgrim bars. This is Hontanas.
And, yes, they all have churches where we light candles on our religious journey hoping to protect us during our walk.
Sometimes there are no other pilgrims insight for a long time. Sandy refers to this as the appearing and disappearing pilgrims.
These are ruins of The Monastery of St. Anton.
Castrojeriz is at the base of that mountain.
A brief stretch of tree lined lanes leading into town. Sandy’s pack was too heavy that day, see how she is listing to the right.
That is the castle of Castrojeriz on top of the hillock. Baxter hiked up to it on one of his previous Camino’s. We will not be expending any extra energy to hike up there.
Impressive church for a relatively small town.
Exquisite Rose Window of the Church
Just over the promised 12.5 miles.
We had dinner with Baxter and met Sheri from Indiana who works for big Pharma. We only saw her a couple of other times before we lost touch.
Sheri took this photo of us.
We forgot our starting picture today but this is at sunrise about 08:30. Todays walk is 15.5 miles to Fromista.
Jim is trying a smaller rucksack as he was quite worn out by the few hills of yesterday. Sandy is carrying all of the weight.
A field of sunflowers all withered and dry due to drought conditions.
A lot of fall colors today.
Leaving the province of Burgos and entering Palencia.
Beautiful woodlands along our route today.
Alfalfa fields which have to be watered.
Someone created a smiley face on this sunflower.
The contrasting colors of the Meseta.
It is rare to see any trees with red or orange foliage.
The long roads of the Meseta beckon us for miles.
A shared nonalcoholic beer before we tackle the last three miles.
Old swayback.
Our last few miles were along this lovely canal.
Nice reflection of this building in the canal.
Locks at the end of the canal.
Arrival to our final destination today.
15.5 turned into 16. Jim did better with less weight.
Dinner again with Baxter in Fromista. The girl at the next table is Emily from Texas that we met on the trail today.
Church of San Marin de Fromista, a Romanesque Benedictine Convent.
Starting out from Fromista around 8:00 heading for Carion de los Condes, only 12 miles.
Unusual sculpture.
The foliage of Spain
A big herd of sheep in the distance.
Sandy walked with Marilia from Brazil for several miles today and she gave us her contact info as we plan to live in São Paolo some day.
We ran into Brad and Ronnie (Perth, Australia) at our rest stop.
Iglesia de Santa Maria la Blanca
There are nice Pilgrim sculptures in many towns.
Town Hall of Carion de los Condes.
12 miles turned into 13.
Petra from Sweden and Rebecca from Wisconsin. We will spend a lot of time with them over the next few weeks.
Leaving at 07:40 heading for Calzadilla de las Cueza, only 10 miles.
Only two pictures from the walk today.
The Guardia Civil were stamping our pilgrim passports as we enter the town.
We are stopping a few miles earlier than Baxter so we may not see him again.
Beautiful young people of the Camino. Handsome Hugo from Brazil is always with different gals each day, The two girls are from Tel Aviv.
Ran into Hugh and Frances (Sydney, Australia) at this rest stop. They will end up being the most reoccurring people in our lives. Met them on our second night and had our final meal in Santiago with them.
So 10 miles turned into 11 but still a very easy day. Forgot to stop the watch so less than five hours.
Our room with a lovely view.
Our Hostal for the night, our room circled in green.
Interior of the Hostal.
Making Sangria for Sandy.
Since we had such a short day we were able to walk around this tiny town.
We like this picture because of the ancient church framed by 21st century technology.
Heading out in the dark again.14 miles to Sahagun today.
Walking by the light of the moon.
Directional arrows created by some pilgrims who have a thing for rocks. We always wonder how they have the energy or time for this. Our focus while walking is the next pilgrim or the next bar.
Bloody Meseta just keeps going on and on.
Arriving in Sahagun.
Less than the expected 14 miles, yea.
View from our room on Plaza Mayor.
7:30 departure heading for El Burgo Ranero, 11 miles.
We ran into Brad from Perth who was heading for the train station as he had very bad shin splints. He was going to Leon while his wife Ronnie was walking.
City gate in Sahagun.
Another Roman bridge.
Sandy power walking to get to the next bar ahead of the group on the left. Of course she beat them by a few minutes.
At the next bar we ran into Ronnie from Perth who is walking alone because Brad took the train.
We met this fun crew at the start of our walk today. From left to right Charlie, a pediatric neurologist from London, Milly a pediatrician from Minnesota and her husband Steve a scientist. They met on the first day of the Camino and have walked every day together since.
More graffiti from Sandy,
Jim adding his own type of graffiti.
This is Bernice from Illinois who recently graduated from Harvard. We ran into her numerous times and even gave her medicines when she was sick. The other girl is Christy from Germany.
Just under 11 miles, easy day.
This is the halfway certificate we received in Sahagun.
Heading out before sunrise AGAIN. 12 miles to Mansilla de Las Mulas.
A farmer ploughing his fields before sunrise.
The good thing about an early start is we get to see some beautiful sunrises.
This is our last day walking the flat endless Meseta.
A tired pilgrim statue.
A tired real pilgrim.
Probably our last easy day.
Our rustic Hostal for the night.
Quite charming.
Leon is only 11 miles away but the walk from city outskirts to city center is industrial and boring. We have not had a rest day for nine days so we decided to take a bus. It was too early in the morning for the bus or taxi so these two guys in a bread delivery truck offered us a ride into Leon.There are so many acts of kindness for the pilgrims from people along the Camino route.

We arrived in Leon early morning and have two days off from walking in a lovely hotel.

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