“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
Today we did 90 Kilometers – In Burgos we went for Churros for breakfast, we were there for close to half an hour as they do not make the batter for the Churros till you order it, it was early, before 6.30 – The plan today was to do two walking stages or about 50 KM. By 11:30 we had already done close to 40KM, when we stopped off and bought a couple of sandwiches, In this town we were able to pick out our own cheese, and meats and the much needed mayonnaise for the dry bread. We sat in the restaurant and enjoyed an hour of rest. There we met 3 guys from Burgos which were also doing the Camino on bicis. We saw each other every few stops for the next couple of days. We would stop for a snack and they would pass us up, or they would stop for a beer and we would pass them up giving the greeting of Buen Camino.
Once they were passing us up when I got a flat tire, they did stop and ask if they could help, but I told them we were OK, since I had just bought an extra inner tube in Burgos the day before. But we were now out of good inner tubes so at the next town I stopped and fixed the extra just in case there was a flat tire in a bad spot to stop at. While we stopped for sandwiches the guys from Burgos told us they planned on riding to Carrion de los Condes which was about 25-30 more KMs, without telling Jessy how far it was to Carrion, I told her we could probably ride another 2-3 hours. She said she was up to it; all the hills were done for the day and the Burgos guys told me it was either flat or downhill the rest of the way today.
One of the guys told me that he had stopped at a certain albergue before and he said it was a nice albergue at a small village where you could buy food and cook it in the albergue kitchen. We rode pretty much together the rest of the day, when we got into Carrion we followed them into Refugio Espiritu Santo and were happy to be following someone that knew the area. It was a convent for nuns that much of their jobs were to help out the peregrinos on their journey. We were greeted at the door by a nun in her 70’s with a lot of energy, but having a difficult time staying focused on either the three guys from Burgos or the two of us. We paid the 5 Euros and received our stamp. After locking up our bikes, we got our beds and got cleaned up. Jessy saw the kitchen and decided she wanted to cook dinner for us that evening. Keep in mind that just about all Albergues had a small shared kitchen were one could cook their own meals. Jessy went into the kitchen and saw they had spices that were shared, so we walked up the street to a supermercado and bought sausage, pasta, corn and some candy for desert. Tonight we said we would drink water, no wine nor soft drinks.
The kitchen was small and very crowded. There was an Italian group cooking as well and other groups coming in and out as they arrived to either warm up a bite to eat or cook. Jessy got the water going for the pasta, while I cut the sausage; she then cooked up the sauce with the sausage. We both shared in the cooking and in about 20 minutes we were eating. Jessy found a coke in the fridge and I found some cream cheese that tasted a little off, but I was so hungry it did not matter, later on as my stomach was off a little; I think I should have looked at the expiration date on the cream cheese. After dinner we went on a walk into the town and walked in a church where we caught the end of the peregrino mass.
It was very moving, as the towns’ people sat towards the middle back and the pilgrims were allowed to sit up front. The blessing was done in Spanish and English and at the end the Priest called out countries represented at the mass and people would raise their hands when their country was called out. After the mass, the nuns spoke and said a prayer over us, to safeguard us on our pilgrimage. Each of us one at a time walked up to the altar to be blessed as the nuns sang and played the guitar in the background. We each were given a star to represent being guided on our Compostela, The Milky Way or alignment of stars which guided St. James. After the service Jessy and I headed back to the Albergue, Jessy went to sleep almost right away; I sat out my morning coffee packages to be ready in the morning. Today we did about 20 KMs on the road and about 70 on the trails with all the walkers, we were just about halfway done with the trip and had 7 days to finish before having to return to Barcelona. We were very glad to have followed the guys from Burgos into this experience.