Day Forty Two

Yesterday my mind was on the road and getting to my destination, nothing else mattered and so my entry reflected that.
Today is a different story…
The storms of last night had not cleared this morning. If anything the rain was lingering.
Six thirty and we begin our ascent over the peaks that stand between us and San Juan de Ortega. I wear my poncho for the third time in over a month. The rain is light but it’s constant. Our path is muddy and steep in places, but enjoyable all the same. The weather reminds me of home.
Today my mind races between the choices I need to make when I return home. Where do I want to live? What do I want to do? I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it, but it’s pinpointing what I should do… I’d like to do something more constructive, you know, something that benefits others. At the same time, I realise I am very good in hospitality and it would be great to have a small business of my own. But then, I trained in media, I worked in photography, I follow the entertainment industry closely… I’ve also worked in stage and sound production and as a pyrotechnician, I would say I’m fairly creative?! These thoughts play over in my head all day! Aaargh…my head turns to mush…
Meanwhile, we stop for a quick coffee in San Juan de Ortega before continuing. We’ve discussed trying to make it to Burgos today, it’s 40km… We pass through Agés, Atepuerca (where they discovered a fossilised prehistoric man), before making our way up onto what’s supposed to be open heathlands. It’s more like a scene from ’28 days later’, menacing barbwire fencing but placed like it’s holding something in rather than preventing trespassing. A crow calls, watching from it’s perch on a large cross, more scatter from behind the barbwire. The heathland is rocky and barren. As we approach our decent, Burgos is visible, and doesn’t look that far away. Unfortunately for us, the way does a huge loop passing through another three or four villages before following the main road into Burgos. We arrived in the centre at 3pm, my feet and legs ached. The tourist information was closed until 4pm. Cold and tired I was in no mood to sit and wait so I treat myself to a cheap but nice hotel. Just under 30€ for a room, I believe I deserve the treat after today’s walk!
After freshening up, we head to the cathedral and explore. The cathedral is stunning, as grand if not more grand than many I’d seen in Rome.
On the way back to the hotel we bump into two ladies Gus had wanted me to meet, he’d met them some days ago. I didn’t get their names, but they live in the Lakes (where I grew up). It turns out, one lives in Brigsteer just near Crosthwaite and her nieces went to the school my mum used to teach at. The other lady is originally from Somerset and bizarrely went to school with my cousin Tara in Wellington or Taunton…!?! Random…
It’s been a long day, I’m tired, my feet hurt, my head spins with thoughts and ideas.

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About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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