300Km on the Camino (Days 9-13)

Day 9 (Sep 24): Nájera to Santa Domingo de la Calzada, 21.4 Km, 211 Km (Total)

After yesterday’s nearly 30Km jaunt, today was a welcome change at just a bit over 13 miles. The next few days will be relatively short (15 miles or less) so we can recover a bit.

Walking toward the rain…

And we are headed to a town named after a big patron of the Camino, Santo Domingo.

A monument to Santo Domingo

Between breaks in the rain we had views of rolling farmland (mostly grapes).

Vineyards on the way to Santo Domingo

We arrived at our hotel just before the rain really started to come down. After it stopped we toured the cathedral and the clock tower.

Day 10 (Sep 25): Santa Domingo to Belorado, 21.4 Km, 233 Km (Total)

Roberta and I are both sick. Some kind of head cold thing that is hitting Roberta a bit harder than me so she elected to skip this stage and taxi to Belorado. I decided to walk and think it was the right decision as I slowly felt better as the day wore on.

Typical view on day 10

And we left the autonomous region of La Rojia and entered Castilla y León.

Entering Castilla y León

We stopped for lunch at an albergue in Redecilla del Camino that had no menus. They were serving only “omelette sandwiches”. When we tried to pay, the lady said there were no prices, you just pay what you can or want to.

A 12th century baptismal font in the Iglesia Nuestra Senora in Rececilla

We arrived in Belorado around 2:30 to find Roberta comfortably recovering in our hotel.

We walked around a bit after getting cleaned up and discovered at least one other American had preceded us…

Martin who?

… and discovered some very nice wall art.

Day 11 (Sep 26): Belorado to San Juan de Ortega, 24 Km, 257 Km

Rain threatened today but never materialized so we had another nice (but overcast) day with very mild weather (40’s in the morning rising to 60’s in the afternoon). And we are all together again as Roberta is feeling up to hiking!

Camino Art…
… and more Camino Art.

We spent pretty much all morning climbing gently (with a steep section near the end) from 2500′ to over 3700′ before slowly descending to the tiny town of San Juan de Ortega. San Juan was a disciple of Santo Domingo and also dedicated most of his life to the Camino. He built the church and hostel here to protect peregrinos from bandits.

Iglesia de San Juan de Ortega

And we passed another sobering reminder of the Spanish Civil War.

And of course we followed the numerous and varied Camino markers.

Day 12 (Sep 27): San Juan de Ortega to Burgos, 25.9 Km, 283 Km

A bit longer day, 16 miles, to get to the big city of Burgos which is supposed to have an amazing cathedral. So we started before sunrise…

An early start!

The sun rose in about an hour just as we exited a forest. We passed Atapuerca which has a famous archaeological site with evidence of some of the oldest inhabitants of Europe

Day 12 Selfie

We got our first view of Burgos with still 6 miles to go. The last 4 miles were through the outskirts of the city but along a river so very nice.

Our first view of Burgos

And what is the deal with the sunflowers? We’ve seen literally thousands of sunflowers in fields that appear to be dead but not harvested.

Weird field of dead sunflowers.

Burgos is a pretty big city (>100,000) and is famous for their cathedral which is truly amazing. We toured the cathedral before dinner.

Burgos Cathedral

Day 13 (Sep 28): Burgos to Hornillos del Camino, 21 Km, 304 Km

We passed the 300 KM mark!!! And, near the end of the day, we climbed up onto the Meseta . A pretty easy day but it took us forever (it seemed) to get out of Burgos. We did have a lovely view of the west side of the cathedral as we left.

Final view of the Burgos Cathedral (west side)

And they had these metal pilgrims showing the way…

Jason and friend.

Roberta: “This is what you get when you drop acid and decide to sculpt…”

We finally climbed up onto the Meseta near the end of the day. The Meseta is a plain (rolling hills) of farmland and few features.

First view on the Meseta

And then down into a small valley and Hornillos del Camino,

View of Hornillos del Camino , other peregrinos and our home for the night.

2 thoughts on “300Km on the Camino (Days 9-13)”

  1. Re sunflowers: they aren’t harvested “until the back of the heads turn yellow and the outer tracts are about 80 percent brown,” according to my “research.” It takes a long time for the seeds to dry.


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