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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Starting the Meseta

Last night we stayed in Burgos. The old city is very beautiful and really is like the film El Cid. The city is a walking museum to El Cid and the Knights Templar. We went to mass in the cathedral, Santa Maria, 13th century and the second biggest in Spain. If the city centre is beautiful the outskirts are the complete opposite. This urban jungle is soul destroying to walk through and actually feels quite intimidating. Today was scheduled to be a rest day but due to the cold and wet weather we decided to continue walking.  I think we are morphing in to Forrest Gumps. The start of today's walk was quite pleasant. It was flat and quiet for about 6K until we reached Tarjados where we left behind the built environment and entered the wilderness of the dreaded Meseta. There is little or no shade on the Meseta  and habitations are few and far between. It is semi desert and water is scarce. Because of the intense heat and the dust the Meseta is thought by some as the hardest part of the whole Camino. Today in freezing conditions we left Hornillos and made the long climb to Alto Meseta. This was tough but we didn't know what was in front of us. After a few kilometres the path became a sea of mud. The recent rains had turned the dry dust into mud that clung to your boots and made your feet feel like ton weights.
For over 10 K we struggled up this slippery slope, constantly loosing our footing and fighting for  breath.  It was a tired group who finally made it to Hontas where we found a really great Albergue. This time of day is now all about patching ourselves up in readiness for tomorrow. Mary has blisters to attend to and I have developed a lump on my left shin. I believe that the only thing keeping us going is the support for our charities. Who would have thought you would or indeed could get weather as severe as this in Spain? You are all having a heat wave and we are cold and freezing, in a desert. Is God or someone having a laugh?  C

Spain has had the most dreadful recession and I think Burgos is testament to that. Walking through the outskirts , business after business is closed.  Due to the torrential rain and cold we had to buy new raincoats.  Full length,long sleeves,hood and a big hump on the back so that it fits over you and your back pack.  Probably not a fashion that will catch on but needs must in these conditions.  My P20 is right at the bottom of my pack and has yet to see the light of day.  Today was tough but I enjoyed it.  And that in itself is worrying.  M.

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