Monday June 16 Burgos
We are still in Burgos, the financial capital of Spain, and it is very cold here. It might not be very cold but after the heat we had coming in, it seems that way. Deb spent the whole day under cover.
We met the sweetest girl today named Alejandrina Correa from Chili. She spoke Spanish and was our interpreter for most of the day. You meet people who just seem like genuine nice people here and Ali was definitely one of them. She came into the little bar across from the alburgue to charge her phone while D and I were eating deseyuna (breakfast) and the plug was by us so we invited her to sit with us. She is a college student who decided to walk the Camino in her summer break. She went with us to find out if we could take a bus over part of the meseta that has no towns. We have taken a taxi but it usually costs about 50 and a bus for the same area costs about 5. The bus ticket office was closed so we decided to go see the Castillo until it opened.
She had injured her leg several days before and had to go to the hospital. The dr. told her if she didn’t rest for two or three days, she would not be able to continue. She took the bus to Burgos and rested here for two more days. She says she will walk twenty km tomorrow, but will take it slow. She also helped our Korean friends at the bus station while we were there. It is amazing how many people we have already met, who keep popping up later on the Camino.
Anyway we went to the Castillo (Castle) of Burgos and took the tour. It was about 2 km up the hill but everyone made it okay. I really hope that the boys got the chance to tour it, it was very impressive. The tour guide was very good, he said this was his first English tour of the year but to me he spoke very well. Ali said it is easier in Spain for her to hear English than Spanish even though she speaks fluently.
The tour guide led us down some steps to a well in the castle, I thought most of the castle was underground, but the castle is no more. He told us about when the people in the city were fighting with the people in the castle. I didn’t catch everything because when I am on a tour I look at everything and sometimes miss what they say. But something with the church and the castle people, whatever it was it was pretty cool. The well was dug down to the river at 70 meters but they hit another thing of water at 63. There were steps around the well leading all the way down, it was as deep as a football field I think, and the steps went clockwise and counterclockwise. He said this was because if you went one direction all the time it would mess up your equilibrium.
Well the people in the city of Burgos were fighting the castle people and couldn’t breach the walls. If a castle has a good well they can last for a long time under siege. So the people of Burgos decided to tunnel under the ground to the well and contaminate the water so the people in the castle would have to come out for water. The castillions found out their plan and dug contra tunnel to intercept the Burgosians. There were many many feet of tunnels left and every time the tunnels would intersect there would be a bloody battle underground. We got to walk through a bunch of the tunnels.
He told us that when the tunnels, which were through solid rock by the way, would meet it would leave an entrance to the castle, so they had to block it somehow. Two of the ways they did this was with some traps we got to see. The Castillians dug a deep pit about 50 feet deep and covered it with a false floor, so when anyone walked over it they fell to their deaths. There was a second tunnel to the floor of the trap to dispose of the bodies. Another trap was only about 10 feet deep and relied on a giant boulder to roll in and crush them. A little gruesome.
We went back into town and went back into the alburgue. You are only allowed to stay one night in the municipal ones unless you are injured but D and I had already been told we could stay again, and since Ali wasn’t completely healed they let her stay also. We got cleaned up and Ali and D took naps.
Afterwards D and I went out and ran into all kinds of people we knew. Bernie the Irishman who is with the “I’ll push you” guys, His friend Joe with them also. John the Irishman who uses taxis to get him back to where his luggage is, but he is walking every step, just using taxis to take him back to his starting points. But our favorite two were Lisa and Amy. We keep seeing them and just love them. They decided we needed to go eat so off we went to find something when we ran into Richard the Australian who was off on his own. I had gone with him to find a camping store while Deb rested earlier and we had shared a washer and dryer because neither of us had a full load.
As we walked to the plaza around the corner came Ursulla from Germany who we had seen several times. She came up and gave us hugs but she had been sick and was staying with a friend until she was better. She introduced us to her friend and Lisa asked for a good place to eat that was not expensive. He showed us a place for tapas, 2 for 1€ but said some friends of his had a restaurant that would be open in about an hour. Then he said maybe we can get you in early. We went with him, he got us in early, and we had one of the best meals on the Camino. Lisa and Amy make eating so enjoyable, we just love spending time with them.
After about a 2 hour dinner we went back to the alburgue and with the help of Ali, made arrangements to have our mucilla (baggage) sent ahead for 9€ to Hontanas. This makes it where D can get much more distance with the chair. Then off to bed up at 6:00 to be on the way.