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Atapuerca to Burgos

image The hostal that I am currenty staying in is nearly empty, so there is just my friend Joaquin and I in one room. Sheer luxury! Over the past three day’s I have had an increasing amount of backpain. Luckily I had anticipated this so I have an adequate supply of strong painkillers with me and took one for the first time yesterday. Like everybody else on this journey, I am paying the price a little, but its more than worth it. I feel good and I am looking forward to starting out this morning! image The local shop, that also serves breakfast, will not open untill 8:00 am today because there are not many pilgrims around at the moment, so I don’t have to get up until 7:00 am. It’s just a pity that I woke up at 5:00 am! Still, I had a good 7 hours sleep last night… image Remember the Louis Armstrong strong song, What a Wonderful World? Well, thats how it felt this morning. For the first time since setting out, no rain! Just sunshine. No doubt the sunshine will be a challenge in the days to come, but for now its a blessing. image The way into Burgos proper seamed to take forever, as we took the longer, more scenic route, it could have been worse I suppose. image When we arrived the albergue it was still closed, so Joaquin and I decided to have lunch, which consisted of garlic soup, black pudding (blood sausage) and milky rice (rice pudding). Again… Mmmm… image image I was planning on staying in Burgos a couple of days, but feet, mind and soul allowing, I will move on tomorrow and walk 33 km. further. The day after I may stay at a friends house in a small village for a day or two. I decided what to cook next Thursday, some good old fashioned ‘Spanish’ food, “hutspot met klapstuk”! 😉 image

Belorado to Atapuerca

image After a great evening in good company and a good night’s sleep I am on the road again. Today will be a hilly climb of about 27 km and I plan to add an extra 6 km to the stage to enable me to arrive in Burgos at around midday tomorrow. image During the past three days I have spent much of the time walking alone. However I ran into a couple of fellow pilgrims when I stopped in St. Juan de Ortega for lunch. The Burgos region is famous for its black pudding (blood sausage), and you know the saying, when in Rome… Another regional dish is garlic soup, made from garlic, hot peppers, stale bread eggs and water and as I found out this evening, very delicious it is too. image Along the way I came accross as Spanish pilgrim who was traveling with his donkey and his dog. The man e plained to me that was camping, a brave soul considering the night temparature which has been close to freezing. I think he also said that the donkey knows the way to Santiago, either that or the donkey is travelling on its own to Santiago. As the former seems more plausible I will assume that is what he said. image Yesterday I started to develop my first blister and this evening I threaded a needle and thread through it to drain the fluid overnight. Tomorrow morning I will take out the thread and tape the blister up. Hopefully this should deal with it. I am now just a short 20 km walk from Burgos. Although I am not looking forward to the walk through the suberbs, I am really looking forward to seeing the old centre of the city. image

Santo Domingo de Calzada to Belorado

image Have you ever spent a night in a room with all the windows closed with 41 other people breathing, snoring, farting and tossing and turning? Not to menion the aroma of pilgrim, a strange sweet sickly smell mixed in with the smell of Spanish foot and muscle creams that smells a bit like old fashioned germolean cream. Well I did last night. Funny thing is, that apart from the splitting headache I slept rather well. image The headache went as soon as fresh air hit my nostrils. I was ready to roll. I won’t bore you with the details of the day, other than to say that I walked 22 km and arrived at the albergue at 12:30 pm. Oh, I saw a whole bunch of delapidated building in various stage of their metamorphosis along the way, something I really enjoy looking at. image Tomorrow’s walk may be more intersting, especially if the albergue at my destination is closed, as I have heard it will be. image I had promised to cook this evening and I don’t think I disappointed. Together with a fellow pilgrim called Maria I managed to reduce the cooking time of my ‘quick’ coq au vin rouge recipe to less than two hours! The lady at the butchers shop was amazing, her contribution to the dish was not insignificant. Not only the two chickens were excellant, she cut it into pieces for me thus saving me a lot of time. And the quality bacon, well, I almost wept! image Unfortunatly some of the people I have met these past few days ended up at different albergues this evening, although we managed yo invite our Korean and Japanese friends for dinner, the Mexicans were absent as were the Muros and others. image

Nájera to Santo Domingo de Calzada

image I am beginning to find the morning ritual in the albergue somewhat amusing. Everybody wakes up at round 6:00 a.m. Then proceeds to stumble about in the dark with a little lamp trying not to wake all the other pilgrims. The funny things is that we all do this simultaneously, well, more or less. Why not just turn on the lights! image Today was like no other. Along with a couple of other pilgrims I was planning to extend todays walk by an extra 6 kilometers, but changed my mind because of the weather. Not that I am complaining mind, the walk was amazing, especially once I got up to speed. Not only did it rain today, there was an icy cold wind, a hail storm an in snowed. image Over the past week, several people have for various reasons bowed out of the camino, and over the past three days the remaining members of our camino family have become separated. However it is looking likely that almost everybody will all be together this evening as people show up that I haven’t seen since Sunday of Monday. No doubt there will be a party atmosphere this evening in the albergue. image As the distance for tomorrow’s walk is not so great, I will attempt to cook coq au vin rouge for about 26-20 of my camino vriends and aquantences.

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