Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
270Trip End May 27, 2010
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Very hot in this one-horse town
Unlike the UK, Sundays are not good days for shopping in Spain, especially as this is a holiday weekend. We had breakfast in St Domingo and then headed to Belorado which is a heady 22kms away! No point in even attempting to get to Burgos as nothing would be open, so we took the easy option
All the way we were on the bloody N120, I'm beginning to hate that road. We have a cycling lane but it stills feels like a very fast road and one you want to get off very quickly. Of course there are no trees for shade so that's even worse, especially when you're hacking up a hill.
Stopped off at one of the many drinking holes (fuente) which is where we met the nun and the priest, and the 2 guys cycling from Liverpool. Alfredo and Marie-Pierre had done the first part of the Camino back in 2004 and now they were doing the second leg, from Sahgun to Santiago. He was an amazing 78 years old with a real glint in his eye, and she was absolutely delightful. Despite being a nun she works for the Border Police on the French Swiss border, working with computers. They both admitted to not being 'very good Christians' and I'm not quite sure what they meant by that (they did look at each other when they said it though) but I really liked them anyway.
The two guys from Liverpool had cycled from Navarette and were looking pretty knackered. One of them had done the whole trip 4 years ago and loved it so much he persuaded his mate to do it with him this time. They were heading for Belorado but we haven't seen them yet.
Some of the refugios (also known as Albergues) are run by the church, some are run by voluntary organisations that receive funding and others are purely independent. Cuatro Camones in Belorado is independent running purely on donations. We stayed here a few years ago when we walked for 10 days with Linda and Mandy but since then they have bought another piece of land at the back of the house and put in a swimming pool. What a luxury! However, it's so hot and without any real shade to speak of only the hardiest can use it.
We've bumped into the Irish couple again (we've discovered they are called Michael and Melissa, or M&M(2) as we already have an M&M - Mike and Maureen). They stopped at Granon last night and the Hospitalers (the caretakers of the refugio) put on a real treat of pasta dinner for everybody (58 people in total) and breakfast for anyone who wanted it this morningl. He was telling us that the refugio was donation only and that the Hospitaler explained to the pilgrims that they could put money in if they could afford it, or, take money out if they needed it. Needless to say, this morning the box was empty, how sad is that. We've come across this mentality before, where people seem to think that the world owes them something. True, there must be many pilgrims who can't afford any luxuries, who have spent all of their money actually getting here to walk the Camino. But you know what, I don't think I've seen many people without mobile phones, iPods or expensive walking equipment and would estimate that most of them drink in beer or Coca Cola the amount of money most refugios would expect as a donation, a measly 5 euros.
Tomorrow is going to be a 50kms day (Burgos), with quite a lot of up, so we'll be setting off early. Dinner tonight will be what we've brought with us, either pasta or potato, tinned mushrooms, half a tin of sweetcorn, half a jar of haricot beans with some garlic and tomato frito to bind it all up with. The good thing about cooking at the refugio is that we're not limited to one 1litre pot and a lid which can be used as a frying pan (or it could until Dave fried eggs in it a few days ago which we're still trying to get off).
Matthew, you'll be pleased to hear that Dave's Everlasts are well and truly torn now (you can see his bottom) so he's thinking of sending them home to you as we know you'll be missing him and his jeans :)