Every cloud has a silver lining

Trip Start Apr 18, 2009
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19
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Trip End May 19, 2009


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Where I stayed
Cabildo

Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Castile-León,
Thursday, May 7, 2009

As rough as I felt yesterday it is pleasing that things have actually turned out quite well. For one thing I feel much better today and even managed a good breakfast of (safe) carbohydrates and juice.

I also slept well: just prior to putting my head on the pillow I switched on the TV to catch the final 4 minutes of a soccer match between Chelsea and Barcelona, which Barcelona won in injury time. Within seconds of the final whistle blowing the city outside my window erupted in a cacophany of noise as locals celebrated the win. Once again I was grateful for my wax earplugs and the next thing I knew it was 8 hours later.

Yesterday when I arrived in Burgos on the bus I noticed that my bicycle chain had fallen off. So this morning I took the bike along to a repair shop where they replaced the over-stretched chain and serviced the other bits, including ironing out a slightly buckled rear wheel. It just goes to show that even with the best of equipment problems do occur. And what a good thing that I had the time available to get it fixed. I also had time to book accommodation for the next three nights and do some work on the route. Along with getting some washing done, sterilising my water bottles (arnīt I a good boy!) and a little food shopping, plus updating the blog and seeking out a restaurant for this evening AND doing some sight-seeing, the enforced days off have proved an unexpected bonus.

I have decided that I like Burgos and am really pleased to have stopped here - in fact a few more days would be nice :-) I love the people, the atmosphere, the history (the legendary El Cid lived here!), the parks and monuments; in fact there is little that I have found to dislike. However, the city really could do more to mark the Camino de Santiago as it passes through the city. I have overheard pilgrims expressing frustration at being unable to find the route. So, armed with a map I set about looking for signs and found them in the form of occasional ceramic plaques mounted high on buildings, bronze plates on the ground and random hand-painted yellow arrows. Having experienced the superb arrangments in Pamplona I really do think Burgos could and should do better than hand-painted yellow arrows. I have included some photos of the hard-to-find signs.

The cityīs cathedral is massive and hugely impressive. The sheer scale of it brought to mind the story of Dubai and its flag: when originally flown apparently the largest in the world. That is until its neighbour, Abu Dhabi, got wind of this record-breaking flag and immediately set about erecting one of its own, but even bigger! And so I reflected on the sort of competition that must have gone on between competing cities over the size of their cathedrals. I wonder who won.

Tonight I will venture out to try some local food and wine (I know, I know - but I canīt come all this way and ride through the Rioja wine region without at least tasting the stuff, along with some of their food.) And once again I will enjoy strolling through the centre, which if itīs anything like last night, will be full of local people, mainly families, taking the warm evening air.
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