Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

Links to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimages are on the navigation links to the right of the web page.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 1 - Camino de Santiago - Madrid to Burgos and the challenges begin already

I was disappointed that there was no Burgos bus leaving, as described online, every half hour. Finally took off 10:45am. I got in Burgos just after 1pm, got rest waiting, and realized I somehow already lost my back brace. I must have left it on the plane but don't recall taking it out. I was told I'd be leaving things behind on the Camino, but I haven't even left the airport.

Burgos is a small city that was once an ecclesiastical powerhouse. I started by checking into my Marriott hotel. Not very humble no doubt, but I wanted to hit the ground running tomorrow without jetlag. A comfortable bed will certainly help.

Then I went with a walk about the cathedral, more or less across the street. Lovely. Somewhat over the top but in a wonderful Gothic way. It was far more French than I realized and as spectacular as I imagined.

Then I walked 3km to Decathlon, a sporting goods store. Got almost all I needed, including a replacement back brace.

While walking back, I had a great view but also I got my first injury. It's a gorgeous 30C day but I was walking over dirt, tripped on my newish hiking sandals, twisted my left ankle some, and tore up my right knee. The blood stopped more or less but it's going to be a challenge to get me to focus focus focus at all times.

I went over to the Museum of evolution and got a Peregrino discount. The Atapuerca dig is just a short distance away so they had original fossils and artifacts of the first humanoids in Europe. What a marvelous way to begin a journey: studying the first explorers of this continent!

Then I visited the Cathedral. I got my first pilgrim stamp! I was quite happy to get that first one on my credentials. Unfortunately, the Cathedral doesn't give a discount on your first day. Nonetheless, it was stunning and a marvelously weird blend of French, German, and Spanish influences inside. Not bad for a building started in 1221. I stayed much longer than expected.

I walked back to the hotel and washed the bloody leg. I then ran (sort of) back to the cathedral to catch the Rosario and misa.

The rosary was awesome. Someone get my mom and dad here; they would have loved it. I was floating on air. Then the mass came and, though the homily went on a touch too long, it was lovely. Lots of older folks and peregrinos. Best part were all the prayers for us pilgrims. I got teary at them. Worst part was this priest's voice while singing. I got teary at him.

I walked around looking for pilgrim tourist trinkets but found nothing. I did enjoy sitting around the river walk and Plaza Major.

Realizing I hadn't eaten since breakfast on the plane, I finally grabbed a bite at Copas Rotas, an everything under 4 euro bar and cafe. Had pieces of pollo, patatas, y vino tinto de Navarre - todos sin gluten. All for 3 euro! Then had one final treat of a 2.50 euro froyo

Having gotten my initial mass and meal down, it's time for vesper prayers

Now it's time to rest, for the adventure begins in the morning.


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