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Follow here my journey and stories around the World. 


Filtering by Tag: Belorado

Day 7: Belorado - Hornillos del Camino

Ivan Blanco

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Starting the day in a place where its name seems to combine a legendary gold seekers' destination (El Dorado), and the starting letters of Italian beauty or puppies' name, another great Camino day deemed to be happening again!

As it usually happens for bike pilgrims, having the room just for us, we woke up quite late. So we had a quick but plenty breakfast and wished a heartfelt goodbye to our brief but dear companion Jürgen (check day 6 for more info). Jürgen followed his path that would bring him up to the Northern route, crossing the magnificent "Picos de Europa" (see here some of his posts), visit Santiago obviously, then down all the way to southern Portugal and ending his trip in Granada (check here his parkour). That's how he completed what was his Jürgen's Weg (the Jürgen's Way), an impressive 4 weeks ride, bravo my friend

"Danke für deine Zeit Jürgen und ich hoffe unsere Radwege kreuzen sich irgendmal wieder! LG!"

Once back to the initial "Ondiñas" team, the happiness and joy of the Camino brought by the people you meet, the experiences you live, the beautiful landscapes, food and much more, made what had to occur at some point or another, our vocal cords' vibrations, or better known by most as: singing. So it was that with high doses of endorphins we starte to sing along the Camino! Going from some general drinking songs, to some Catalan, some Basque and a few Galician ones. We finally ended up with a particular one that somhow became our favourit: Ondiñas! (click here to hear the full song)

It is a song that basically sings to little waves that come and go and to Rianxeira (more info here in Spanish only). It is one of the most popular Galician folk songs, which awakens many positive emotions to both local as well as immigrant Galicians all over the World. This hymn of Galician culture and sort of symbol of our final destination became, this way, our Camino song and team name.  

Bike backpackers!

Although this initially more Galician moment, Catalan soon took over the scene when we crossed fellow bikers from Girona. Their peculiarity was not only their strong strong Catalan accent but the size and placement of their luggage, they were literally carrying backpackers backpacks... yes, the huge ones! Although they were dancing from one side to the other on their backs, they were happy with it and it was one great conversation starter.

After this, our path took us again to natural and beautiful landscapes, in this case, of the Burgos region. Between some happy jumping sessions and amazing trees, we unfortunately stumbled across bikers' least desired outcomes: flat tyres! 

Two paths one way

Actually, we already had a flat tyre the day before, Maitane's wheel punctured, but as a team we quickly managed. So, who was it going to be this time? Well, it struck Maitane's bike again. Although the initial bummer of another flat tyre, it allowed me to take one unique tree picture and have a ride back to assist Maitane without carrying my luggage. However, changing the tyre this time was quite more tricky, the valve was of a very thin type and blowing it was very difficult, but thanks to a patrol from the Civil Protection passing by, they helped us and managed to pump it up so we could roll again.

Eight recommendation for the Camino: always carry spare parts and the right tools, you'll never know when you need them. And, don't fear asking for help, people are more willing to than you might imagine.

Cathedral of Burgos

Following these setbacks, we reached the historic city of Burgos, but be advised, there are two possible paths: the beautiful river side one or the rather ugly and industrialized one which crosses the city's industrial site. Where if not enough, you may be literally overrun by a car... yes, a car! I was hit when it was exiting a car park, the driver was simply looking the other way. But remembering the message of my first Camino recommendation, that everything has a solution, the initial shock wasn't a big deal. I didn't even fall and only my luggage took the hit. So on we went with our Camino after what is now just another anecdote.

After overcoming the initial ugliness, we soon came to reach the full beauty of Burgos and, obviously, it's famous blood sausages "Morcilla de Burgos". They differentiate themselves from common blood sausages because they are mixed with rice to make up one delicious combination (more info here; Spanish only).

Burgos blood sausages, delicious!

Concluding yet another gourmet moment, when we were heading out of the city, rain came to join the show but very mildly. When we were almost reaching the end of the journey, our least desired friend visited us again: Mr. Puncture! And guess what, as in a movie like sequel, it hit Maitane's bike a third time again .

Like many trilogies, it did it in a really epic way, it punctured with...

Yes, I like giving surprises and I like to keep the suspense. But don't worry, you just need to stay tuned for day 8 to discover who's the most epic Mr. Puncture ever!

Day 6: Navarrete - Belorado

Ivan Blanco

Español aquí

Surprises is what I could call the night in Navarrete.

Followed by pouring rain that almost turned the streets into rivers, we the "Ondiñas" team went back to our albergue to find a few surprises for me: my most favorite T-Shirt, which everyone was loving on the Camino, had decided to take a faster transport method: it flew away with the crazy storm we just had. But don't worry, it doesn't like to travel alone, it took my underwear too as its companion. While, just in case, looking for it in Navarrete's streets, I discovered one beautiful poem written on a wall next to our albergue, but I didn't take any photo nor tell anyone. I consciously didn't want to, because sometimes it's better to keep a few experiences for ourselves and simply enjoy the raw beauty of it. If you're curious anyway, then you'll have to do the Camino and look for it. Hence, two surprises don't come alone, I found a new person willing to take part in my photo interview project too. This time it was a local, Aitor, who runs the albergue and actually also did the Camino, but with one major difference... Barefoot! Yet, another impressive story was added to my project.

Seventh recommendation for the Camino: you don't need a selfie with everything, appreciate the beauty of this World with your eyes first.

Ensuing the stormy night, rain saluted us again the next morning while we were still having breakfast. Maybe motivated by my flying T-Shirt, I also decided to send directly to Santiago all the excess luggage I was carrying (see the Spanish Post's offer here; info in Spanish only), I actually had 5 1/2 kg too much which I could easily go on without. No wonder I suffered so much on the treacherous route de Cize on my first Camino day!

Best wine grapes ever!

Saying goodbye to the pleasant Navarrete, we escaped the rain after only a 20 min. ride and to what would be one really hot day. Crossing again the beautiful vineyards of La Rioja region, I couldn't resist the temptation to take a few grapes and... they are glorious! Their freshness and taste are like nothing I ever tried before. If you're doing the Camino in September, don't pass the chance to try them, you won't be disappointed, but don't have a meal either, remember, it's someone's crop.

The happy and lovely Maurice

Going on after this gourmet experience, at some point I saw a fellow pilgrim that I just wanted to photograph. The scenery where we were and his expression just invited me to do so. He happily agreed and that's what started my conversation with Maurice, who is a Frenchmen from the North. He actually was quite exhausted from the hard sun and the Camino itself, I asked him if he needed something and he didn't have any water nor food left, so I gave him a few grapes I still had and filled up his bottle which he almost drunk in one sip! I was left with just half a litre but I was glad to help out a fellow pilgrim and to meet him, plus, I also had my picture. "Merci et bonne route Maurice !"

Not long afterwards, we were going to make another Camino friend. At some resting point near Santo Domingo de la Calzada, we met Jürgen from Germany. He was doing his own Camino, starting from Hameln (Northern Germany) and heading later to Portugal. Thanks to this moment, his 4 weeks pedalling story is now part of my photo project too and we added a new member to the "Ondiñas" team that day. If you wish to know more about "Jürgen's Weg" and check the other beautiful places he visited, you can read his German blog here.

Bendy paths of the Camino

Riding along with the biggest bike group I've ever been till, we all had Belorado as our common destination. We stayed at the first albergue that had a whopping swimming pool, billiard, living room, full equipped kitchen and more! (check Albergue A Santiago). Being it also the first town of the Burgos province, we tried to find a supermarket before they closed to get some good wine and the regional cheese "Queso fresco de Burgos". It was sunset and it was almost closing time, so we had to literally run, which was really difficult because of the beautiful town distracting us quite often.

The Boots Bender!

Even so, we did it just in time with the supermarket closing on us and we bought one amazing goat cheese, the fresh Burgos one and an excellent La Rioja wine with an ideal name for the Camino: "Tuerce Botas" (=The Boots Bender).

It was the perfect after-dinner!