Day 13: Agés to Burgos to León

Mileage: 14.1

Highlights

Last night we decided to skip our rest day and move our schedule forward. We woke up at 5:30am, which was our earlier morning yet (this is the time most pilgrims start walking to avoid the afternoon heat). We enjoyed a cup of coffee and fresh croissants at an adorable hobbit-hole of a cafe next to our hostel. Then we were off! We hiked up quite a hill and were rewarded with amazing views of sun rising above small villages we trekked through.

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When we got to Burgos, we veered off the Camino to find the train station. It's tough walking next to the highway for 7 miles! We got train tickets to León and had only two Euros left. There was no ATM at the train station. We had several hours to hang out before our train was set to leave, so we decided to explore the city. Amazingly, the local bus cost just one euro each to take us to the main plaza, where we were able to withdraw cash and ball out in Burgos. We got several delicious tapas and drank a beer in the main plaza before wandering over to the famous cathedral.

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The cathedral was stunning. We were so grateful that we were able to see it before leaving Burgos! As we headed back to the bus stop to return to the train station, we saw many of our friends that we met and had been hiking with the last few weeks. It was such a blessing to get to see our friends one last time and say bye.

Our New Jersey friends! 

Our New Jersey friends! 

When we got back to the bus stop, we realized the next bus wouldn't arrive for 45 minutes, cutting it too close for comfort to the departure time of our train. I was stressed. I spotted a business man examining the same bus schedule and looking equally as stressed, so I asked if we was going to the train station. He was, so I suggested we share a taxi and he agreed! Being a native Spanish speaker he called the taxi service and did all the hard work for us. He even paid for the cab and refused to let my mom and I chip in. We made our train!

We arrive to León and splurged on a private double room at a lovely downtown hotel after five days in dorms (totally reasonable, right?). The receptionist took pity on us weary pilgrims and gave us a suite for the same price as a double room. We explored the beautiful city of León only a little bit because I was very hangry. We got dinner and slept SO freaking soundly.

Skipping ahead to Leon

For those of you not familiar with the Camino, it's nearly impossible to complete in 28 days (unless we average over 20 miles each day, which was definitely not going to happen). Taking the train from Burgos to León eliminates about 100 miles of the trek. However, if we had to skip any section, the meseta is basically a desert and the least desirable hiking terrain. It's flat and hot and would be a nightmare for my Mom's joints (which do much better on ups and downs). This allows us to spend our remaining 13 days hiking 200 miles towards Santiago at an enjoyable pace (~15 miles per day).

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A Trace of Grace

Notes from a trekking mama 

Who knew I would love getting up at 5:30 to hike by 6 am? After a croissant and cafe (classic), we hiked to the top of a hill for a beautiful sunrise followed by an extraordinary day of every step falling into place perfectly. Other than constantly needing to find a water closet because I am seriously hydrating, I am feeling so blessed.

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