I had two things to do in Burgos this time: Visit the Museo de Evolucion Humana, to see the finds from the archaeology digs in nearby Atapuerca, which we walked past the day before, and go inside the cathedral to sightsee again.
I met up with my new best buddy, the Swiss lady, who also wanted to see the museum. We actually got there before it had opened, so we joined the queue of mostly elderly people and tourists.
It took us over two hours even without walking in a line inside, and we were both surprised at how much our feet ached from walking on the flat hard floor! But the museum is amazing – you really should go. Really.
Then we decided to have a rest and some refreshments before going to see the cathedral, and she mentioned she needed a warmer top for the meseta which lay ahead, so we tried to find the bus that would take us to Decathlon – but failed miserably. After trudging around, waiting in the hot sun and doing some unplanned (but good) sightseeing, we gave up and then promptly found a fleece top in a china bazaar at a fraction of the price! Job done, we went to take another break and watch the cathedral from the outside before going in.
You guessed it. We never got that far – sitting outside the cathedral you will invariably be found by everyone you have met and spoken to on the trail, who will then join you, and of course it ended up with a long table, more stories and laughter, more refreshments, and then another trip to the tapas street, which is never a bad idea.
This time we were both leaving the next day, and my Swiss friend had to be back in her room before ten to get ready and get an early start on the meseta in the morning. Very sad goodbyes were had, but she promised to keep in touch and check in along the way. That left me and two of the members of the pilgrim family I had been bumping into every so often, so we took one for the team and ate and drank and were very merry peregrinos until after curfew. Skål!
And when I woke up … it was time to go. I reluctantly packed up my little pack with all my belongings, which had mostly served me well, took a photo out of my window of the tapas street where I had spent so many happy hours, and went to the square to enjoy a croissant breakfast and look at the wonderful cathedral one last time.
Then I took a short walk to the bus station to get the bus to Bilbao and fly back home again. On the two hour journey I was lucky to meet a lovely young lady who told me about the region, the city of Bilbao, food and drink and language and what to see and do, and all the while the Spanish landscape rushed past me as if to convince me to stay. When we arrived in Bilbao, the lovely lady showed me where I could take the bus to the airport, and it so happened that we had time for a quick drink and a stand-up pintxo in a bar by the bus station … so we did. After exchanging details in case I should come back to Bilbao and need a guide, she went her way, I went mine, and later that evening I was back home, already planning my next camino.
Muchas gracias and pilgrim hugs to Colleen, to our lovely little group, my fun camino step family, my Dutch, Belgian, Swiss and German camigas – you know who you are – and all the locals and pilgrims I met along the way. In the words of Arnold: I’ll be back! Who wouldn’t?