Yesterday I woke up at an airport hotel and took a prebooked taxi to the airport to make sure I wouldn’t miss my flight to Madrid with all the extra checks, controls, codes etc. I even paid for fast-track through security, which I think most of the passengers had done… So I got there hours early in the end, but rather that than missing the flight.
At Madrid we were herded into an almighty queue to scan our SpTH (Spain Travel Health) passenger locator forms with all relevant information – firm and efficient checks that took hardly no time at all. As long as you have all your documents and QR codes sorted and preferably printed off as well, you should be able to get through the whole thing quite easily. I only had hand luggage, so before I knew it I was at T4 with time to relax for a bit before my bus to Burgos.
ALSA buses now let you pay a fiver extra to block the seat next to you for covid reasons, which I had done. Still everyone was asked to wear a mask for the duration of the trip and no one seemed to have a problem with that. Coming from the UK, where you would be forgiven for thinking the pandemic was over and that no one had a care in the world, this felt very safe and reassuring.
So in the evening I got off my bus in sunny Burgos and went to my central and gorgeous little room to check in, before meeting camigo David from ClearskiesCamino for a tapas meal to celebrate being back on the camino. And so nice to see a familiar face and just talk about memorable walks and favourite villages instead of politics and pandemics! There were a few pilgrims around but not very many – maybe they all have pack transport so they don’t look like pilgrims in the evening? After a nightcap and night-tapa outside my hostel, I unpacked everything and had an earlyish night.
This morning I organised my belongings into the mandatory packing photo – missing as usual was the sleeping bag which is having a last puff-up before being squashed every day, and the stuff that was in the bathroom. But the items of clothing and rain and sun protection were all there. Then I went out to have late coffee with David, and ended up having morcilla, the Burgos version of blood sausage, for brunch. When in Burgos etc.
We also had churros and thick chocolate, some Aquarius of course, and a celebratory beer, before heading off to our rooms to prepare and pack and rest and plan for tomorrow. Heavy rain is forecast, obviously. And I decided against taking the rain trousers, after swearing to myself I will never leave them behind again… I might be swearing tomorrow too!
So a typical pilgrim rest day has been had in Burgos – I’ve got my first stamp, have taken photos, picked up poles from post office for a fee (I hate brexit!), bought 5-pack of masks, got cash out for the tiny villages coming up, called home. All is well. In a bit I am going out to visit the castle that isn’t there, and then it will be time for more tapas and a drink before getting one of those elusive early nights. I leave you with photos of Burgos delights!