El Camino – Day 1 – Burgos to Hornillos del Camino

The first day. I think the best thing I can say is that we all survived it. And in better shape than expected.

The Story

Last night was a bit disappointing , the Cathedral we wanted to explore was closed (Spain runs on an odd set of hours which has become a recurring problem for us). And dinner was only ok, with limited vegetarian options an a rather mean waiter.

We got up early, around 6am, hoping to have breakfast and check out the Cathedral since it was closed when we arrived last night. That plan quickly blew up, the Cathedral didn’t open until 9am and there were no restaurants open either. We seriously debated waiting until 9, because we all really wanted that first stamp in our passports, but in the end decided to move on and officially started walking our Camino at 7:24am.

The morning was was flat and warm with a cool breeze. It was very nice but turned out to be deceptive as we’ll discover later. We made our first stop in Tardajos for breakfast at 10am. Along the way, plastered on signs and underpass walls we had seen flyers advertising breakfast at the Bar Ruiz, which was clever of them because by the time we arrived in Tardajos that breakfast was all I could think about and I would have given them every Euro in my wallet. In fact, for only 4 Euros, I got:

  • Cafe con Leche (coffee with milk)
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice (I actually watched him squeeze it in front of me)
  • An egg & potato omelette on a bagel type bread (I didn’t catch what this was called, I just asked for eggs with no meat and that’s what he gave me.)
  • A huge croissant with butter and jam

The food was delicious and just what we needed to keep going. And the restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful. A huge improvement from last nights meal.

We made great time in the morning and after our breakfast we were all feeling pretty confident. We had already reached the half way point and weren’t in any pain. So, clearly we are super strong pilgrims!

Except the afternoon proved that wrong. At least for me. There were hills in the afternoon, which absolutely kill me. These were small hills, but I quickly felt the pain of it. The breeze disappeared, the day got hot, and the bugs came out. I did not enjoy this part. Though the scenery was pretty nice, with rolling hills of some kind of wheat thing and colorful wildflowers.

After climbing the last hill we got a glimpse of the town we would stop in and that was enough to help me cross the last few miles, dragging the throbbing dead weights attached to my legs. Kelly and Joanne are in better shape, or at least they are complaining far less than I am.

We reached Hornillos at 2pm. We got the last three beds at the Meeting Point Alburgue which is really nice and clean. We went immediately to the showers and then did our laundry (in the sink) before our energy ran out.

A quick walk through town to sight-see and get some supplies for tomorrow and we are done for the day!

Dinner tonight will be Vegetarian Paella with wine, bread, and a mystery desert.

12 miles to Castrojeriz on deck for tomorrow.

The Stats

19 total kilometers
11.8 total miles
5.5 hours of walking with a 1 hour breakfast stop.
Started at 7:24am
Done for the day at 2pm
15 greetings of “Buen Camino”
0 fights (Go team!)

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