In Burgos we decided to find a small hotel so that we could sort out our packs, have some laundry done and, perhaps get a good night's sleep. Anneliese saw a HOSTAL sign and we checked into the Hostel Acacia at 60 euro for a 3-bed room. Anneliese had the single bed and Marion and I shared the Matrimonial bed! We then found the main Post Office to send some stuff home and then off to the cathedral. I didn't want to go through it for a 3rd time so I walked around the outside practising my new hobby, looking for Mason signs in the stones. There were master masons and builders who walked all over Europe finding work on various churches and monasteries and one can find their marks in the stones if you look hard enough. I have bought a book (in Spanish) called "The Signs in the Stones" and I have been able to identify a number of master mason signs. On the way back to the Hostel we had a menu-meal at the Alibaba Cafe - a sandwich (which was a wrap) chips and a drink for 6.50 euro.
Yesterday was a strange day from the moment we awoke. At about 5h30 Anneliese told us that she had been killing insects in her bed all night. The tick like creepies were on the walls and crawling over our bedding!! YECH!! We don't think they were bed bugs because none of us was bitten but they made our hair crawl so we quickly packed up and left without making coffee or having our yoghurt and fruit as planned. On our way into the city Anneliese discovered that she had left her precious waist bag behind so we walked back to the hotel and had to wake the owner as the front door had locked behind us. Once Anneliese had retrieved her bag we set off again through the dark streets of Burgos trying to find the yellow arrows by the light of the moon and streetlights.
About 9kms down the road we came to a little village and stopped to have coffee and something to eat. When we left we failed to see an arrow pointing to the left and took a right turn. It wasn't until we reached the next village about 4kms away that we realised we were not on the right road. I asked a local how to get to Hornillos and he told us to continue on the road for 7kms and then take a right turn and walk on that road for 4kms. Our little detour meant that we walked over 30kms yesterday instead of about 26kms. When we got to San Bol we were really weary and footsore and even though there didn't seem to be anyone about, we agreed that we could not walk another 5.6km to the next village.
Now let me tell you a little about San Bol. There are ruins of a medieval village in the fields, an ancient spring that miraculously brings ice cold water to the surface - in the middle of this arid landscape - and the waters are said to be healing. San Bol is remote building about 100m off the camino path. It only sleeps 10 pilgrims and consists of a two roomed building - one room is the sleeping quarters and the other the living. This one is shaped like a beehive with a high curved ceiling. The outside walls are covered in murals of the Knights Templar, the wind God Triton and a rather weird Madona who seems to rule over all the fields. There is no running water, no electricity and no toilets. One drinks from the healing stream, washed from it and the toilet is an open field at the back. Inside, the living room ceiling is painted black with little silver stars and the walls are stone - except for one which has a Madonna coming out of the sea with little sperm tadpoles floating through the blue sky from her hair! Apparently it was set up by a New Age group some years ago but is now owned by two young Italians. The Hospitalero is a 22 year-old Austrian girl who started walking the camino but fell in love with San Bol and hasn't left yet. Anneliese's face was an absolute picture when we entered the rooms and found dirty dishes from the night before waiting to be washed, beds with rumpled blankets on them - and a cat sleeping on one of the double bunks - and a wooden carving of Christ with feathers, chains, beads and artificial flowers stuck all over it! The hospitalero told us that there is a mouse in the house so the cat is kept to keep the mice population down! Bravely she swallowed hard and stayed the night! The young Italian - rastafarian hairdo and all - cooked the dinner - salmon, roasted peppers, risotto, salad and oranges with walnuts. Marion and I agreed that we had the best night's sleep so far on the camino. It was pitch black, there was no traffic and no one dared get up in the middle of the night to wee in the field!
We slept soundly until after 6,30 and had a wonderful 15km walk to Castrojeriz. I will tell you about our day here in the next email as there are pilgrims waiting to use the Internet.
Love to all
S A M