Friday, June 06, 2014

El Burgo Ranero

I said goodbye to Kathy then walked down to the station and bought my ticket to El Burgo Ranero,  train leaving at 14hr37.  I am amazed at the exactitude of the timetables here. The bus is at 11:51. Not 11:50 or 11:55 , but 11:51.  The train will depart at 14h37 - not 14h35 but exactly 14h37.
I asked if I could also buy a ticket from El Burgo to Mansilla the next day.  "No hay". He said. The train doesn't go to Mansilla, I must take the bus. But sir, where do I get the bus ticket? "No se". I don't know.  (There's a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa, there's a hole in the bucket,  dear Lisa,  a hole).
I went back to the hostal and tried finding a bus from El Burgo to Mansilla but kept coming up with nothing on the tablet search.  I asked if I could use the Internet in their reception.
Turns out that there is no bus on Saturday. We are back to the weekend story. No bus and no train. I will have to get a taxi tomorrow to Mansilla. I was planning on getting one of the almost hourly buses available to La Virgin on Sunday. HA! No way, Jose. There are hourly buses Lunes to Viernes, but none on Domingo (Sunday).  I will get a taxi to Leon bus station and, hopefully, will be able to buy tickets from there to La Virgin,  Hospital d'Orbigo and to Astorga.
I left a message on the ALSA Facebook page about the problems I'm having with getting bus tickets. Can't buy them on the bus,  or in the towns, or online if you have a foreign credit card. "Try booking on Movelia" they replied.
I went on the Movelia website. It seems that one can book with them, even if you have a foreign credit card,  and if you don't have a printer.  You take down the booking reference number.   I'd like to try that. I might book a one-way ticket just to see if it works.
At 13h30 I walked back into town and a peregrina from  Italy asked me where the bus stop was. She wanted to go to El Burgo Ranero.  Providence? 'Honey you have stopped just the right person' I think,  and tell her no bus without a ticket,  nowhere to buy the ticket,  best to take the train. "Donde estacion el tren? She asks. "Come with me," I say, and we make our way to the station.
Luciana is originally from Brazil but now lives and works in Venice, Italy.  We manage to converse in Spanish and we get on the train together.  El Burgo is an 11 minute ride. I think it will take Kathy over 4 hours. We arrive at 14h48. Its a dusty,  tired looking place and a small stream of pilgrims follow us to the town. How do I know where to go?  I dont, I just head for a church tower and soon pick up the yellow arrows.
I say goodbye to Luciana and she kisses my hand. Sweet peregrina. I turn left towards the large service station truck stop hotel, Castillo Burgo, where Kathy is waiting for me.
I shower, wash a few clothes and set up a makeshift washline near the open window then Kathy I go downstairs to the large cafeteria. I have a mixed salad (no tuna) and she has beef steak, eggs and chips. She is burning up energy walking +20km each day and I am burning out trying  to get from one town to the next.
At 7pm we are ready to retire to our smart, truck stop rooms.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:14 am

    My dear woman, you are trying so hard! I take my hat off to you!

    Pax. Fr. Jeffrey