Monday, 14 April 2014

The Long Downhill

Sunday:  13. 04. 2014
Santo Domingo de la Calzada – Burgos      71kms    530m
Good morning to you all. It is now Monday and we have decided, very  sensibly, in my opinion, to take today as a rest day. It was clear from our arrival here in Burgos, that the centre of the city is something to be admired and explored, thus sealing our existing but tentative idea of a day off.
However, this is really yesterday’s blog so having insured that we had paid our dues, the receptionist nun allowed us access to our bikes and we were packed and away pretty efficiently. Quite a chilly start to the ride but lots of friendly toots (does make a difference). By lunch stop, and after the vagaries of the usual ups downs and maybes, the sun was up and the world astir. Over our meagre repast, Al decided to peruse the upcoming route. Not always a terribly good idea.

However, in this instance, the horrendous climb which was to follow immediately was entirely mitigated by an extraordinary downhill of some twenty kilometres all the way into Burgos! How about that! What’s more, it was all true.
I Can't Believe It's Downhill
The long run into the centre of the city was very unattractive along a route bounded on both sides by unloved buildings graffiti and the usual plethora of small factories. Having no clear idea of where we were going, we thought to follow the signs for the cathedral based on the assumption that we would find, in that area, some indication of the camino. Soooo pleased it was Sunday and therefore crossing three lanes of traffic was marginally less terrifying than vying with midweek traffic. Nothing though prepared us for our first sighting of the gateway into the cathedral square. The word awesome is, in my opinion, over used but I can think of no other way to describe this first impression of the cathedral. Still on an indrawn breath, we found ourselves hailed by a loud voice crying “Have you ridden from Wales?” NO! Thence ensued a conversation with a very friendly Scot who was delivering a brand new Bentley to Edinburgh. How do people find these jobs!
More urgently for us, we needed information on how to find our bike friendly hostel and some cash from a hole in wall. An “OPEN” tourist info provided both and in short order we found ourselves solvent again and inside a very acceptable room for two whole nights!
Having the time for a perusal of the view from the window I could not help noticing and, calling Alan’s attention to, a statue in the square. I do admire these actors who paint themselves and hold a pose for hours hoping to make a few bob from passing tourists. These two were exceptional: putting up with people leaning on them and placing sunglasses on their heads…….. They are still there this morning! Real statues! What a dork.
View from the Hotel -Notice Mary's Living Statues
With a little more leisure time available, it seemed a good idea to touch base with a human voice, so I made a quick call to Kate. “How’s it going, mum!  Are you enjoying yourselves?” she chirruped. “We’re fine but it is hard work.” Quoth I.  “Not as fit as last time then.” came the response! Just to put the record straight and make me feel better, thus far, this has been topographically much more of a going uphill kind of challenge!

Still, today we are off to explore and enjoy the sights of Burgos and just revel in wandering. Until tomorrow then.


  1. Whoops :-) I had no idea I'd been so insulting! Still... what goes up must come down surely?! Keep smiling -x-

  2. mum's still smiling - just a little hot and bothered. Only two more mountain ranges to cross but don't tell her! !

  3. Just remembered to look and see how and where you are! Had to look on Google maps, you've done good!!! I certainly don't envy you those hills but the views are spectacular. Just been looking at some pics of Burgos too, some amazing architecture there, you must have enjoyed your day off.Good luck for tomorrow. Sue T xxx