After a very dry sandwich, I got myself organized and continued the short climb. The meseta is land that is flat to gently rolling and dominated by various agricultural crops including wheat and hay, and grasslands for grazing sheep and cattle. In North America, we would call it a prairie. People have opposing views of the meseta. Some say it’s beautiful, while others say it’s boring. One thing is for certain: to make good time or to make up for lost time on the Camino, one of the best places was on the meseta…. From Page 98, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. If you’re going to walk the Camino between Burgos and Leon, you’ll definitely get to know the meseta very well. You may even have a strong opinion about it too.
On my last post, My Visit To The Burgos Cathedral, La Catedral de Burgos, I focused on the beautiful cathedral, truly one of my highlights along the entire Camino de Santiago. After that, I explored off the Camino for a few blocks, which I recommend for everyone if you have time. There is fantastic architecture, interesting shops, and your choice of delicious looking tapas at one of the many bars. I stuffed myself at one particular tapas bar near the cathedral.
Here’s one last look at the Burgos Cathedral as I walked away. One day, I’ll return and spend at least a day there.
This arch led to what looked like a park. The stork nest on the top was huge.
I can’t remember what this monument represented.
The Camino entered a bustling, modern suburb, where there were plenty of shops and grocery stores including Mercadona. This fountain was in the Paseo de la Isla, a long, narrow park on the northeast side of the Río Arlanzón.
The Camino crossed over the Río Arlanzón on this stone bridge and entered the Parque El Parral.
The walk out of Burgos, through the grounds of the University of Burgos, had many modern art pieces including this one.
The Hotel Puerta Romeros, on the outskirts of Burgos, is a choice for pilgrims wishing to have a break from the albergues.
The Romeros Gate, on the grounds of the University of Burgos, dates to 1563. The gate leads to the Hospital del Rey, founded in 1195, and today is the centerpiece of the university and holds the Faculty of Law.
This small church, with its brightly colored plaster, and white and cream coloured trim, was unique up until this point along the Camino.
As I wrote on page 97, “As much as I liked Burgos, it felt good to get out of civilization, and I was thankful for some peaceful solitude. I was happy to see trees and hear birds singing.”
The Burgos Prison held many political prisoners during the Franco years.
Since the Burgos Cathedral, I hadn’t seen another pilgrim until I met a cyclist who was on a long anticipated journey from his hometown in Switzerland to Santiago de Compostela. This stream was in a small park.
The nearby ermita looked to be recently rebuilt.
Another interesting Camino waymark showing the way to Santiago de Compostela.
The scenic view of the Río Arlanzón, near the village of Tardajos. As I wrote on page 97, “…here, the river looked peaceful and serene, as long as I didn’t glance over my shoulder at the freeway.”
At the entrance to Tardajos, this stone monument showed the village to be about halfway along the Camino. I knew it wasn’t close and it would be another two days until I reached the halfway point.
Leaving Tardajos, back along farmland. The landscape was changing.
By the time I arrived in Rabé de las Calzadas, I was under something I hadn’t seen for days — a large patch of bright, blue sky. I was so happy and in a terrific mood. This was the 13th century Church of Santa Marina.
Another ermita, leaving Rabé de las Calzadas.
One of the few rest stops and shelters along the Camino. I’m sure this would be well-utilized during the hot summer days. There was no washroom so, if needed, you had to find your own spot.
Much of the meseta was easy walking.
Possibly because they broke up the monotony of the farmland, but I enjoyed looking at the rock piles. My mom used to tell me stories when she was a young girl at their homestead on the Canadian Prairie. They would pick rocks from the fields by hand and place them in piles. She told me that it was backbreaking work, and I couldn’t imagine doing it myself. The piles are still on the farm today. Regarding these along the meseta, I wondered how old they were. I imagined people throughout the centuries picking rocks and creating these piles, just like my mom did.
I had a small climb to an alto with about another two kilometers to Hornillos del Camino where I would stay.
Sheep grazed at the entrance to Hornillos del Camino. These two men were the only people I had seen for almost two hours.
Still a long ways to Santiago, however my guidebook said it was 488 kilometers and not 469.
The bright blue sky in the late evening. I hoped it would be the same when I left the next morning. It turned out that I had my hopes a little too high. This is the Church of San Román. I don’t know what the significance of the rooster on top of the monument is but I found it interesting.
If you arrive late to Hornillos del Camino like I did, you’ll most likely stay here, in the school gymnasium, adjacent to the alberque.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I remember the sunny evenings I had on the Camino with fondness. It’s far easier walking in the sun than the cold rain. On my next post, The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz, I woke up to unexpected rain, walked through the meseta for hours, stopped at the ruins of an ancient monastery before taking shelter from a heavy spring storm in a true Camino town. Please join me.
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