Day 13, VillaFranca to Burgos

Omg… What a day it has been!! 40 km of tough terrain, singing and laughing with the best travelling companions a girl could ask for… But I get head of myself…

My new dear friend from Scotland, Sandra, (12 days on the road together) had been injured in Granon a couple of days before (some caring sole dropped an oak chair on her foot!). Now our personal therapist and comedian was needing to take at least a day to take care of her tendon…today she would have to stay behind… It was like severing an arm ( which for me would be a real sacrifice because the pain that I’m feeling in my feet right now, I feel that it might be an asset to lose them!)… I will miss her banter, but look forward to visiting her in June!!!

The day started with Sandra and I meeting Judith and Lisa in the lobby to get some breakfast before we began our uphill trek through the forest to San Juan de Ortega some 12 km along the trail… When Sandra and I got downstairs the 2 girls decided that they were going to get started as they had some snacks with them, and that they would book me into the Albergue in Atapuerca… I decided I would rather not walk alone, so said I would leave with them… Bigs and very sad hugs all around for Sandra….

Then there were 3…. What a trio… You would never guess that a 60 year old Canadian, and a 40 and 24 year old Germans would walk more than a block together, but today, together we climbed our Mt Everest!!!

We began the long climb out of the valley town at 7:30 and up the hillside through through beautiful woods filled with glorious spring blooms… The air was cool at 12-13 and the wind was blowing furiously, but we made it up in one piece…


After 4 or 5 km we decided to stop for breakfast… I had a box of OJ, and Judith had chocolate chip cookies and dried apricots… A breakfast of champions! Fully energized, we carried on our trek… And to break the drudgery, I decided it was time to teach my buddies an east coast drinking song… Barrett’s Privateers!!! It went over do well, we sang the first 3-4 verses a couple of times every hour!!! We all loved it!  To be honest, the girls can hardly wait to show off their prowess at drinks tomorrow evening!!! The singing, long chats and lots of laughter kept us going up and down the obstacle course until we finally reached San Juan de Ortega… The church was amazingly peaceful.  After our stop there, we found a nice bar where we had second breakfast!  Cafe con leche was a must!

We then struck out to get on to Atapuerca… When we hit this town we were still feeling good, and ready to carry on


Above, Lisa is showing the distance we have done so far on the map… We are very proud of the fact that we area er 1/3 of the way to Santiago…still can’t believe it, but then again my feet have a habit of reminding me at the most in opportune times!

 On we went, singing, laughing and philosophizing… Through to Cardeuela Rio Pico… Just 12-14 km to Burgos and 26-28 km logged today… The girls turned to go into the Albergue, and I called out that I felt I should go on… I still had some legs left (I gave up on my feet long ago) and that I probably wouldn’t sleep much being this close to Dan, but not with him… Judith then piped up that she was still feeling fresh, and of course Lisa was game for the rest of the journey as well! We sung, we talked, we ached, we pained but we carried on… Laughing as we went in to use the ladies room at a bar/ cafeteria that probably hadn’t seen a woman customer in years ( very clean and well stocked I might add!!!) past the airport, strip clubs, heavy industrial area… Not at all what the historic Camino is like… Oh btw… Here’s some shots of more authentic paths that we traversed today!!!


Finally after km of tortuous last km, I arrived at the hotel where Dan had booked us… He promised me fluffy white towels and a bath!  Definitely NOT dissapointed ( but then again remember where I’ve been staying!!!). My knight in shining armour took my boots and socks off, ran a wonderful bath for me, then treated me to the best Peregrinos meal we’ve had since arriving

United once again… I look forward to my bed… And waking up on my own time tomorrow not having to put on a pack and hit the road… I look forward to the rest and regeneration!!! Until tomorrow!!!

Categories: Camino De Santiago


  1. Pat and Dan! Just read through your entire blog. (Been a little busy back here in Brok Vegas with a few church matters.) Amazing, simply amazing! Dan – I know how your feet feel; mine would be the same, if not worse. Congratulations Pat on your resilience and joie de vivre with this adventure. I’ll make sure that we get more people reading your posts and sending you encouragement from your church family. Stay the course! Cheers, David D. for Jane
    P.S.: Brooke finished 3rd in an LPGA event in San Francisco; led after 36 in an event in Texas and finished T13. And the golf world loves her! Your partner! DPD


    • Thx Dave! Been thinking a lot about you all back home and the struggles that we all face! And, yes, even able to follow Brook! What an amazing young woman! I’m not surprised she’s the sweetheart of the tour!


  2. You are amazing, to power on through to get to Dan ! and he was obviously glad to see you….we tend to take hot showers and good food for granted….didn’t realize you knew the words to Barretts’s Privateers ! we will have to ask Anne if we can sing that. take care of your feet and keep on keeping on….Cathy


  3. Pat and Dan, I just got the link to your Blog today from Petar so have been catching up and will share with Gwen tonight (BTW, her new car was totalled in a parking lot). Sounds like quite the trip so far though I am truly sorry Dan has had so many problems; guess he wished this trip had been partly by canoe instead of all walking! Glad Helen was able to connect with you to pick-up and store your things. All the best for the rest of your journey. Glenn


    • Glenn,thx so much for your wishes!!! Dan’s doing really well and we’ve managed to get some relaxing sightseeing in today! Tomorrow we hit the road again together!

      So sorry to hear about Gwen’s car!!! That’s awful! Please let her know we’re thinking of her!


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