One of the things that is never easy to get used to when you do a lot of solo travel, is eating dinner alone. It’s no fun, abroad or at home, to walk in and say, “Table for one, please.” It’s just not so exciting to be taking up the table space designed for more than just your solo self. I wanted to grab dinner with some of the other pilgrims after mass yesterday, but they had already eaten earlier. I decided to get a hamburger for dinner yesterday, and just a tip for you if you ever decide to do the same, ask for it well done. It’s the second hamburger that I’ve had in Spain, and both of them seemed like they barely touched the pan even though I asked for it medium well. I guess that’s just part of the adventure of traveling abroad.
Today was spent in the city of Burgos. I had to clear out of the Albergue by 8am, so I went to grab a quick breakfast (which is fine alone because it’s rather quick). I then wandered around the city a little bit while it was still quiet and cool. One of the unfortunate things I find about cities, is that you are also accompanied by everything negative that comes with it: the blaring of horns of impatient drivers, the smells of unknown things festering and rotting who knows where, and the smells of fumes from numerous cars and cigarettes. It seems as if smoking is more of a part of the culture here than it is back home. I know a lot of people smoke in the US, it just seems like a higher percentage of the population does it here. But with the negatives, there are also the positives: the beautiful old structures with their unique charm, the parks and river passing through the city, and the constant flow of people walking from one place to another.
After getting myself oriented on where in the city I wanted to go, I decided to head to the next Albergue so that I could put my stuff down. Unfortunately, the first Albergue only had around 20 beds, and they had to reserve them for people walking into the city today. So I made my way towards the municipal one and then had to wait for two hours for it to open. While I waited, I sat on a bench where a pigeon with an injured foot decided it wanted to be closer to me. I’m not sure why, as I had no food with me. But it kept watching me, and slowly moved in closer. For a bit, it was standing on one foot, then it decided to just sit down and rest about two feet from me. I thought it was kind of funny since we both had injured feet, but it’s was much worse than mine. At least I could get mine cared for.
I went to the bus station and picked up my ticket to León for tomorrow. I’m glad that I have that taken care of for tomorrow, so I don’t have to worry about finding my way there. The weather is much hotter here than it has been on previous parts of my journey, so I spent much of it on Siesta indoors. I’m looking forward to walking again on Friday. I cannot wait to continue this journey.
Having been on my own in the city, I feel that it’s a bit harder to connect with the other pilgrims than it is on the trail. There is just something about the dynamic of walking together that brings you closer together. Maybe it is because while you are walking, you are setting out to complete the same task: to get to the next checkpoint to rest your feet.