Day 12 Atapuerca to Tardajos

Day 12:  31.7 kilometers

Total:  332.7 kilometers

This morning was great.  I got up early and started some potatoes for breakfast, the Albergue was a loving and beautiful place, I was with my friends, I made a bunch of new ones the night before and it was warm!  After a leisurely breakfast and a nice instant coffee from Muhamed, I was ready.  I knocked out 100 push-ups and headed out the door.  It seemed to be getting cooler as the day progressed! I put my lucky trash bag on over me and my bag and hit the trail.

The morning was actually kind of magical. It was cold and it was snowing with a fog set over but it was quiet and beautiful.  I saw a pack of sheep as I headed up the slippery and rocky trail.  I passed a military base which meant lots of barb wire and big tire tracks.   I have been on a few bases in the States and they always have so many roads and fields so I was ready to experience this base.  Shortly after the sheep spotting I made it to the top and saw a cross.  Pretty spectacular set against the fog and clouds. Then the clouds parted for a bit and I could see Burgos! I wanted to be excited but I wasn’t.  Big cities are cool to experience but I love the woods, the peace, the tranquility of nature and also the super small towns I have been passing.    Traffic and pollution and many shops and bars and offices were ahead of me on the horizon.  I actually started walking with my eyes closed as a game I like to play and missed a turn.  I could see Burgos where I was heading but no arrows anymore…  So I saw the road where I thought the trail was and cut back to it next time i saw a way, after that it was a bunch of road walking around to the airport of Burgos.  Walking around the airport I took the scenic route which took you away from all the factories and next to the river. It was quite nice to hear the birds and see the river. Lots of people were out there walking and riding their bikes and running.  I had a fun time too since my feet hurt a little bit I said hi and smiled to everyone! It was magic again because when they smiled back and some wished me a buen camino I felt lighter and walked a bit faster!  It was that way all the next to the river into the city.  I caught up to my beautiful friend Muhamed and my Italian homie GianMarco! The three of us walked into Burgos heading for the cathedral.  When I turned the corner and saw the cathedral it was wild! This was massive! I took some pictures and enjoyed it for a bit then went to a cafe with my two friends. A snack and a drink and I felt recharged from the walk earlier today. After lunch it was kind of sad because Muhamed was meeting some friends in Burgos and was staying for a few days.  We hugged and smiled and I moved on.  Always will remember Muhamed for his kind heart and his laugh which made me smile so much.  I hope to see him down the road on the way to Santiago!  Actually I was thinking about taking a break somewhere for a day to do some yoga and stretch and just rest for a whole day.  When I find that spot I will know and maybe Muhamed will be on the path in front of me again! I love how since the beginning when I started writing hearts, my friends find out it is me and start leaving hearts for me and everyone also!  I love how it is spreading around and bringing so much joy to everyone around!

Moving on to the next town GianMarco came with me even though his Achilles was bothering him.  I feel pretty good and I hope he doesn’t push it too hard one day just to stay with me.  I love spending time with GianMarco and his cooking is the best I have ever tasted.  I wish him the best and to listen to his body.  It’s amazing that he is only 20 years old yet out here walking.  He takes a Polaroid photo of the day and puts it in one of the most unique and special journals I have ever scene!  I’m not sure what he is out here to do besides learn everyday and from everyone but I hope he finds what he is looking for.  He is going to lead an extraordinaire life and I’m glad to be able to call him my friend! We had a blast walking the last little bit together to Trabajos talking here and there and also waving at cars on the road next to us and having them honk back at us! It was great because every car honked and waved and then we high fived! Made for an easy walk into town.

We made it into Tardajos with plenty of time to hang out and relax!  Checked into a beautiful municipal Albergue and were greeted with the kindest eyes! The lady told us that their is no heat here but there is hot water. I made sure to check that the water was hot and were beds available.  Check and check so i was perfectly ok with no heat!  I was a bit tired because I walked slower than normal today.  Usually I go out pretty fast and it feels good but today I trucked along and sometimes just went with the flow and forgot to look for markers! It was almost as if I was tired and sleeping a bit whilst walking!  All in all I was just happy to here in Tardajos and out of the big city of Burgos.  Burgos was beautiful and filled with many smiling people but I seem to like the small little towns with a hole in the wall bar where you can get a drink, some food, dry your socks on the heater and have some laughs all while sitting with the other four people that live in that town!  I ate out for the first time in a while and had a delicious hamburger and split calamari with GianMarco.  Delicious! After that used the wifi there for a little bit then was falling asleep because of the heater next to me so we both headed back to the Albergue! We were the only two people in the Albergue when we left but two girls checked in while we were eating but were fast asleep by the time we got back.  Maybe I will see them in the morning or maybe not, either way I wish them a buen camino!

So right now, I have my alarm set for 530 and am ready to jump out of bed and into my sandals bright and early for a morning walk to San Anton!  Really want to leave early just because I love mornings and since it’s only GianMarco and me in this room I can get up throw my stuff in and be out without disturbing too many people.  Right now it’s 848pm and as I finish writing this in the dark I can see my breath every time I breathe. Thank goodness I brought my sleeping bag liner because it may be a cold night! I hope the morning brings much sun and warmth!  I was able to shoot a few messages out before I left the bar so I hope the amazing Lisa Fleming does a little reiki tonight with me to send me warmth from beautiful Costa Rica! And with that I cose my eyes! Pura Vida y buen camino!

Day 11: Tosantos to Atapuerca

Day 11:  25.6 kilometers

Total:  301.0 kilometers

Such a relaxing morning! The owner Jose Luis had a rule that no one gets up before 7 becausethe floor is very creaky and we should all sleep and get well rested for our journey.  It is not only taxing physically but mentally.  It is a walk inside of your own mind and a great journey! So getting up at around 7 I just laid there on my mat reading a bit and debating what to do that day. Ready for a little climbing and enough reading for one morning I packed up all my stuff which I had sprawled out everywhere.  Stopped in the kitchen for a little lemon water and coffee and a few pieces of bread and I was ready to start walking! I asked Jose Luis for a few words for my travels and he said a beautiful prayer to me and with his thumb drew a cross on my forehead and hugged me. It really was beautiful and I felt it the whole day. Then A buen camino and hug to all of my family and with a heart filled with happiness and love I set out!  It was snowing and pretty cold but when I left the sun came out and was beautiful! I took a picture of the Albergue from the same spot the movie “The Way” filmed it! It was pretty cool and I left a heart in the snow to show everybody how much I loved the night before.

As I was walking the sun came out so fierce it felt like I was walking on the sun! It was such a special night last night that I felt like the universe was shining down on me saying yea i know that was incredible and it really happened not just a dream!  With the sun shining and my heart glowing I walked alone into the day.  My eyes started leaking which was weird because I don’t often do that but it felt so good.  I let them leak and was happy.  Tears filled with love and happiness just felt so good with the sun shining down so bright.  My feet that hurt a little bit stopped hurting and I pressed on.  It was nice at times then absolutely freezing at other times.  The hills weren’t bad but getting my feet wet did kind of suck.  When my feet get so wet like that and I am walking for hours my feet feel like bread in water just getting mushy. I crossed this one bridge that from the snow and the rain this week actually turned into a river itself! I did a gymnastic move over the bridge and jumped to one side to avoid the water and was going to keep going then I saw a rock! This rocked yelled at me ” think other people want wet feet?” Absolutely not!   So I grabbed this rock and four of his friends and threw them into the water on the bridge so people could use them as stepping stones. Random acts of kindness I think can change the world.  For me just making a little stepping stone over the water meant a lot to me and I’m sure it meant a lot to other people, when they saw a route over to the water keeping their feet dry.  I hope everyone that walks sees this and thinks to themselves when they are in a similar situation that they do something nice just to do it. Random acts of kindness can change the world!  I looked around as I walked but felt great and walked quite fast.  3.5 hours and almost 20 k later I was over the mountains and at St Juan de Ortega.  Perfect too because I was absolutely starving!

I went in and sat next to the fire and took my wet sandals and socks off and ordered a cafe con leche to warm up.  Then I ordered a tortilla con chorizo and just as I sat back down my good friend Muhamed came walking in! Most excellent! I was so happy to see him! He ordered a beer and a bocadillo and sat down with me.  That beer looked really good so I ordered one also.  We sat and ate a talked about the day and then had a cafe then were taking off.  As I walked out of the door there was GianMarco coming in! Holy moly! So good to see him again too! Was glad to see him doing alright because Achilles was hurting bad yesterday.  He sat down for some food as I left with Muhamed to walk another 6 kilometers today.

Chatting with Muhamed is a beautiful thing! He is an awesome guy and really makes me smile. So pure so genuine such a gentle heart and beautiful soul! We had fun walking together today before also.  On the top of the mountain we both screamed and heard it echo across the snow and laughed so much. We even did a reenactment of titanic with the front of the boat scene and laughed quite a bit more!  In the last leg of today it became really windy.  Like the wind was sideways and then started snowing and hailing! So cold! The hail hurt because it felt like hitting a bumble bee on a roller coaster like the Magnum at Cedar Point on the downhill part! The only thing was the downhill never stopped and there were a few million bumble bees! I shielded myself with my buff and also my trash bag poncho that I have grown quite fond of.  Muhamed and I could see our destination and once again shouted with joy! I couldn’t help but smile and felt so good even with the cold wind and wet shoes! Oh I forgot to add earlier that I changed socks at lunch which made all the difference!  Dryer socks in kind of wet shoes felt like heaven! I think I a going to do that ever day now!  Literally skipping we both were very close to the town of Atapuerca and I was flying!

I ended up jumping a ditch to the edge of the field where there were a bunch of rocks and left a little love in the form of a rock heart!  I love doing that and since there always is an overlap of people in the camino more and more people are telling me about the hearts! Today at lunch a guy came in that I passed earlier the day and was like it’s you isn’t it! Coracon en la Tierra!  I smiled and said yea isn’t it beautiful! He agreed and smiled and said that it makes him smile when he sees it and the talk at night and on the camino is who is making all of these hearts on the camino! I think it’s great that people a seeing my hearts which represent radiating love in every direction just like my mantra.  People have told me it makes them smile, some say it’s always in the right spot when they need a boost, some just shake my hand and smile.  I hope everyone enjoys my hearts on the camino! The heel slap chest pop happiness movement is really flying right now!  Hearts and love and happiness and random acts of kindness! Let’s change the world!

The Albergue de Peregrinos in Atapuerca is just a gem! 8 euros but I’m in a nice room with a comfy bed and a heater with 5 other people.  This place has a kitchen and a lovely host! I love little gems like this place!

Tomorrow I’m debating on getting up and leaving before sunrise and walking through Burgos to who knows where. If I feel good maybe a bit more bit we will see when it happens.

Until next time!  Pura Vida and Buen Camino!!!