August 30th 2021 – Day 0
Dublin to Burgos via Madrid
From the 30th of August until the 9th of September 2021, I travelled to Spain to walk along a Meseta Camino from Burgos. It would be the first time I had been abroad since September 2019 and I was eager to throw on my pack and walk the meseta again. I set aside 7 days of walking with the intention of finishing in Mansilla de las Mulas. From there, one can travel to Madrid and that’s what I did. This was the fourth time I had walked from Burgos. I really enjoy it and some people find this bemusing. How and ever, I met some amazing people again, from all parts of the world, and had some special moments. I wrote about each day so please feel free to read about my experiences over the coming weeks.
Gronze.com – for open albergues and distances between towns
I had planned to wake up a little bit earlier than normal after reading about a hiccup at security at Dublin Airport. So I woke at 4am and was brought to Dublin Airport. The queue for security began at the entrance for Terminal 1….so that was fun! Once on the flight (and masked up), I was looking forward to Burgos. From the off, I saw two pilgrims – one who was sitting in front of me. Gerry, from Dublin, was on the way to Villafranca del Bierzo to walk to Santiago. He saw my Camino Society patch and knew a few members. The other pilgrim I would not speak to until I arrived in Burgos.
It felt so good to be in the air after all this time and I had such a long time to think about what Camino I would walk when I returned – a Meseta Camino just felt natural to me. I fell asleep and woke again closer to Spain. We were in the air close to 2 and a half hours and soon I had arrived at Madrid Barajas Airport – a sprawling metropolis of 4 terminals. I had to gather myself as it was a while since I was here. Yes, I remember now. There is the feeder bus to catch that brings me to T4.. This little nipper arrives every 5 minutes and carries passengers from Terminal 1 to 4 within 20 minutes. It was a joy to ride on. I was in T4 in no time at the bus station. I managed to change the time of my ALSA bus to Burgos from 1.30 to 11.15, without charge, which saved me a bit of a wait. I had a quick snack in Mahoudrid while waiting for the bus to arrive at 11.15 Spanish time. The sun was shining bright and I was glad to be in the shade while waiting.
On the bus I had a seat to myself so it gave me a chance to read a little, oh! and admire the views! At 4pm, we reached la Estación de Autobuses in Burgos on Calle Miranda, about 5 minutes away from the Catedral de Burgos. I met the other Irish pilgrim on the flight and had a brief chat with her. She was on the same bus as me however she was travelling to Hontanas and walking on the following day. We waved goodbye wishing each other a buen Camino. I was glad to be here and walked to my hostel that I had booked – Happy Hostal Carrales. It is close to the Museum of the Human Evolution. Now to wait for Linda (www.somewhereslowly.com) to arrive and settle in so we can do some sight seeing and eat some tapas!
I met Linda later in the evening on Calle San Lorenzo (off Plaza Mayor) for some tapas and 0% cerveza. There were two taparias that we would frequent over the next two days – Casa Pancho, with their ever willing staff some who have been on their feet since morning, and Mesón Los Herreros.
After a number of tapas, we would move to Viva La Pepa beside the Cathedral to pilgrim watch. And what a view it was as the sun was setting, the lights of the Cathedral lit up. I walked back to my hostal shortly after to wait for the next day – a free day in Burgos. More looking around, chilling, stocking up and getting ready for this short meseta Camino. I even bought my customary wooden pole before setting out – something I never walk without. So I figured I won’t write about this free day but rather get right into the meseta Camino itself leaving from Burgos the very next morning.