Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 15: Burgos- Hornillos del Camino (20 kms)

Something unbelievable happens today. We are up bright and early-- for once-- and ready to start at 7:30 am, since we we are hoping to catch up on our itinerary.  I open the boots cabinet and --  only my boots are there!  My sister's boots are gone. We look twice, thrice, open up all the other cabinets, ask everyone. It finally dawns on us that the boots are really, truly gone.

We go and have breakfast first at a cafe in the Burgos plaza to calm down and get a sense of what to do next, as we are totally confused as to how such a thing can happen.  I ask where the nearest sports stores are where one could possibly get new boots. Luckily, there is a Decathlon, a huge sports store chain, in Burgos.  It is a little way out of town, but there is a free bus which goes to this place (Hipercor).  We take the bus at 10, do boots shopping, add in some walking sticks and are back in town by 11:30am.

We stop by a Burgos Restaurant for tapas -- little bocadillos filled with egg and chorizo/jamon.  So yummy, we get some more to eat along the way. We are able to start our walk at 12:10 noon.

It starts out quite sunny with blue skies going out of Burgos.   As we reach the outskirts, it starts turning grey then, as predicted, it begins to snow-- little snowflakes -- but together with the wind, it gets into our eyes.

Blue skies as we leave Burgos

Blue skies turn to grey

The wind gets stronger and the snowflakes get bigger. We start singing songs like Winter Wonderland and Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  It seems quite comical to have sunny blue skies turn to grey then to sleet and snow all in half a day.

As we reach Tardajos at 2 pm, it becomes a driving snow lashing against our faces and it becomes quite cold.  We run into a cafe for some cafe con leche then bravely start out again reaching Rabe de la Calzada in 15 minutes.


Rabe de la Calzada plaza

On the way, we pass a long stretch of muddy road. Here, I start thinking about the song Prayer of St Francis and sing it over and over in my head. Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring you love. Where there is discord, harmony. Where there is doubt, true faith in you. Oh Master, grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul.... 

We reach Hornillos del Camino at 5 pm and check in at their single albergue. It is quite nice.  We have a pilgrim menu dinner at Casa Manolo together with 2 Belgian ladies, Christian and Marie Francoise, and chat about the day's events and a myriad of other things. We later sit in front of an antique wood stove to warm our feet and talk to the other pilgrims there. 

Christopher, a young American boy, comes up to me as I massage my sore feet in front of the wood fire and asks me "do you pray?"  Then when I say yes, he continues on to ask me if I could teach him how to pray.  I am taken aback by that and tell him I am no expert, and in fact, come to think of it, how did I learn to pray? How did you learn to pray? How does one teach someone how to pray?

Hornillos del Camino

The complete "Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis" I later find in the first page of the little book "Franciscan Prayers" given to me by Jose Luis in Tosantos.

Make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek:
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For, it is in giving, that we receive;
It is in forgetting self, that we find ourselves;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
It is in dying, that we are born to eternal life.

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