Destination: Orbaneja was the plan but we ended up in Burgos.
Distance: 28km walked plus 12km by taxi
Time: 7:15 hours, 8:45am to 4:00pm, arrived at hotel by 5
Terrain: 3-4 climbs and back down again, through lots of oak and pine forest, then out in the open
Weather: spitting rain for first 2 hours, spitting rain and strong wind for next 2 hours, pouring rain and heavy wind for 2 hours and light rain for last hour.
Distance to date: 278 km
We had a good sleep, got up at 7:30 and had breakfast at the hotel, then packed up and were on our way at 8:45am. It was heavy overcast and spitting rain. We went up into some nice oak and pine forest but the leaves weren’t out yet so it wasn’t too pretty. Still saw lots of wild flowers. We kept bundled up but it wasn’t too cold – we just had to stay dry.
Stopped for a cold drink and baño at 3 hour mark and then the wind picked up. It was strong and relentless, coming from our left and sometimes making it hard to walk. For awhile we had the protection of the trees but then we came out into the open and it really started to blow.
As we started our last big climb, the clouds ahead were black and the trail was difficult and rocky. Soon it started to rain heavily so we stopped long enough for Erik to put on his rain pants and me to put plastic bags over my socks, inside my shoes. It was an awful climb up the mountain (1100m at highest point) and the wind and rain were terrible.
When we got to the peak, we stopped so I could put on my fleece and my mitts which was challenging because it was so cold and wet and windy. We weren’t sure which trail to take down and opted for the safer looking one which was ultimately 2km longer but at that point, we had no idea.
We finally got to a decent road and the wind and rain slowed and eventually we arrived in Orbaneja. My fingers were numb and I was so cold and wet, I could hardly stand it anymore. We were looking forward to our hotel which would give us only 12km to walk into Burgos tomorrow. We had trouble finding the hotel so we went into a bar and asked. Apparently there are two towns called Orbaneja. The hotel we had booked was in the other one, an hour’s drive north and quite off track. Gahh!!!!!
We looked at our options, one of which would be to stay in the Albergue in town but we really wanted someplace warmer and preferably with a bath. Erik could see I was at my breaking point and so cold I could hardly move. He bought me a coffe and then gave me the rest of his. I don’t know how much more I could have taken and he took good care of me. Eventually we decided to see if we could get into our Burgos hotel a day early and then take a taxi into town.
It all worked out although we lost the money on the first hotel in the wrong city and had to pay 30 euros for a taxi. But we arrived in Burgos at 5pm and I soon slipped into the best hot bath I’ve ever had. The only problem is that all of our clothes are wet or dirty and we can’t get into a laundromat until tomorrow. Still, at least we are here for two nights!
We are relaxing in the lobby which is the only place we seem to be able to get wifi and then we will go out and find some dinner.
It was definitely an epic day. I don’t have many pictures because I had to keep my phone inside my coat so it didn’t get wet. 🙂