Bye Bye Burgos
After nearly a year of rest days, I anxiously journeyed back to where I had painfully (literally and figuratively) parted ways with my fellow peregrinos. This arrival via bus from Madrid however, lacked the “weak in the knees” feeling (again both literally and figuratively) of my first meet and greet with the charming Castilian city.
For one, the sun was no longer blazing in Burgos. It seemed that not much had changed since the soaking wet Semana Santa I had spent in Spain just a few months prior. The dreary, chilly weather was doing nothing to spark my, “Here I go again on my own” mentality. What did spark it, was when hauled up on a stool in a deserted bar eating dinner far too early, Whitesnake suddenly came blasting through the speakers. Un signo de Dios? Well, claro.
And then there was the disappointment that my Spanish “something,” after countless months of communication had “something” more pressing to do somewhere else. Burgos was letting me down.
Yet in between shivers, missing my Camino pals, and feeling lonely and unsure of what this Camino would hold, I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for this town. The catedral with El Cid buried beneath, set against a cloudy gray canvas was just so perfectly picturesque. And strolling down calles of colorful façades, well shoot, I was smitten, and thankfully a little tipsy. I needed the extra layer.
Still, when I heaved that familiar mochila on the next day and stepped out into the dim light, I felt utterly alone. I didn’t get far when I realized I had forgotten to put on my knee brace. (A preventative measure from the excruciating pain of my last 200 miles).
As I retied my laces, I noticed two young guys at the other end of the plaza. “Americans, for sure,” I thought.
As I approached them, one called out, “Do you know the way?”
“I have an idea, but let’s figure it out together,” I responded.
The two were Daniel and Jack and when Daniel said he was from Columbus, Ohio a burst of energy shot from my head to my heart.
“Are you in the seminary?” I asked.
Just days before I left, my friend Lauren had emailed me telling me about some guys she knew starting the Camino in France not long before me. In Burgos, we were already a good 12 days from the start of the Camino Francés, so I knew there was no way we could possibly meet.
Daniel, taken completely aback, looked at me in utter shock. “Yes,” he mouthed.
And on cue my eyes filled with tears. Now there was my Camino, the always providing Camino. Due to injury, Daniel and Jack had to bus a few stages to Burgos, so here they were. The first people I met not even two minutes in and the very same people I never imagined I would pass.
Daniel and Jack proved to be special Camino friends and faithful guides along The Way. Meeting them was testament to my Camino mantra, “Anything can happen.”
Just 20 days to Santiago…