Day 18, Burgos to Hornillos

Well, my research paid off. The taxi I had booked turned up, lovely Spanish guy, he did check 3 times that I really wanted to go to the monastery in Santo Domingo de Silas which made me very nervous. Having said that after 50mins of driving through some really beautiful countryside we arrived. 

The town is just picturesque. So many of the towns and villages in Spain have a number of buildings which look like they might fall down any minute and with loads of buildings for sale. Clearly the monastery brings in lots of money as none of that is evident here.

I toured the monastery and cloisters which are fascinating. The monastery started in the 7th century and was full of life and really active from the beginning of the 10th century. Santo Domingo arrived in Silos in 1041 and acted as Abbot until 1073.

The whole town has an air of tranquility, the backdrop to the town are mountains just East of the Tabladillo Valley.

The church bells started to ring with 10 minutes until Vespers. Most of the Mass services I have been to have been attended by about 50 people, tonight was more like 200.

The service was quite magical, very hard to describe to be honest, but overall I would not have missed it and it was totally worth the trip.

Back to Burgos now to get ready to head off again tomorrow. 

Today started with the test of navigating the outskirts of Burgos. As usual, not that exciting but Logrono was worse. The outskirts lasted a few km and then the route passed through paths and a couple of small villages before the Meseta really started. I stopped for coffee in the final village before the Meseta.

Both the Churches passed this morning were closed but just after the leaving my coffee stop I passed a small chapel, it was beautiful and very simple, many are unmanned but this one had a nun who, in Spanish, told a whole legend of a link with Paris. She gave me a metal necklace with an imprint of the Blessed Virgin who intercedes for those on pilgrimage on this earth. This gift of metal is to protect and accompany us on the WAY. She then gave me two kisses and wished me “buen camino”. I assumed that everyone got kisses but Andy later said he got slaps on the cheeks so perhaps she picks and chooses!! 

As I left the chapel the scenery changed to that typical of the Meseta area and the paths wove out in front of me. I have to say some of the shadows do make me laugh, I would love to know how I got these legs!

I was passed on my route today by this Pilgrim, travelling the route on a unicycle!! Rather him than me, he is German and has travelled from the start of Spain (not over the Pyrenees, understandably).

The following saying resonated with me today, perhaps this is my message for the day.

Andy caught up with me just as we arrived into Hornillos, I am sure he was just making sure I didn’t eat all the lunch. We were shortly joined by Dawn, Scottish teacher and then a lady from the US who just started in Burgos. She did the first two weeks last year.

There are very few places to stay in Hornillos so we were all picked up in a car and driven a few km off the route to our hostel. They drop us back at the same spot in the morning! It is safe to say it is in the middle of nowhere though, so I have a few hours to occupy before dinner.

Pick up point!

Tomorrow is another short day which is nice, although it is forcing a relaxed pace since most of the afternoon is free.

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