Tuesday, October 4, 2022

 Day 13 Villambistia to Atapuerca, Spain October 4, 2022

I had a great sleep and after a questionable breakfast –

Cake for breakfast? I guess it’s no different than a donut or a muffin but it certainly is not for me.  We had to use the microwave to heat the water for the instant coffee so instead I used boxed milk and had hot chocolate. It was way better than the instant coffee would have been!

It is the second time I’ve slept with Italians and both groups completely ignored the fact that someone was still sleeping in the room so they talked at regular volume. Everybody else whispers until the whole room is up but not the Italians.

Our goal today was 23.3 km to Atapuerca –

My intention for the day was to arrive at my destination without feeling like crawling the last few feet and I did it! Not without a new blister though. I now have one on the tip of my right big toe but I stopped in time to bandage it with the hope that I can keep it under control. My other blisters seem to be healing quite well and are not painful at all, at least not at this moment!  The new socks I bought are marked left and right and I noticed I had the left sock on the right foot. Surely that wouldn’t cause a blister, I mean are socks that smart? I will try to get it right from now on to see if it makes a difference.

We were on the road at 7:21.  It was dark but that was OK because I had my headlamp and the Camino signs now are very reflective so easy to see. It was also nice walking in the cool morning. Along the way-

I’m getting there-


I had an egg and Serrano ham sandwich for breakfast.  Serrano ham hangs from the ceiling in lots of cafés-

Most of the walk was through a forest that smelled so good. It was also very cool which made for easy walking –

There are a lot of monuments.  This one commemorates 300 people shot to death in 1936 for opposing the government-

and it appears a pilgrim died here while walking-

More forest-

And then we came out of the forest to more cultivated land-

San Juan de Ortega was the next village and lunch stop-

The church is nice-

and inside is a monument of limestone and alabaster commissioned in 1462.  There are 6 conopial arches decorated with tracery which support the vaulting on the inside.  Between the arches are 6 angels holding the coat of arms of this province- Castille y León, the cross of Saint Andrew and the coats of arms of various families of the region. It’s Saint Juan lying inside-

Carrying on-

One of a few villages we walked through-

An ancient bridge-

And finally we arrived at Atapuerca. It has an archeological site where they have found remains from 1.4 million years ago -

They also have their own Stonehenge with rocks that were recently excavated-

I’m staying in Hostel La Plazuela Verde which is very nice.  We have our own little space-

The kitchen area is also nice-


A lot of albergues have gone to fitted rubber sleeves on the mattresses - to prevent bed bugs-

Then  you get a paper pillowcase and sheet to go over top of that that is disposable-

Enjoying my cubbyhole-

I am not carrying a sleeping bag so I rely on blankets which I have been fortunate to get every night except one so far.

After a rest, Marianne, Bernadette and I found a bar for a few drinks then we went to another restaurant for the pilgrim’s supper which was excellent.  Michèle, Marianne, Bernadette, Roxanne, David, me and Michal from Israel-

We were lucky to have a reservation here because there were a few people who did not have one and they had to move on to the next town. We have decided to make a reservation for the next night every day and that saves a lot of worrying and wondering where we might sleep. 

Off to Burgos in the morning!

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