A long ancient bridge led us into the picturesque town of Hospital d’Ortega a few days after leaving Leon. At 204 metres it is the longest bridge along the Camino – and considering the tiny river it crosses – about 200 metres longer than strictly necessary. The majority of this aged relic stretches over a large expanse of bright green grass, which in all likelihood we could have just walked across. Our home for the night was a quaint little alberque that had been recommended to us – a peaceful and serene place until a large gaggle of Italian cyclists arrived.
Outside the main Municipal hostel in Burgos I joined the back of a long line inhabited by a truly bedraggled bunch – all staring vacantly into space. Those who arrived after were given the solemn news that there were no beds left.
In the grand scheme of a walk, it would be a little longer than a pleasant Sunday morning stroll. The Camino de Santiago, a thousand year old pilgrimage route, would take me from the edge of France and across Spain to the famed cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. A little less than 500 miles.