Ascending out of Villa Franca Monte de Oca


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Originally uploaded by johnpigott0820

Robin and I had a nice stay at the municipal albergue in Villafranca. We set out early for Atapuerca in freezing temperatures (seems to be the norm these days) and quickly warmed up with another steep ascent right out of the village. The sunrise was spectacular as we climbed up towards San Juan de Ortega. As we headed up into the forest the snow cover inceased but never rerally amounted to more than a few inches. The ice on the path was more of a concern as we picked our way through many frozen thaws. Robin and I sometimes walk side by side and sometimes in tandem. It just depends on the width of the camino and our mood at the time. We have found we both need time to reflect and pray as the cadence of our footfalls marks our time towards Santiago. The balance of reflection and prayer seems to have something to do with the difficulty of the terrain and the weather. Upon arrival in San Juan de Ortega we were very pleasantly surprised to find a bar right by the church open for business. Cafe con leche for me and tea for Robin. The sun was shining strongly and actually had some warmth in it, so this little mountain top break was indeed a treat. We descended down towards Ages and eventually arrived in Atapuerca in the early afternoon. We had made a reservation at the casa rural Papasol. It was the only place open in the village. We checked in and got settled and then toook a brief walk around as it still was early. Not much to report just cold and desolate. We pushed off early the next morning and arrived in Burgos at 1:30. We are now at the brand new municipal albergue and it is fantastic. Not sure whether we will stay an extra day or not. We will attend the 7:30 pilgrims mass at the cathedral tonight. Next u is our first crack at the meseta as we head off to Hornillos del Camino.

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