• Ryan Newman

Small Blessings

Updated: Apr 26, 2018

Day 11 (Villafranca to Burgos)

Distance: 23.28 miles (37.5KM)

Steps: 48,000

Time: 6 hours, 49 minutes

Total Distance To-Date: 179.05 Miles (288.2KM)

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” Charles Spurgeon (English Cleryperson)

Initially, I had planned on a short day (about 12 miles). However, as I reached my scheduled final destination for the day, I thought to myself, “I could go longer!”

The options were minimal—there were a couple small villages ahead or I could push hard and try to reach the city Burgos. Another 3+ hours later, I reached the large and historic city of Burgos—home to one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

Not going to lie, walking 23 miles is no stroll in the park. By mile 18, my feet were burning and sore. The scenery was rather boring. The last 4 miles into Burgos was through a heavy industrial area.

However, Burgos did pay off (and will pay off) in simple ways. Upon arriving in the historic part of the city, I arrived at my hotel. I literally had booked the hotel online as I walked into Burgos. I’m guessing that pilgrims hundreds of years ago didn’t have the benefit of an iPhone on the Camino. For $32 Euros, I got a great room in a 3 star hotel in the historic city center. Normally, the room would cost 3 times that amount. What a last-minute blessing from Bookings.com.

Burgos didn’t stop there! 5 minutes away from my hotel was a laundromat. Laundromats in Europe are tiny compared to American standards. This one had three washers and two dryers. Laundry Love would take all day and night in this laundromat. An hour later, I had completely clean clothes (It has been a week). Most days, I try to wash my walking clothes in the bathroom sink—it helps with the smell. However, truly laundered clothes are a real blessing especially after walking almost 140 miles in them without a washing machine.

Dinner tonight was a real treat—the first legit GREAT meal on the Camino. Found a restaurant (La Parrilla) where they grill everything. I had grilled asparagus and grilled octopus. It was a special meal.

Tomorrow, I will sleep in (huge blessing) and then visit the historic cathedral and some museums. Later in the day, I will do a short 2 hour walk out of Burgos to my next destination.

If I had not ventured to Burgos today, I would have not had so many small, but amazing blessings.

Lesson of the Day: The Camino offers simple blessings to those who persevere.


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