Salamanca to Burgos (183 Miles)
We awoke early, even before the alarm was scheduled to go off at 08:00am. We had our customary duvet coffees before getting ‘ready to roll’. This time we did remember to make a flask of coffee, although there would be no Bacon Buttie stops today as we were now all out of bacon !! I did a final check of Emails but there was no response from the UK Campsite about our later than anticipated arrival on Tuesday evening. We went first to the Motorhome Service Point and did the necessary with the on-board facilities, then Shazza went across to the hotel reception and paid the site fees. We pulled out of the Campsite still not having made the decision on where we were headed, although both our options were on the same initial route so we still had a little time to think about it !!
Shazza had been doing her homework again so as soon as we had got around the Salamanca Ring Road and settled down to the easy Motorway (toll-free) drive our discussions started on where we would be parking up later in the day. I say discussions, but such use of that word would imply that more than one person was involved in the communication process !! She started by telling me something that I already knew, the fact that we were now into our last two days of the ‘Adventure’ and that she didn’t want to spend it just sat in the van looking out of the windows, which I thought was a pretty reasonable opening argument. “The problem with Valladolid” she pronounced, “Was that it was still a little too far South and would mean quite a hard push to Santander if we elected to stay for the two nights“. It did cross my mind that to me, a hard push was something like a seven hour drive and over three hundred miles, a bit like the ‘Shazza Mystery Tour’ we had been on just a day or so ago, I certainly didn’t think that Valladolid was that far from Santander, however, I remained silent and listened Intently to the rest of her logical thought. “If we only did the one night then pushed on to Cabarceno, there is nothing to do once we get there”, she said in a forlorn sort of way. There was one thing that I already knew for certain and that was that ‘we were not going to Valladolid’, she just hadn’t quite got around to telling me that yet !! There was a silence from my beloved, this usually means that she is now waiting for me to say something, I didn’t disappoint her, “So, Burgos it is then” I announced, with a knowing smile on my face. “What does the Guide Book say about the place” I enquired, at which point the next half hour, or so, was taking up with Shazza telling me about all the places we could visit and that it was a straightforward one hundred and sixteen mile, three-hour drive to Santander from there on Monday, which, she told me, would give us plenty of time, as the ferry departure was not now until 4:30pm. All this from someone who doesn’t apparently do ‘Plans‘ !!
I did become a little worried when she told me that although she was looking forward to looking around Burgos, she did have a particular reason for wanting to go there, “Oh, why is that” I asked inquisitively, “Well, actually I am looking for a local boy who I know is there, he is called Rodrigo Diaz” she announced, with a wink of her eye and a wicked smile on her face. Now I know that I am a little more mature in years than Shazza but I do try to look after myself and keep fit, I go on all her ‘Expeditions‘ without too many complaints and I tend to her every whim, so why would she be interested in another bloke !! Where did she meet this chap, I knew she had one of those ‘Facebook‘ account things, I had heard a lot about them, probably from when she was watching that ‘Jeremy Kyle’ show on the TV, but it was never good news. I tried to sound unconcerned and tried to ask my question in a calm and rational sort of way but what came out was “Who the bloody hell is Rodrigo Diaz” ? She looked across at me, still wearing that wicked smile “It was you that introduced me to him” she said, “But you called him by his more well-known name and you really don’t need to worry“, she remarked, patting me on my knee. “And why is that” I asked, “Well apparently he died in Valencia in 1099 and his tomb is in Burgos Cathedral“. The penny dropped as they say, she was of course referring to the ‘Castilian Nobleman, Soldier and Mercenary‘ that was the Legendary ‘El Cid‘. I don’t know what her fascination is with the tombs of dead people, first it was Christopher Columbus in Seville Cathedral and now El Cid, the thought did enter my head as to whether I should ask her if a DNA test had been done on these remains, for all we know what lay inside the tomb may just have been his horse, but I thought better of it, I didn’t want to spoil her excitement !! We programmed ‘Snoopy’ to take us to the ACSI Municipal Campsite at Burgos then sat back and enjoyed the rest of the 187 mile drive.
Apart from the usual advantages of being on a Campsite, this one just happened to be a mere 3km walk along the riverbank to the City. After getting ‘Big Momma’ transformed back into ‘home’ mode and a brief lunch, we Shazza decided that it would be a good idea to do a ‘quick recce’ of the town. I insisted that if we were going to spend a full day the next day doing the sightseeing bits, then today would certainly have to be just a ‘quick recce’, she of course stated that it would be, and just for the record, when we returned a few hours later, her ‘Electronic Walking Gismo’ reflected that we had covered 11km !!
The site WiFi wasn’t working and my Motorhome WiFi iBoost wasn’t picking up any ‘non secure’ signals for me to tap into, so I had to purchase some data on my iPhone so that I could check my Emails. I was glad that I did as I had received an Email back from our pre-booked campsite in the UK, fortunately they stated that their was no issue with our late arrival and wished us a safe journey, at least that’s a bit of peace of mind.
We were up bright and early for a change, only because the site WiFi wasn’t working so we couldn’t listen to ‘Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs’ on the radio. I knew I was in trouble, Shazza had already got my ‘walking boots’ ready for me to put on, we only do ‘Walking Boots’ if we are going to do some serious walking !! We wrapped up well, it was a dry morning but the icy bite to the wind was already nibbling at our ears the minute we left the van. There were lots of people out already, cyclists, joggers and others like us just walking. It was a straightforward route, we just followed the riverside path all the way into the city, there were numerous foot bridges which would have given access to different parts but we knew where we were headed, just like Salamanca, the Cathedral marked the centre of the historic part of the ‘old town’ and we knew from our previous days ‘quick recce’ just how to get there. Our first Port of call, as always, was the Tourist Information Centre, it had been closed when we called yesterday. We obtained our ‘free’ street plan and leaflet, with monument opening times and Admission costs, but today there was not to be any pre-expedition coffee to study our route, “We don’t have time, we can get one later, there is so much to see” mein Fuehrer stated !! “But Rodrigo is dead and so not going anywhere in a hurry” I protested, but my words fell on deaf ears, or they would have done but the ears and Shazza were already heading off in an Easterly direction !!
We found ‘Rodrigo’, well the tomb of his, or his horses, remains !! but I have to confess that on this trip I really am all ‘Cathedraled’ out and will be happy if I never step in another one until it is my turn to be enshrined in my own tomb, which I hasten to add, is I hope not for a very long time yet !! I cannot tell you how long we spent sightseeing as at the end of it I was so weak I couldn’t lift my arm to look at my wristwatch !! However, Shazzas Gismo told her that we had walked 19km today, so that is a healthy 43km over the last three days, that occupation of a tomb could be closer than I think at this rate !!
Although my legs may tend to disagree with me, I really enjoyed Burgos, it is a very modern city and lovely to explore, even in its ‘Winter Livery’, it would certainly be a fantastic place to visit in the summer and unlike some places we have visited on this year’s Winter Adventure, I would certainly come back at some point in the future to take a second look, but for now, we have a ferry to catch………………………….