Post cover page: The high point for us in Burgos was watching a dramatic thunder and lightning storm develop over the plains...
We crossed the border from Portugal into Northern Spain spending a few nights in Salamanca, home of Spain's oldest university, founded in 1218. Then we intersected with the Camino de Santiago in the cities of Burgos and Leon and in the small town of Santillana del Mar.
The Camino runs right through the city of Burgos. Strolling past the cathedral and some churches where dozens of men in dark suits and women in gowns were attending weddings, wecame to a small cobbled side street where backpackers were lined up in front of an ancient doorway all gabbing with one another. They were all pilgrims on the journey along the Camino waiting to have their documents stamped. Some were old, some were young, but all seemed elated to be participating in the experience.
This hike is 500 miles long, and as far as I know, you don't even get a souvenir T-shirt when you complete it. In the past, it supposedly offered peasants a chance for a ticket into heaven, which previously had been reserved for the clergy and the rich. Nowadays, I suspect there are as many reasons for hiking the trail as there are people hiking it.
Lightning storms decorate this part of the journey. Huge skyscapes with black and orange and pink clouds are illuminated by flashes of lightning. Warm winds nearly blow us over before the beginning of each storm.
It's great to be out in the countryside. Salamanca with its student population was noisy fun, but for those of us who would rather sleep than party until dawn - or listen to loud partying until dawn - the sounds of horses and cows during the day and wind and thunder at night are just fine.