Monday, December 31, 2012

Camino Entry 32

Where am I today?

Entry 32, December 26th, 2011

Expenses, Day 32
Burgos Cathedral: 2.50
Postcards: 2.20
Burgos Munincipal Albergue: 5.00
Chinese Food: 12.00
Churros con chocolate: 4.00
Replacement toothbrush + toothpaste: 5.00
Total: 32.70
Trip Total: 738.53

Another beautiful day today – not a cloud in the sky. Cresting the ridge out of Agés we found a huge series of concentric circles, made of white stones placed by pilgrims in the heath. It was very strong – a rock in the center had “love” painted on it.

Also from the ridge we could see Burgos, and beyond – the meséta. I am excited – time to put on some serious kilometers to León! My feet feel great, and my boots feel like sex on two feet. It is not the enemy, impatience, that urges me on, but enthusiasm!

Cleber found me a perfect walking stick at the albergue last night. It is exactly the right height and is smooth and straight. I appreciated it on the way down the hill. Now I feel like a real pilgrim.

The addition of the stick is tempered by the fact that I keep forgetting things. I left my watch behind on Christmas Eve, and this morning I left my whole toiletries bag behind. No great loss, as I only had a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, soap, and toenail clippers, but an annoying one. I need to find soap, and the floss was useful to have as string.

We ate Chinese food today in Burgos, as the Master was craving rice. At the restaurant (La Gran Muralla – the great wall) we were translating through three languages – Korean to English to Spanish to the server, and back from Spanish to English to Korean to the Master. The Koreans didn't want to tip – old animosities die hard, I guess. The food was okay. My stomach was feeling unsettled earlier, but is doing alright now.

The cathedral here is amazing, easily on par with Notre Dame in terms of raw beauty. Gothic, Gothic, Gothic!!! But for something so rich and ornamented, it was surprisingly bright inside. I always expect Gothic architecture to be very dark, but it never is. I guess it really is all about light. El Cid and his wife were buried here – it was not so much a cathedral as it was a complex.

And so rich in storytelling! Everywhere there were tombs and chapels of so-and-so and such-and-such, all covered entirely in Christian imagery. The choir in particular; each seat had three different scenes engraved on it from different stories – that makes hundreds of narratives in that space alone! How can anyone keep track of so much history?

If I had to describe Spain in one word, it would be “richness.” Rich storytelling, rich architecture, rich food – we found another chocolatería. Chocolate con churros, mmm . . . the place was all decked out in Charlie Chaplain stuff, which was a bit of a non-sequiter; not that we were complaining.

Later I was in town again to find a toothbrush, and the place was bustling. Christmas in Spain seems to begin on the 25th and run until January 6th, the day when the wise men arrived (and the day that children get their presents). People were caroling in the plaza, food vendors were everywhere, and it was packed!

I stopped and listened to a street violinist for a while. Here on the camino, without iPod or computer, I feel starved for music. Anything I hear is like water to a man in the desert – it falls straight into my depths. I crave it. Harmonies are the sweetest treats in the world. My sensitivity is heightened . . . I love it!

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