Day 25-Atapuerca to Villafria

  • Distance today:                    7.5 mi
  • Distance Camino 2017:     181 mi

It was dark when we began walking this morning at 6:20 with a cool 55 degrees and a slight breeze. Headlamps were critical as we followed a footpath up the side of the mountain with hints of farmland on the right and an army base bordered with rusty, coiled, barbed wire and no trespassing signs on the left. The last half mile or so the path got very rocky making walking quite difficult.


First light appeared when we had climbed up some 400 ft and were arriving at the top (3500 ft).

All alone on the barren rocky surface at the mountain pentacle stood a simple, tall cross surrounded by a mound of stones and other items placed there by passing pilgrims.

Before beginning our descent we looked back and paused to gaze at the beautiful image of the silhouette of the cross overlaid on the emerging sunrise.

We then turned around and could now see in the distance the lights of Burgos and for the first time, the flat terrain beginning at Burgos known as the Meseta.

The path down the mountain was about as steep as the assent, but even though it was less rocky it was enough to compel these two pilgrims to take it slow and easy to prevent unpleasant knee and ankle issues. The path eventually became a farm road with a more gradual slope then joined a paved farm road and then a secondary road leading toward Villafria.

After 3.5 miles, the road began to level out and shortly after, we stopped at a popular pilgrim bar/albergue/rest area for breakfast as we entered the village of Cardeñuela de Riopico (pop. 111).

A feet rest and breakfast completed, we began the final several miles on pavement into Villafria. The hard surface was predictably tiring, but traffic was not an issue and the morning clouds were hanging around, keeping the temperature tolerable and the breeze cool.

The last mile, we walked around a fence providing security for the east half of the Burgos airport, then shared a bridge with some large trucks crossing railway tracks and then entered the Burgos suburb of highly industrialized Villafria.

The Hotel Buenos Aires(40€) is an average hotel with restaurant/bar and nice size rooms and modern bathrooms.


Ironically it doesn’t have an easy way to dry hand washed clothes, because its clients are typical tourists and business people and not pilgrims, mostly due to the price range. So we minimized our hand washing and hanged items out in the room or out the window, securing them from blowing away from our 3rd floor room.

We had a tortilla lunch after we settled in and when we found out their restaurant didn’t open until 8:30, we also had a tortilla dinner.

The afternoon and after dinner was spent resting, updating the blog and did I say resting?

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