Camino Frances - Logrono to Burgos
Having walked the final stage of the French Way
from Sarria to Santiago last year and caught the bug for the Camino, this year we chose to walk from Logrono to Burgos
. This section can also be done in a week, though two days of it are pretty tiring, even without carrying your luggage - around 30K.
Getting to Logrono and back home from Burgos
After looking around at budget airline flights we found that Easyjet (Stansted to Bilbao) provided our best option. Bilbao lies about 150K to the north of the Camino French Way, roughly equidistant between
Logrono and Burgos. A combination of bus and train connections could have got us from Bilbao to Logrono and then back from Burgos to Biblao. However, as there was four of us, we rented a car at Bilbao airport and dropped it off at Logrono and then rented another at Burgos, which we left at Bilbao airport. Fortunately, Europcar give Easyjet travellers a discount. Thus in the end we paid much the same for the convenience of car hire to and from the airport as we would have paid for more lengthy bus and train journeys.
What's to see in Logrono and Burgos
Logrono is the capital of the small province of La Rioja. Not far from its lovingly maintained cathedral, in and around Calle Laurel, you can enjoy around 50 tapas bars serving: Spanish omelette, squid, octopus, mini pork burgers, chorizo, black pudding, sheep's ear, cows tongue and the like.
Burgos is somewhat larger, with a grand opulent, mainly 16th century, cathedral (where Mr and Mrs El Cid are entombed). Here too in Burgos you can enjoy a tapas bar crawl in the streets between the cathedral and Plaza Mayor.
Finding the Way
We had feared that this section, being 500 to 600K from Santiago, might be less well trodden and less well marked. However, even in October we met plenty of other fellow pilgrims in the cafe pit stops en route and pilgrim menu restaurants. Also, as with the route near to Santiago, there are plenty of yellow arrows on stones, trees, walls, posts, etc. that reassured us that we were on the Camino path.
On the Way
After passing through the vineyards of Rioja the landscape gives way to cereal cropland. The small town of Santo Domingo (place of the legendary son and chicken coming back to life) appears to completely close down by 10pm. Maybe this was all to the good as a bell summoning nuns to their morning offices in the convent accommodation, in which we stayed, started ringing at 6.30am. Despite its small size, the town has a magnificent cathedral and bell tower. On leaving La Rioja and journeying on into the province of Burgos we passed through forest land and more farmland before finally descending to Burgos. There are a couple of alternative routes along the way. One that must be recommended is just beyond Orbaneja (just after crossing over the motorway). Here we followed the route alongside the airport to Castanares, from where we got onto a path beside the Rio Arlanzon, which took us through parkland all the way to Burgos City Centre, where a bridge leads over the river to the cathedral (much more preferable than traipsing through the suburbs of Burgos).
Though a little tiring (two of us are in our 60s), walking this section of the French Way made for an interesting week's holiday. Now home we are looking at which part of the French we can next do.