Camino de Santiago, Day 11 – from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega

So to ease you in for today’s post:
Extra kilometers – Bees – Hungarians – … and oh no, my water just broke

 Jó reggelt, szevasztok … 

After last night’s great relaxation next to the pool and a massive food coma, I woke up pretty well-rested, with less and less pain in my feet. We had – as usual by now – a very late breakfast, no one even was in the Albergue anymore.
This is my Camino…
…When I started I decided that I want to enjoy every second of this adventure, I wanna see the country not just follow the exact path without even an extra turn. I want to taste the food and wines, sit down for a beer or finish the day earlier if I feel like it. I don’t want to rush it through, I don’t want to wake up at 4 and run to the next stop. I just wanna have a comfortable Camino and live for every moment.

It sounded like THE plan for the first 10 minutes when in Saint Jean Pied de Port the hospitalero greeted me good morning and said every Albergue is full in Roncesvalles so I should hurry – but actually I’m already late. After that, we’ve been told that everyyythiiinggg is full in the upcoming like 8 stops, cuz way too many people started the Camino on the 2nd of May 2019 so we should seriously think about booking the Albergues in advance or we gonna have lots of extra kilometers, or sleep in the wild, or on a floor of a school – I heard that happened to many in Zubiri. That cuts half of the spontaneity out from the game straight away but…  BUTTT at least we gonna have a place to stay each night and more time to discover the area during the day.
… just a quick Camino Hack: if you book online 99% of the time they can not cancel your booking. If you just call the Albergue to reserve a bed – …first, dig deep in your Spanish knowledge cuz mostly it starts with “no hablo inglés” … they just say be here by 4 or it’s canceled – … by the way that’s how I became a gold member on and also received free nights cuz’ of all the bookings. You’re welcome.


So we started our walk for today

60355022_2148220468580849_6465478531416588288_n… who is who?

As we were leaving the town behind we saw a pretty cool little square with a church and the usual stork nests on the building – that always gives a bit of a creepy vibe to the situation in my opinion. Storks are da thang on the Camino – … especially in May or I don’t know… – and the street arts. Oh, street arts. Ah, I just love them, they are so creative and nicely done and usually huuuge. Not just like a smudge on a wall to ruin the street capture. They are often connected to the Camino or telling a story or something, it’s just great…

Around twelve we reached a town called… well I don’t really know to be honest… – welcome to my blog. – …  But let’s keep going, cuz I don’t know the name but it really was beautiful.
On the main street, you can find many hand and footprints. If anyone knows more information about this thing, pls let me know in the comments below…


… And look at the street.


… In general, I’m in love with the small hidden Spanish streets and their vibes. I just love it, especially if a street guitarist plays on one corner…


As James Corden said once… It makes you want to move to Spain. I just can’t control it, Genuinely can not control it…

I know, right?

Okay, so back to today’s walk.

It was a nice and easy one, super-warm though. The view was our reward for it, cuz it was so beautiful and green everywhere. We were surrounded by those yellow flowers I was mentioning before many times. Beautiful for the eyes and yummy smell for the nose. But today we realized there’s a dark side to it. Especially if it’s close to the path and to us hikers.

Bees. Oh God, the bees.

And I know, bees are good – wasps are dicks. But it’s not as fun when you get covered and/or chased by them, and like 20 flying into your face and aura… and you are terrified. Some people go nuts cuz of mouse or spider or mirrors – … I don’t know.
But, bitch. Give me all the bugs you want and the bad spirits at midnight through a broken mirror… Or whateva, honestly. Just don’t let a bee or a wasp fly near me.

… I was trying to stay calm and kind of holding it together – …not.

Suddenly a guy near us jumped off his bike, started to run in circles while he was trying to get rid of his helmet. He looked like he had some kind of a seizure or something, so we quickly ran over and tried to help him. He said a bee got stuck in his helmet and stinging his head. That’s when I kind of shat myself, not gonna lie. Cindy was a proper nurse – while I was watching from far – she took the bee’s ass out of the poor guy’s forehead. We sat there with him for a while giving him some water and chocolate. Luckily he didn’t show any signs of an allergic reaction, but he said he was in so much pain so he decided to call a Camino emergency phone number.
Just gonna leave a side note here: 

  • 112 – general emergency
  • 091 – police
  • 061 – health emergency
  • 080 – firefighters

And then right there, in the middle of nowhere, I saw my destiny…  – unfortunately not in the eyes of a Spanish cowboy in the countryside, but instead…

20190512_152154psYea well, we can call this an uphill, right?

I kinda saw it coming thanks to the map in the Camino book but I wasn’t expecting that…
I hate uphills so much. Sooo much. All the way from the very first day, till – spoiler alert – the last one. As we were getting closer it didn’t look as bad anymore but still, it was killin’ – bitchin’ – especially cuz it was already a good 20 something km in our feet today.

20190512_152403psAs you can see the path was lovely too, very easy on your knees and ankles

… Then all of a sudden everything went flat


… but like, super-flat and boring


… and dry

20190512_161231ps I would like to take this moment and give a shout out to my amazing shoes for being there for me through all the hard times, all the laughs and cries, and saved me, my feet and my Camino
– if you read my previous posts you know what I’m talking about, if not then click HERE right now –

Every now and then we passed through some signs made by other pilgrims with rocks and stuff – at least you know you are still on the right track cuz from time to time it felt like we are proper lost and alone.

I was deep in my thoughts – and boredom – when suddenly I heard a scream coming from behind…

“Oh no my water just broke”

Cindy dropped her plastic bottle and it fell into pieces – …but the sentence just cracked me up. High Five to all my fellow bilinguals out there, sometimes we can be hilarious.

After the laugh, we realized losing that water wasn’t as funny after all cuz we are still in the middle of nowhere still some kilometers ahead on a warm and dry day without any shade on the path –  eh.
Suddenly we saw a little sign hiding on the side of the road

UntitledOasis – that’s what we need, thanks Universe

Soon we arrived, and the place was so cool with all the wooden statues and stuff around. We chilled there for like half an hour and I discovered a couple of Hungarian notes on the bench.

Hajrá Hajdúszoboszló!!!

After the rest I went into a sloth mode, I felt super-tired I couldn’t wait to arrive in San Juan de Ortega. I heard there are things to see in this little town, and the Albergue itself is special – one of those municipal ones combined with a church. Like the one, I had to stay in on the second day in Trinidad de Arre. Finally, we arrived, there were so many pilgrims everywhere in the town and around the Albergue. We heard rumors that it’s already full – come on. But yes, of course, it was full. I was super-tired already I could easily say yes to just sleep on the floor, but it wasn’t an option. The hospitalero was very nice and friendly but if the place is full then it’s full.  He was trying to help everyone, calling other hostels and Albergues he knew – … Roncesvalles and Zubiri flashback – but those were full as well. He said getting a taxi is very expensive, cuz the taxi would’ve come from Burgos and we would have to pay for that – middle of nowhere, hi – He said there are 2 towns nearby in like 5 km radius, Agés, and Santovenia de Oca – we could try there and hope for the best. We sat down outside in the garden for a while, to take a bit of rest and decide which way to go. I went online and luckily found a place to stay in Santovenia de Oca, a brand new Albergue only 3.1 km away. I had mixed feelings cuz like this we leave the track a bit and I was really looking forward to walking through Atapuerca tomorrow – but in the end, I wanted a roof on my head and a warm meal tonight a liiittle bit more. So I made the reservations.

Buckle up – as Cindy always says – only 3 more km to go

It was very much needed, obviously, after 28 km already. But… it wasn’t too bad we were walking on the main road all the way but I literally crawled into the Albergue and collapsed. No one else was there but us, which was a bit strange since a lot of pilgrims got to leave San Juan de Ortega – maybe they used the taxi option and went straight to Burgos? Oh well… At least we could choose the bed we want – yusss, finally bottom beds. The place was really cool, smelled like new, the bathroom was A-amazing. With a nice little restaurant, amazing staff, and lovely food. Later on, I wanna put out a post with all the hostels and albergues I stayed in during the trip, with prices and all the information you guys will need if you ever happen to start planning your trip. But this one was so good, and a lifesaver basically, so it deserves a little pre-announcement: El camino de Santovenia

Shortly some familiar faces arrived, Dutchie – who I thought we lost in the past days, but actually he got lost and wondered on the Camino Primitivo instead of the French way – how man? How?
So we all sat down had a drink, and just chilled and talked. The hospitalero rang a bell to let us know dinner is ready, and like a herd of cows, we went to the restaurant. I was deep in my spaghetti when I heard someone talking in the background…

I’m from Hungary

I had a couple of bad experiences with Hungarians on the Camino. Call me rude or a bitch or whatever you want, but you know, that situation when you are abroad and suddenly overhearing a conversation in your native language, and you just don’t wanna join, because your IQ is already dropping just by hearing them. Or the other classic, the “don’t judge the book by the cover” but you can’t help it and you do judge, already.
More about this later because…
This girl wasn’t one of those at all. She was so fun and upbeat, she was like a rocket, walking 35 – 40 km a day – I don’t know how on Earth but she did. I finished on the 4th of June, she finished on the 26th of May. Roadrunner – beep beep – …Probably because of her sports background, but wow. I couldn’t keep up with her, I never saw her again on the Camino, but I’m still talking with her online from time to time, plus she has the same name as me – …hey,  thanks for reading my blog Noémi

So anyway, it was only like 10 of us in the whole place so it turned out to be such a fun night with a touch of wine and music…

After all the high decibel reggaeton madness the hospitalero gave up and left us alone – wonder why…
Around 1 o’clock and a couple of bottles later we also started to realize that probably it’s time to call it a night, otherwise, we gonna die tomorrow morning – … frankly, I think we already died… and need to reborn tomorrow.


… Jó éjszakát, szevasztok!


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6 thoughts on “Camino de Santiago, Day 11 – from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega

  1. Excellent description of your path as always 🙂
    In Belorado the foot and handprints are part of the “PASEO DEL ÁNIMO”, “an initiative that aims to highlight and accompany all those who travel the Jacobean route as it passes through the town “. Some of them are famous athletes, actors and personalities who have a link to the town (including Martin Sheen who stayed in Belorada whilst filming The Way) and some are ordinary pilgrims who pass through each year. The foot represents the walk and the hand represents the hand of welcome.
    Apparently more are added on 25th July each year and if you are there at the time then you have a chance to leave your own imprint.
    Buen Camino 🙂


  2. maristravels

    Nice to read a light-hearted approach to the Camino. There are a lot of serious people out there who’ve done it and although I admire them sometimes I wish they could lighten up a bit. Not having done it myself, I shouldn’t criticise I know, but there you go …………


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