9 July Logroño to Burgos

122km today. 1749km so far.

A dog on a bike? Una perra en una bicicleta?

For real? En Serio?

I left Logroño towards Burgos. A nice Spanish guy asked if I was doing the Camino de Santiago and told me I was currently on the Camino del Ebro. Oops. Then his friend who was on a mountain bike let me follow him through town. He said there was a lake and after that I would get to Navarrete. I thanked him and off I went.

The path was a walker’s route, but sure enough, I reached the lake and read a sign that said that many cities like Logroño were built because of the mass pilgrimages in medieval times. Interesting. I cycled around the lake and found the road to Navarrete, where I stopped for a coffee and a croissant.

By the time I left Navarrete it was about mid-day and the sun was beating down. Then I saw a cyclist in front of me and also something that seemed to be moving on the back of his bike. As I got closer, I thought “is that a dog???”
And yes. It was. I said hi, and we got chatting. Pablo was cycling with his dog to raise money for charity too (see Bikecanine.com)
His dog’s name is Hippy because he found her in the street. She is one of 15 dogs that work for a voluntary group which trains dogs to save people who are lost or in trouble, such as being trapped in a fire.
Pablo works as a “bombero”, (a fireman, not a bomber), but he spends more time with the dogs than putting out fires. He lives in Gijon (pronounced HeeHon) which was funny because the cycling top I was wearing said Gijon on it. It was a gift from my friends in Barcelona but I had never been there. Pablo said I must visit.

Pablo, and Hippy and I cycled together to Santo Domingo de La Calzada. Hippy would get off the bike when going uphill, and on instruction, jump back on when Pablo was on a flat or a downhill. Cute? Yes, very.

We met up with friends of Pablo and had a late lunch. They showed me the Church which has a separate tower. Very unusual, but not the strangest thing I had seen today. After pasta, and steak and chips, and a lot of chat and laughter, I said goodbye to my new friends.
It was 5pm and I still had 70km and a big climb ahead of me. I stopped to get shade a few times on the way, and also at the Fuentes (the little water fountains). There’s nothing better than fresh cold water, when your bottles have become hot.
I dragged myself up a big climb and had to get off and push to get around a traffic jam at the top due to roadworks. It was a long walk as the tailback was 10 minutes long. There were a lot of angry truckers but the queue on the other side all seemed amused as I reached the top and passed by them, sweating like crazy. They beeped their horns, and shouted “Animo” or “venga venga”. One Guy shouted “tour de francia! Estas perdido?” (Tour de france! Are you lost?)

The last 30km were more or less downhill. I rolled into Burgos at 9pm and found the Fuentes Blancas camping site. A shower, a beer and some tapas, and I was ready to sleep in my little tent.