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Cycling the Camino de Santiago - Day Eight (Falling off my bike between Belorado and Burgos)

Today I sincerely asked a woman if I could buy a sandwich with ham and strawberries in it. She looked at me as if I had two heads. 

Needless to say, I didn't actually mean to ask for that... I meant to ask for ham and cheese. But my Spanish is pretty woeful. I had confused fresa (strawberries) with queso (cheese). 

I'd say I asked for a ham and strawberry sandwich maybe four times over the last week, and only realised my mistake today. 

No wonder I was getting so many odd looks. 

Language gaff aside, I scoffed my sandwich and hit the road at a very respectable 8am today for my 45km trek. 

At the start the terrain was largely the same as it has been for the last few days - vast fields of corn and sunflowers and little to no shelter from the blazing sun. 

Before long, however, the road turned uphill and I found myself struggling up yet another mountain on a trail littered with rubble and boulders and the odd pilgrim-created stone monument. 

Thankfully the trail started to run through a forest for a bit, so at least there was some degree of shade to be had. 

At the top of today's mountain there was a roaming herd of cattle, followed by a hippiesque pit stop complete with a little shop, wooden tables and chairs, and a quirky woman blaring techno tunes from the boot of her car. 

How she even got the car up there is beyond me. 

I refilled my water bottle, bought a banana, and hit the trail again - this time for a delightful, if not slightly bone-shattering, descent. 

It was here that I fell off my bike for the first time this trip. And it was entirely my own fault. 

Letting the adreneline get the better of me, I started going in and out of dips on the trail instead of avoiding them. It was fun, but I let my speed go unchecked and before long I hit a dip that was bigger than the rest. 

My bag flew up, the zip opened, a few things flew out, and on the way back down the strap of my bag snapped. 

Panicked that I had lost or broken things, I slammed on the breaks, wobbled a bit, skidded to the side, and gently slipped off my bike onto the dust trail right on my arse. 

I couldn't have hoped for a better fall, to be honest. I wasn't cut or injured, just slightly scraped and very dusty. 

My heart broke, however, when I went back to see what had fallen out of my bag. It was my heavy duty power bank. 

This baby was my pride and joy. It would charge my phone more than five times over before dying, and I needed my phone charged for Google maps access... And to take snapchats and photos of course. 

I was convinced it was broken, what with the impact it must have received. But, miraculously, it wasn't. It was very battered and scraped and very dusty, but still operational.

So if anyone is looking for a beast of a power bank, I would really recommend the IoGear 16k!! I can't believe it still works. 

After a rather more careful descent, I came to the village of Ages. 

A little ways after that was the village of Atapuerca. 

Atapuerca is somewhat famous for its palaeontological sites, most notably the pit of bones where the remains of some of the human race's earliest forebearers have been found. 

On entering the village there is an interactive visitors centre for those who want to find out more about this.

The centre has a lovely little mock up of a prehistoric village which I enjoyed. 

Everything was in Spanish though, so I understood very little.  

Barrelling on through Atapuerca after stopping at the centre, I accidentally found myself on the motorway for a stretch. It's not the first time that has happened so I just remained calm and exited as soon as I could. It was still slightly scary though.  

Next up - the city of Burgos! 

I have a rest day tomorrow in Burgos, so I decided to chill out in my hostel for the night instead of seeing the sights. 

That's a job for another day! 

#camino #caminodeSantiago #atapuerca #historicalsite #ages #spain #belorado #burgos #trail #trek #hike #mountain #pilgrim #pelegrino #credential #hostel #sun #bicycle #cycling #cyclist #accident #powerbank #exercise #holiday #adventure #offroad #countryside

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