The difference in the foam on a cafe con leche and on a beer

Early in my career I had the good fortune to work in Spain. One of the oil fields I looked after was near Ayoluengo, an hours drive north of Burgos. I never spent much time in Burgos if I could help it. Years later, driving from Madrid to Pamplona with the family, I stopped in Burgos, parked near the city center and visited the cathedral where we had a bite to eat. A few months later, I received a parking ticket for that stop. So Burgos was never a city close to my heart.

Today I spent all day in Burgos on my day off and I have to say I have changed my mind. It is not such a bad place after all! I did my laundry, visited the Museum of Human Evolution and went to a physiotherapist to see about my foot. Also had breakfast at the cafe I am sitting at now sipping Rioja for dinner, found the rugby bar and went to Mass.

The Museum of Human Evolution was focused on the archeological dig near Atapuerca, but had exhibits on Darwin’s journey on the Beagle, the commonality of DNA among all living things, all known pre-humans and the rise of homo sapien. While I was wandering through the Atapuerca exhibit I recalled one of the messages on a trail marker a day or so before that said “Deprogram your mind” in Spanish. Meaning, of course, take advantage of the Camino to rid your mind of negative or unproductive thoughts.

So I wondered, there in the museum, what if I deprogrammed my mind of all artificial constructs, leaving only those basic human characteristics that cannot be erased. That would take me back to somewhere around my birth, give or take 9 months. This became the thought experiment: how would I re-program my mind to live in our world which is so full of artificial concepts like money, borders, nations, etc. These are notions we cannot survive without. And now, to continue the experiment, how would Atapuerca man reprogram his mind to live in his world? A simpler task, I suspect.

The visit to the physiotherapist was excellent. I got his number from a lady at the coffee shop at breakfast this morning. It turns out he lives close by. The clinic was new and clean and Andres, the PT, young but reassuring. We discussed my issue (swollen ankle and pain in the shin) and then went to the treatment table. He massaged and worked my ankle, foot, shin and leg. He then used a technique called dry needle, which I had not heard of before. I am aware of acupuncture, but dry needle is more of a western medical practice which involves, if you are not aware, inserting a very slender one inch long needle into your skin and twirling it around in various directions. He did it in two locations just outside the tibia, one about six inches below the knee and the second about three inches above the ankle, where my pain was concentrated. I rolled over and he worked the back of my leg. This was a full one hour of treatment and better than any foot massage I ever got at Wat Po. And I got the pilgrim’s discount! So if you plan to be in Burgos for any reason, drop by Clínica 24 and visit Andres Marcos de Pedro.

This is the bar I am at writing my post. There are so many of these places on every city and town that I don’t know how they make any money. But that is not what is about. These are community gathering places where you meet with friends and have a beer or a glass of wine, maybe a bite to eat, and discuss the important things in life. Like the difference between the foam on a cafe con leche and the foam on a beer. Even the bartender will come out from behind the bar with a glass of wine and join in.

By the way, thanks for all the great comments. I love to read them.

6 thoughts on “The difference in the foam on a cafe con leche and on a beer

  1. Am enjoying your daily reports . Being CSB always interested in the coffee shop you find in
    town of that day . Am reading web info on area covered that day .
    Interesting trip you are having .


  2. Hey Jim, I am enjoying your posts. I hope you are well and having a great time, it certainly sounds like it. I have a friend that is on the same Pilgrimage but not sure where he is. I have sent him your picture to be on the lookout. His name is LJ, from houston area, retired from BHI. Take Care.


  3. I’m glad you got some help with your foot/ankle issue. Best not to let it get too bad before you get some help. I get dry needling done for my back and piriformis and it really helps. Good luck.


  4. Hi Jimmy, love reading your adventures. I hope the foot is healing soon and won’t bother you on the rest of your voyage! Only thing missing in the reports is what sort of mileage (or KM in eur.) you’re doing daily. Would be a good addition to the report, just start with Startpoint-Endpoint and KMs. Cheers and all the best!!


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