Not too far out of Bilbao the road climbs over some pretty steep hills / mountains, but after that there is only a gentle incline upwards over the plain to Burgos. For the second half of the day I followed an old railway line (apparently the Santander to Burgos line) which has been turned in to a walking and cycling route. I think that must have been a few years ago, because it did have the air of something that had been done and then left to its own devices. A few more years of neglect and it will be overgrown. I only passed two or three walkers, no cyclists, on this 50 km rail to trail route, so I'm not sure it's being used that much. Pity. The bugger of the day was the wind which was right in my face, and as any cyclist knows, riding in into the wind is what you do not want to do. Anyhow, it was a rather long day, sustained at lunch time by my baggage train of Richard and David with refreshments along the way.
I didn't get to see much of Burgos itself, except to say that it has lovely old bits and architecture to it. But, I'm not here for the culture, really, I'm here for the cycling. R & D did the culture bit.
Spain is a vast country, and riding through the rural bits I am aware that lots of the small villages and towns I pass through have seen better days. Even the most attractive little villages and towns will have on the outskirts crumpled and decaying industrial and farming buildings. Things have moved on. Most of the people I see are oldies working in their little allotments, Not that many young people. I guess the youngsters have gone to the city.