Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado
April 10, 2015
7:55 AM to 1:15 PM
23 km in 5 hrs 20 min
Yesterday we walked about the town of Santo Domingo, gazing at the two foot thick medieval stone walls that still embrace parts of the town of 6600 people. We saw several wood storks flying in and out of their huge nests on top of these walls.
We ate the best dark chocolate covered cherry! We had planned to have our morning coffee in the same shop because it is one of the few shops open before 9 AM. I thought I might have to eat chocolate or ice cream for breakfast. At 7:30 AM there was no sign of a shopkeeper; so we went past the central square to a bar/restaurant that was open and already full of pilgrims. Another pain au chocolat por favor!
Yesterday while Brian and Margaret had wine and tapas I paid four euros to visit the Cathedral of Santo Domingo which houses a beautiful museum and art gallery of religious statues, paintings, etchings, Gutenberg bibles. There was an exhibition of the stations of the cross, the town of Santo Domingo and biblical scenes created with Playmobil…a little unusual. I also climbed the 132 steps of the clock tower for a view of the red-tiled rooftops and countryside. One of the several bells gonged while I was up there. Awesome!
We shared a small pizza for supper and had some Easter cake which a customer in the tavern had made and shared with us.
Mostly rolling green fields of cereals or peas, much of our path paralleling or crossing the national highway. Lots of transport trucks there. We sure have not seen much livestock. We saw deer crossing signs, but no deer.
It started drizzling about 10 AM then stopped for a bit. It started again and we found shelter in the portico of a church shortly past 11AM. Since we had not found any eateries, Margaret and I shared an apple and Brian had a clementine. We shared a chocolate covered cherry snack bar. A meagre lunch. We donned rain gear, Brian donned his poncho. Margaret and I settled for rain jackets and backpack cover. It drizzled for the next hour or so. When the rain stopped it wasn’t long before steam was rising from us and we had to shed our rain gear.
I tried to be as cheerful as Diane is when walking. I think Margaret has had more practice with Diane; so, she was more successful. She even tried singing a little.
Humanized once again with a hot shower and warm clothes. In a bar on a large round ‘square’ in Belorado, had shrimp skewers, sipping white wine or beer. Have a private room with shared bath at Albergue Caminante. Our laundry is being done for us.
We left La Rioja behind shortly after Santo Domingo. Now in the province of Castilla y Leon where the soil is brown. The willows are leafed out in their spring green dress.