Day 10: Santa Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado and entering the Castille y Leon Region
The church has chickens in it. This is no accident but Santa Domingo de la Calzada is always seen in pictures with chickens in tow (related to a miracle that involved chickens coming to life) and thus in this beautiful peregrino town you will find chickens in the church. This morning I had to reluctantly leave this town, it’s chickens and it’s five star Albergue and walk. Today’s walk a mere 22km.
The early morning walk under a waning moonlit sky took us over a bridge past towering poles topped with nesting storks. Then up past the sheep pen guarded by white sheep dogs, camoflauged amongst their flock. Until over the rolling hills above Santa Domingo we had risen.
The scenery today was a beautiful patchwork quilt of fields of shades of green and shades of yellow. Fields of sunflowers that a week ago had lain dormant today tilted their heads seeking out the sun rising behind us. Through these fields of flowers and wheat and oats our little band of peregrinos strode.
My Lithuanian friend described us as a moving beehive, such an apt description. We buzz around and group together broadly, if not precisely in certain towns along the route. We may stop at different places but generally we travel within the same day or two of each other and consistently interact with each other. It’s one of the pleasures of being on the Camino sitting in a town square drinking a glass of wine and being able to know and greet many of the people who pass you.
Our beehive buzzed along the route today. An easy walk that was especially good because of the scenery, the cool weather, crystal blue sky and because every hour or so we’d wander through another sleepy little village.
One village in which a few of the beehive stopped had, in it’s Plaza Major an old, old church with copper bell turned green, a stone and wrought iron fountain with water turned green juxtaposed against a modern yellow bricked building with garage doors opening into the centuries old square, old and new crashing and careening into each other.
Another little village was the village of cats with the friendly purring creatures lolling out of doorways to greet the passing beehive. Soon enough, well before twelve, many of the beehive had arrived in Belarado with it’s pleasant Albergue with tables in the sun, cold cerveza and a swimming pool. Today felt like a positively lazy day …
The town on Belorado is smallish but elegant. Winding streets, beautiful church topped with several stork’s nests and a wide open plaza with it’s centre comprising a raised band platform and benches upon which old men sit and natter.
— Posted from my phone