Camino de Santiago de Compostela - Santo Domingo de la Calzadas to Belorado

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September 4th 2015
Published: October 8th 2015
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Santo Domingos sixteen arch bridgeSanto Domingos sixteen arch bridgeSanto Domingos sixteen arch bridge

One of the many bridges built by Saint Dominic to aid the pilgrims going to Santiago.
4 September 2015, Friday, Stage 11 Santo Domingo to Belorado

GPS: 14.78 miles. 7.5 hours from Parador to Casa Waslala. Lost moving time.

Fitbit: 14.13 miles, 32,246 steps, 98 stairs.

After a lovely breakfast in the Santo Domingo Parador we set off. We cross over Santo Domingo's sixteen arch bridge, barely recognizable due to many modifications. At Cruz de Los Valientes, a steel cross marks the spot where a deciding fight was held between two chosen fighters, one from Granon and one from Santo Domingo. Even though Santo Domingo had an experienced fighter and he was slathered wth olive oil, the common laborer from Granon was the winner--in Medieval times, it was sometimes the custom to submit such matters to the Divine Judge on the basis He would protect the innocent party!

Granon is noted for its welcoming albergue. However, the Camino grapevine has it that the location has had an outbreak of bedbugs.

We come to a very large sign welcoming all to Castilla y Leon. It is the largest autonomous region in Spain but has a population less than half of Madrid. We will spend over 50% of our time traveling through three of
The iron cross commemorating the contest between farmersThe iron cross commemorating the contest between farmersThe iron cross commemorating the contest between farmers

This dispute was resolved with the faith that the devine would intervene in favor of the rightful owner.
its nine separate provinces: Burgos, Palencia and Leon. The walk over the famed meseta, the flat plateau where cereal crops are found, occurs in this region.

We now travel through three very small villages. The first, Redecilla del Camino, has a most beautiful 12c. baptismal fountain. Around the vessel are carved scenes from Spanish villages. It is craftsmanship of the highest quality.

Viloria de la Rioja is the birthplace of Saint Dominic. The house where he was born has been torn down - the famous illiterate son who did so much to help pilgrims along the Way. One source says his baptismal fount is in the church, other sources say it has been removed. We did not attempt to see if the church was open but the doors were shut.

We rejoin the main road and journey on to high-class Restaurante Leon where one must deposit their Mochila (backpacks) before entering and then you are seated on the enclosed terrace with a different, higher priced menu. One source has indicated the establishment does have some pretensions! We have a small meal and note there is a separate charge for the bread that is automatically brought to your
Milestone marker 555 kilometers to SantiagoMilestone marker 555 kilometers to SantiagoMilestone marker 555 kilometers to Santiago

The 500 kilometer marker had been totally obliterated by vandals.
table. I have read of this emerging practice but just have not experienced it before!

We continue on to Belorado, coming into town along a back road. We pass Santa Maria y San Pedro Church where we think a funeral is starting to take place. We have not seen so many people dressed formally, and mainly in black, for a long time!

We find Casa Waslala on the Calle Mayor. Harlan has had extensive correspondence with Paul and Belmalyn. He is Dutch and she is from Nicaragua. The house is decorated with art from both countries. We have discussed renting bikes and going from Belarado to Burgos. I am so glad we did not do that! Paul then writes that there is going to be a local festival going on the night we are there and should they put us up in the country? We decline and buy some better earplugs. We actually go to Walmart and buy some instead of relying on airline earplugs! Paul explains that a night's festivity ends with a band coming down the street around four in the morning. Since we have lived with drunken bands marching through the streets of Santa Cruz,
Sunflower field Sunflower field Sunflower field

Along the way pilgrims have made faces in the sunflower heads.
Bolivia at all hours we think we can handle any musical serenade at any hour! Actually, as we are settling into our room overlooking the street late that afternoon the band comes marching by. Actually they sound pretty good! Probably better than twelve hours later but we were sound asleep and never heard them in the wee hours of the morning.

Paul recommends 'Cuatro Cantones' for dinner. It is an albergue but they also serve outsiders. We go request a pilgrim meal. The young lady is in a dither as she thinks they are overbooked but is not sure. Harlan sweet-talks her into a reservation. We then move on to the big plaza where they are setting up a stage. All at once we saw Oscar, Jonathan, Cam and Marie. So we join them for some liquid refreshment. The talk turns to dinner and Harlan invites them to join us at 'Cuatro Cantones!' Imagine the young lady's surprise when we show up with four additional people 😊 She says it is not possible but Harlan persists. Then it seems that our additional foursome recognizes a gentleman also waiting for a table and Harlan and I say we are friends
Leaving La Rioja, entering Castilla y Leon ProvinceLeaving La Rioja, entering Castilla y Leon ProvinceLeaving La Rioja, entering Castilla y Leon Province

Blondie has entered another region of Spain
with a woman also waiting. In a way it is true as we did say 'Hola' to her on the trail that day! So now we have eight and we tell the frazzled young woman we will help her set up two tables together to seat eight at the end of the room! It is a wonderful evening of sharing and the food is good and the service very efficient. Activity is ramping-up outside as we depart. Different groups wearing identical garb are meeting on street corners for the parade and, later, I am sure there will be more shenanigans between groups. We enjoy taking out time walking back to our lodging, saying good-by to our dinner companions and hoping to meet them in Burgos in several days--and we do!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Blondie and the cock and hen pastriesBlondie and the cock and hen pastries
Blondie and the cock and hen pastries

These pastries from a Santo Domingo bakery were the town novelty. We then ate them after posing with Blondie.
Baptismal FountBaptismal Fount
Baptismal Fount

This is the most exquisitely carved baptismal fount that we have seen in all the churches on the Camino.
Worker renovating a churchWorker renovating a church
Worker renovating a church

Note the Camino shell above his head on the wall.
A sign for their AlbergueA sign for their Albergue
A sign for their Albergue

This couple established a standard of quality control for albergues which they then helped others to implement throughout the Camino.
Ensalada mixtaEnsalada mixta
Ensalada mixta

One of two dishes we shared for lunch at the upscale cafe with "airs" as we entered this province.
A regional soupA regional soup
A regional soup

Inspite of the atmosphere the food was very tasty.
Celebrants outside our roomCelebrants outside our room
Celebrants outside our room

Casa Waslala only has a few rooms and will only take pilgrims. Belmalyn and Paul are excellent hosts.
One of the Belorado bands passing below our windowOne of the Belorado bands passing below our window
One of the Belorado bands passing below our window

The festivities for the night begin with the bands marching by and end at 0400 next morning the same way.
World Heritage site sign in front of the churchWorld Heritage site sign in front of the church
World Heritage site sign in front of the church

Mass in progress so we did not enter. This had been the scene of the funeral as we entered town.
Celebrants wore matching colorful trousersCelebrants wore matching colorful trousers
Celebrants wore matching colorful trousers

Here is a father and son. Many other groups with their different clown style colored pants.
A night photo after dinnerA night photo after dinner
A night photo after dinner

Harlan, Jonathan, Oscar, Marie, Cam and a new friend who had dinner with us in Belorado.
Jonathan in BlueJonathan in Blue
Jonathan in Blue

Our very proper, conservative British friend displaying a little festival spirit. Cam with hat; Oscar looking on.

Tot: 2.742s; Tpl: 0.088s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0638s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb