Monthly Archives: October 2013

Day 10(Santo Domingo de Calzada to Belorado)

The day started early, maybe a bit too early. I headed out of town while it was still dark. There was a group of Spaniards in front of me, so I followed them, thinking that if any one could read the waymarkers in the dark, it would be Spaniards. This was not a logical decision. This was not correct. This was, in fact, wrong. We, the Spaniards, myself, and a few other groups (around 15 in total) had missed the turn off to the Camino, and were about a kilometer in the wrong direction. By the time we got back to the Camino, we had lost a fair bit of time and the later-risers were ahead of us. So the first (and second) lessons of the day were: don’t get up early if you are just going to get lost in the dark; and never trust a Spaniard with directions

Still a long way to go: a waymarker in the dark.

After the sun had risen, the terrain had changed a bit from previous days. The vineyards and olive groves had been replaced by rolling hills and hay fields. The path was longer today, but not particularly hard. There were small towns about every 5km, so it was easy to stop and rest or have a drink. I stopped in Grañon and met Randy and Cyrilla from Colorado. The previous night, my friends from Uterga and Los Arcos, stayed at the church in Grañon, in the choir loft on little mats. ( I heard two days later that there was a bed bud infestation there and the whole church had to be fumigated. people may scoff at my luxury choices for accommodations -yes, Deb, I am talking about you – but I prefer not to take any bedbugs home with me.)


After Grañon I moved on to Redecilla del Camino, where I stopped and had my new favorite drink, Aqurius. It is like a watered down Gatorade. I am a bit addicted right now, but as the temperatures cool, I should be able to kick the habit.

I quickly made it to Villoria de Rioja, where upon entering the town I was greeted with the smell of roasting bell peppers. I came past a little alcove and found a group of Spanish women peeling and cleaning the peppers. Some other pilgrims had joined in to help. I stopped and had some lunch enjoying the quiet little town and its goings on.

Roasting peppers

Busy day

I walked with two young German women for the last stretch from Villamayor del Rio into Belorado. They were continuing on to Tsantos, so we said out good-bye’s, but I am sure I will see them again.

Once in Belorado, I checked into the albergue and did the day’s chores: showering and laundry. After that I rested a bit, and headed over to the town square. I met up with the three Canadian guys again and had a couple drinks. They told me that there was a pilgrim’s mass at 7:00. I went to the supermercado (like a 7-11 in Spanish) and bought a few supplies for the next day. I ran into Randy and Cyrilla again and told them about the mass and invited them to dinner.

Mass was preceded by a rosary. I tried to keep up, but my Spanish is just not that good. Mass was also in Spanish, obviously, and I sort of kept up with what was happening. I did figure out that it was the feast day for San Francisco, and when to say the Our Father. After mass there was a Pilgrim’s blessing in all languages and then we headed out for dinner.

Dinner turned out to be the three Canadian guys, one Australian, Randy and Cyrilla, a woman from South Africa, and myself. It was a fun crowd and the wine was plentiful. It was a good end to a long day.

The dinner crew

The day on the whole was “walk hard, play hard.”

FitBit Stats:

Kilometers walked: 27.39
Steps taken: 37,315
Floors climbed: 99

Day 9 (Ventosa to Santo Domingo de Calzada)

I woke up at 6 AM this morning to the sound of rain. I decided to delay my departure. I ended up leaving the hotel at 8:00. By that time the rain had subsided. I was treated to the most beautiful sunrise and a rainbow.



The path was mostly farm roads through vineyards this morning. There was one small incline that lead over the ridge to the next valley. The Way led down to Najera. The way into town was not the most scenic. It was industrial and a little downtrodden. Once in Najera, my impression did not improve.

My knee was / is still on the mend, so I took the bus from Najera to Santo Domingo de Calzada. Santo Domingo is a larger town and much nicer. There I met up with Marla and Ruth for lunch. They were heading onto Grannon to sleep in a church. I went back towards my hotel and met up with Kay. We toured the cathedral together. This is the one with the chicken and the rooster in it. (Story on this later)


After that I checked into my hotel. I was pleased to find comforts of home that I had been missing. Conditioner, Q-tips, ahhhh such luxury!


I met up with Margarite in the plaza and had a nice early dinner. Did a little grocery shopping for trail snacks and went to bed early. Tomorrow is going to be a long day…over 25 km.

FitBit Stats:

Kilometers walked: 18.03
Steps taken: 24,577
Floors climbed: 18

Day 8 (Logroño to Ventosa)

Today’s walk was not the prettiest, but it was easy on my knee. The day began with leaving Logroño. There was about an hour of walking through suburbs ( mostly on paved paths through parks.) The Way went by a reservoir which had a little cafe, so I stopped for hot chocolate.


The path continued through vineyards (in the middle of harvest) and the over a ridge. On the other side of the ridge I met Peter from Tuscany, who was walking back to Logroño. He had made it into Naverette late yesterday and could not find a room, so he camped. He was heading back to Logroño to volunteer at an Albergue as a hospitaliero (sp?) for a couple days.

I continued down the ridge and passed some pretty industrial areas. At one point I passed a wood mill. I picked up some wood chips and added my cross to the chain link fence as so many other pilgrims ahead done before me.


I continued on into Naverette, which had to be on the top of a hill. I stopped in at the church, which was breath taking. I think that Spain could solve a lot of their fiscal problems with gold from just this church.


After a quick snack, I was back on the road-literally. The Way from Naverette to Ventosa was on a road and then next to a freeway. The next 10 km were not pretty, but they were quick. They did not hurt my knee, and the rain was minimal. So I cannot complain.

Ventosa is a pretty small town, no store and only one bar(cafe.) My hotel was sweet, but very quiet. I had dinner with three other pilgrims; a mother-daughter pair from New York, and a nurse from Tipperary(the Camino must be very popular in Tipperary.)
The mother had hurt her knees the first day out on the Pyrenees, and she and her daughter were going to leave theWay the next day and head to Portugal for a rest. This reaffirmed my decision to begin in Pamplona.

A quiet afternoon and night in Ventosa.

FitBit Stats:

Kilometers walked: 23.57
Steps taken: 32,111
Floors climbed: 87