The Camino Frances

The Camino Frances

Friday, May 2, 2014

How a pilgrim amuses herself while walking

Day 10 - Najera to Santo Domingo de la calzada 21 km

 Just the bare facts: A good day today, with less walking than we could manage, after 2 very long days. We slept in - some people packed up by 5 am, as I think they were worried about the crowds on the Camino, but I don´t worry. We walked from 8 am to 2 pm, and got great beds in our second choice, the Casa del Santo. It is run by volunteers: might I want to be a hospitalera here? Maybe , as the facilities are great: bright, clean, spacious, a working computer!! and chickens in the backyard.
They rotate the chickens in the cathedral and the standins are housed here. The ones in the cathedral celebrate the local legend involving a young German pilgrim and an inkeeper´s daughter, and a miraculous intervention by St James that saved the pilgrim´s life after he had been strung up on the gallows. We hope to see the shrine later. I hope they don´t wake us too early tomorrow.

 So what do I think about during all that walking?
 I check out the wildflowers.
 I adjust my gear. Today there was often a fine mist, so the backpack cover went on and the rain jacket was off and on ( and off and on).
 I talked to a Spanish woman named Carmen. She called me a Camino sister after she saw my necklace and earrings of scallop shells, as I was the first person she had seen wearing them.
We talked to a guy from somewhere in Africa!! who had to walk 41 km yesterday to get a bed.
Wendy and I shared stories: I talked about the fun I had in the 80´s, answering personal ads.
We had cafe con leche with Rostislav, from the Czech republic. When we asked him to join us, he said ¨with pleasure - such a gentleman. I posted his picture of the coffee on facebook.
 I wondered if I could have something other than fish for supper. Sardines for lunch and great grilled trout last night, but time for a change.
I count my steps - especially during climbs. One hill went on for about a km today.
I challenge myself to see how long it will take to walk from one km signpost to the other.
 Today we passed the 200 km milestone from ST Jean PdP.
I think of songs to sing to match the circumstances. eg Long and winding road, Let the sun shine in, This is the day.
 I left Wendy after lunch, and kept up a good pace in order to get a bed. Our second choice came though.

Still can´t post pictures, but this is the website for Santo Domingo
 Buen Camino and blessings


  1. I love your fill in the spaces chatter. People back home are following you like their TVs are broken. So to get ahead of the curve. New pop quiz..

    In burgos Cathedral, there is a dog at the base of sculpted sacophagus. Who is interred and what does the dog signify. And no, it is not a dog barking at a cheese factory.

    Bonus question: there is a height of land in Burgos. At the top there is a star listing the elevation of Burgos and around the perimeter the direction of various towns. What is the Town listed immediately to the right of Boston?

    If you don't stay in Tosantos, at least drop in and say hi to my Franciscan brothers.

    Final difficult question: as you exit Burgos you will see a building across the river. it earned the nickname 'La Universidad'. What was it really?
    Happy trails.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Let me guess about the universidad - isn´t that a jail? First time I could answer the question off the top of my head.

    2. yes,

      now you can answer the other two once you hit Burgos

  2. Natalie and I stayed in the same Alburgue in Santa Domingo. I loved it! Nice and clean and great kitchen. When we went into the Church the rooster crowed as we stood in front of the cage. Good luck. This was one of my favourite towns along the Camino.

    1. We did enjoy our time there, and the albergue is top notch.