Days 9-11 – Camino de Santiago – Santo Domingo de la Calzada – Belorado – Agés

October 1, 2011

We left Najera eaaaaarly in the morning as usual and set out for a little town called Santo Domingo de la Calzada.  Since we left so early each morning, the first hour and a half or so of our walk was in darkness.  But once the sun came up, the light was AMAZING.

On this day, we spotted an Italian guy we had seen here and there picking apples from a tree (there’s tons of wild fruit that you can pick and eat along the way) so we started walking with him.  His name’s Stefano and he turned out to be one of our favorite people to bump into.  He was always in such a great mood and so fun to talk to.

Here was a little resting point that many of us stopped at.  We saw some Germans making a little memorial for someone they knew that died.  Also, there was this hilarious sign – Don’t Shit!

We arrived to Santo Domingo de la Calzada about mid day – we tried to stop everyday around 1:00 because it just gets to hot to continue…plus you need time to shower, wash your clothes and get them out to dry.  Afterwards, we took a stroll around the pueblo.

This town has a medieval wall that is still intact.

Early the next morning we headed towards Belorado.  Each region of Spain offers different signs along the way.  Ones like these are helpful because it shows the cities along the way.  Here you can see where we stopped in Logroño, then Najera and then Santo Domingo de la Calzada….on this day we changed regions into Castilla Leon.

The last city in La Rioja.

A very beautiful albergue.

Coming into Belorado.

We actually weren’t sure if we were going to stay in Belorado or move on.  So, we sat in this square and ate our lunch while deciding.  I saw this little group of abuelos, so cute!  Turns out, the albergue was cheap here and it was getting hot so we decided to stay.  There was this little street with hand and footprints of famous pilgrims.

The main square.  We saw signs everywhere announcing the town’s onion festival.  Unfortunately it started the next day.  We were so sad! How cool would it be to witness a little pueblo’s festival?  Turns out we started like a day too early because all along the camino we seemed to miss festivals by only a day or two.

Some days you hardly pass through any towns at all and other days you pass through lots.  This day was a day full of small towns – which makes the day go by easier and faster because you have small goals to reach and pretty things to look at.

Another very pretty albergue.

Also, my favorite parts were where we walked through the woods.  Its shadier and cooler and I just love the sound of the wind through the trees.  I had to soak it up because we were about to enter the Meseta – a big stretch of flat, hot landscape with NO SHADE!

We took a break in San Juan de Ortega because they had a nice church and a little cafe to rest at.

And then we made it to Agés.  Again, we were unsure of whether to stay.  We planned to keep going but one thing youll find out if you ever do the Camino is – you judge where to stay by where there’s food.  And unfortunately many of these little towns don’t have any supermarkets.  This one had the tiniest little store inside a bar where you pretty much had the choice of canned lentils or canned chickpeas.  Well the lady at the albergue talked us into staying and she had a microwave so canned lentils it was.  Good thing is, the Spanish really know how to do lentils!

The town, even though it was tiny and took all of 5 minutes to explore, actually was quite quaint and pretty.

I was completely wiped out this day because the night before I hadn’t slept due to the unbelievable snoring going on in our room…and I promptly went to bed at 7 pm!


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