Walking West – Roads

Day 10 – Azofra to Castildelgado, 18.43 miles

The drippy road to Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
The road led to drippy Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
The church with the chickens inside.
The lonely road beyond Grañón.
At the end of the road!

The walk today is entirely along a gravel road, save the short stretches of stone streets in the towns of the day. And because of the presence of the hills and the absence of trees, these roads stretch into the horizon and then disappear beyond the crest of the next hill. The scene repeats itself when you crest the next hill, another road stretching and disappearing into the horizon. It reminded me of the opening lines of David Whyte’s poem, “Santiago.”

“The road seen, then not seen, the hillside hiding then revealing the way you should take…”

Not long into the morning walk it began drizzling, the first significant rain in 10 days of walking. On my last go-round, it rained (deluge-downpour) 7 of the 31 walking days. This drizzle was nothing, but it continued all the way into Santo Domingo de la Calzada. In town, it rained a little harder but still wasn’t bad, it gave us the opportunity for a proper sit-down meal at a restaurant. We finished lunch and the rain stopped, so we headed to the next town, Grañón.

My Camino companions were staying in Grañón today, I had chosen to walk on another 5 kilometers or so to Castildelgado. As they settled into their albergue, I shared a beer with a New Zealand friend I had met earlier in the day. In addition to the beer, we shared a really good conversation about pilgrimage and faith from a protestant perspective.

The walk from Grañón through Redecilla del Camino and into Castildelgado was beautiful – rolling hills of harvested wheat fields or covered with sunflowers. I walked it mostly alone; I was passed by 2 biciclistas and then overtook 2 of my pilgrim friends near Redecilla del Camino. They stopped there, I continued on to Castildelgado.

Castildelgado was the smallest village I had stayed at so far, reported to have 11 citizens, most over the age of 80. My home for the night, Albergue Bideluze, was a fantastic place. It is an old home converted into a shelter, with two people running the entire operation, including an excellent pilgrim dinner. The guests included 3 ladies from Germany, 5 Americans, 2 from the UK, and 1 Canadian. One of the Americans was a Camino veteran and truly loved the Camino de Santiago, he facilitated our discussion over the course of the meal.

Bideluze had a great garden in the back, but it was too chilly to spend time out there, I’m never prepared enough for cool weather. The rains from earlier today were caused by a frontal boundary moving through. This made the afternoon sunny and blustery, the night, cold. Thank goodness Albergue Bideluze had blankets!

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