Camino de Santiago – Day 9

From the end of May through mid June, Paul, Finn and I walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This is part of the recap of that trip. Find more here

Day 9. At this break neck pace, I may finish before Christmas. Maybe. The good news, is today’s post is pretty short.

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We were finally back to 21km days and it was welcome! The more and more we have a settled into our rhythm, the less and less I took pictures and wrote in my journal. The Camino was no longer novelty, but ordinary life. But it was in the ordinary that we found ourselves so tied to our Camino home and family. They packs on our backs were held all we needed and there was a simplicity in our daily routine that I had always craved but never before attained. We wore the same thing every day (cleaned!), ate what we were given, and spoke with those in our path. I still attempt to find this simplicity at home, but its never realistic to have the same level of simplicity in the real world surrounded by Super Targets and Amazon. Maybe I’m just weak or maybe I have unrealistic goals, but somehow small and simple stays out of my reach.

We spent our days singing the same songs to Finn, visiting with some of the same companions and some new, but mostly walking, praying, and being together.

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That is how we spent our walk from Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Finn still got treats every time we stopped. A bag of candy, lots of lollipops, milk, bananas, oranges. The kindness never ceased.

The countryside continued to look and feel more and more like the meseta, Arid and without shade. There were longer stretches of the day without a town to stop and refresh. We took more break on the side of the road under trees. We practiced signing to a nice family with whom we shared shade and who wanted to talk about Finn, but spoke no Spanish or English, so we didn’t have common ground.  And we arrived fairly early in Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

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We hadn’t been able to book a room ahead of time, but we quickly found ourselves at a convent with rooms to rent. The nuns had been serving pilgrims for hundreds of years and they were excited to talk and sing to Finn. We checked in, changed and went off to explore the town a bit.

There wasn’t much to see and the main attraction was the church, which we were planning on seeing at mass that evening, so we sat and had beer while Finn chased cats for a long time. We met a group of super fun Italian pilgrims and Finn had a little fan club pretty quickly. : )

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We ate with Father Smith again and then ran off to mass. Legend has it that a pilgrim couple and their son had stopped at an inn in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The innkeeper had a beautiful daughter who had her eye on the pilgrims’ son, but he thwarted her advances. So, she placed a silver goblet in his backpack and reported him for stealing. The innocent boy was caught and condemned to hang. Some accounts state that the parents continued on their way, oblivious to the fate of their son, but when they returned through (ancient pilgrims obviously had to turn around and walk back!), they found him still alive thanks to the intervention of Santo Domingo They rushed off to the sheriff’s house and found the sheriff about to eat dinner. When the sheriff heard the parents’ questions, he replied that their son was no more alive than the chicken he was about to eat for dinner. Whereupon, the fowl stood up on the dish and crowed loudly. The sheriff, not oblivious to the miracle, rushed back to the gallows and cut down the boy who was given a full pardon.

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The church still houses a live chicken in memory of the legend! So we went to mass and to look at the chicken and then headed to bed. It was a small town, but a very sweet one.

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