CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 7

SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA – BELORADO

3 APRIL

22.9km

After we slept in a full dorm – we must have been at least 30 pilgrims in one dorm – we once again got up early. Some pilgrims were sleeping in the communal area on couches – due to too much snoring in the dorm (Berto might be one of the guilty snorers 😉).

When we left the albergue, the sun has not even risen behind the mountains and it was bitterly cold … there was frost on the grass next to the road which forced us into our warm clothes – gloves, jackets and buffs. We were expecting a day without any rain and we just needed to hang on for a bit before the sun rises to warm us up.

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Early morning frost on the grass – just 1°C and the only way to warm up, is to keep walking. At last, the sun appears and there’s the promise of some warmth

It seemed that a lot of walking would be done close (or next to) the main road today. We would therefore need to look out for traffic and concentrate a bit more on the yellow arrows.

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Green fields after we walked through Granon. (After experiencing a dry summer in South Africa, these green fields were a sight to behold)

It was still early morning when we walked through the smaller villages and we only saw a couple of pilgrims along the way.

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Quiet streets in Redecilla del Camino (a population of only 150 + one pilgrim in front of us)

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cup of hot coffee each and a shared chocolate muffin in Redecilla del Camino – what better way to drive away the cold

In Castildelgado we saw Conchi and Pili and had some fun posing for photo’s and catching up on their walk. They even started walking before us this morning and said they struggled to sleep in the noisy albergue last night. Because we started so early this morning, it means we will be in Belorado (where we will stay for the night), long before lunch.

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Conchi and Pili joined us in Castildelgado – still dressed in all of our warm clothes. It was a chilly day, but fortunately no rain was forecasted

Although we could see the main road, we stayed on wide dirt tracks for most of the time. It was only the last 5km to Belorado that we walked literally next to the busy main road.

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The dirt road next to the main road – Belorado is around the corner

I could hardly put one foot in front of the other as we walked into Belorado. It was a brisk walk today as we were trying to get some heat into our bodies, but it seemed as if I paid the price with 2 new blisters on both my little toes. As we reached our albergue, Cuatro Cantones, the doors were still locked. Berto went in search for cold drinks, while I sat on the pavement in front of the locked doors of the albergue. It was pure bliss to take my hiking sandals and socks off and I moved nowhere for the next hour!

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The Camino signs are everywhere

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Albergue Cuatro Cantones in Belorado

As the albergue opened their doors, we were fortunate to get a room with only 2 bunk beds and I was happy to get a lower bunk bed – don’t think I will be able to get to an upper bunk bed tonight!

Our beds in Cuatro Cantones with a lovely bathroom

Later that afternoon three elderly Korean men came in and got the room next to us. We saw them since our second day on the Camino and they are such friendly gentlemen. Although they lived in the USA for the past 20 years, they don’t speak fluently English, but we could have a decent conversation with them. Berto called them “The three wise men” (they had such a lot of wisdom between them and shared life stories with us that I will always remember).

After we finished our laundry, we sat in the beautiful back yard of the albergue where we had our lunch. There was a bright blue swimming pool and I could just imagine how tired pilgrims cool off in this pool during the hot summer months. It was however a bit cold for us to get into the pool, but the sun was shining and we were enjoying the heat of the sun on our bodies.

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A typical Camino lunch: Tomato, cheese, avocado, hard-boiled egg and “jamon” (ham)

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The beautiful back yard at Albergue Cuatro Cantones – no, we did not get into the swimming pool!

Late afternoon we explored the town and bought snacks for the next day. I was more excited to see a pharmacy where I could buy plasters for my blisters and pain relieving patches for my leg 😁.

Tonight, we enjoyed dinner at the albergue. Berto had pork chops and chips and I had a delicious plate of seafood paella. After a bottle of red wine, we were ready to dive into our beds.

9 comments

      • Obviously. Think about the calories expended on a 30+K hike with gradients, it is colossal. ctually the Meditteranean diet (OK you weren’t on the Med but the cuisine is much the same, very low in fat, cholesterol and all the bad things.

        OK, churros, Pastel de Nata and lemon cake might not be so good but you get the point. Look at that Galician soup you had near the end. Any dietician in the world would be overjoyed with that.

        This is why I am such a fanatic about eating what the locals eat anywhere in the world. They have had millennia to work out what is best to sustain you in the climate, the terrain and using what is available locally. Bouillabaisse is another classic example, just throw in whatever you have caught.

        Enough of my cooking nonsense as you must be fed up of it by now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I completely understand what you’re saying … our motto is always to stick to what the locals eat when we’re in a new country. However, I suddenly remember now – when we were in Malta, one of their signature dishes are rabbit (“stuffat tal-fenek”). And as hard as I’ve tried, I just could not get that on my plate … I was only thinking of the sweet little bunny that was sitting in a cage in front of the local shops … 😬.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I did not know you had been to Malta. I loved it there and even enjoyed the rabbit. Have you written up your trip on your blog? I have not seen it but I am not nearly ll the way through it yet. I think I will do our backyard next as I know so little about RSA.

        I wrote up Malta as it was another one of the places I had managed to save the notes for from VT.

        Berto must have loved the whole Knights Hospittaler association and that was indeed part of the reason I visited in the first place.
        The Siege of Malta is a fascinating subject and it is no exaggeration to say that it changed the course of European history. If the “Musselmen” had taken the island there was little to stop them taking the rest of Europe.

        If you ever manage to wade your way through my European lunacy you might want to have a look. It is OK, I was only there for a month, not three!

        https://fergysrambles.org/2013/02/13/travel-to-malta/

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve loved our visits to Malta – was there in 2011 and 2013. No, I have not (yet) put that on our blog … now that we do have the time, I will probably write a few posts. Berto always wanted to go to Malta (obviously to explore more “first hand knowledge” about the Knights of Malta … we’ve visited so many museums, it was not even funny!) But he also managed to do some amazing wreck dives. Yeah, we had a really great time there and I’d love to read about your time there 👍🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Maltese really do know how to promote their history and why not, it is a fascinating story.

        I had heard the wreck diving is great off Malta but it was not an option for me. I was there in February / March 2013 and the weather was foul, cold with pretty high seas nearly every day, not good diving conditions at all.

        I know Berto is a Dive Master, do you dive as well?

        Liked by 1 person

      • We were there in May/June, so it was perfect Mediterranean weather 🌞. While Berto is absolutely mad about diving, I love to be on solid ground … you must read about our Egypt trip, then you’ll understand …
        We always find a good balance on our trips … one day is set out for diving and the next day for exploring and so we rotate (and everyone is happy!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • As I have said before, you two have got your travelling (and just about everything else apparently) completely sorted. You are both very lucky but I think you already know that!

        Liked by 1 person

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