CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 7


SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA – BELORADO

3 APRIL

22.9km

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

When we’ve left our 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 and we’ve had our gloves, jackets and buffs on. At least we’re expecting a day of no rain … we just need to hang on for a bit of heat until the sun rises.

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

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’ve gone through Granon … we’ve just came out of a dry summer in South Africa and these green fields were a lush for the eyes!

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

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

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

In Castildelgado we’ve seen Conchi and Pili and spent some time posing for a photo and chatting. They’ve started even before us this morning and said they’ve struggled to sleep in the noisy albergue last night. Because we’ve 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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Me, Conchi and Pili 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’ve stayed on wide dirt tracks for most of the time. It was only the last 5km to Belorado that we’ve walked literally next to the busy main road.

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

I could hardly put one foot in front of the other as we’ve walked into Belorado. It was a brisk walk today … probably to try and get some heat in our bodies, but I’ve paid the price with 2 new blisters on my little toes. As we’ve got to our albergue, Cuatro Cantones, the doors were still locked. Berto wanted to buy us some cold drinks, but I’ve decided to sit right there on the pavement in front of the locked doors of the albergue – I’ve taken my hiking sandals and socks off and moved nowhere for an hour!

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Always just follow the Camino signs – it’s everywhere

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Albergue Cuatro Cantones in Belorado

As the albergue opened, we were fortunate to get a room with only 2 bunk beds and I’ve taken my chance to sleep on the lower bunk bed – don’t think I will be able to get to an upper bank bed tonight!

Our beds in Cuatro Cantones with a beautiful bathroom

Later that afternoon three elderly Korean men came in and got the room next to us. We’ve seen them since our second day on the Camino and they are such friendly gentlemen. Although they’ve 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’ve done our laundry, we’ve 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 will 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 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’ve explored the town a bit and bought snacks for the next day. I was more excited to see a pharmacy where I’ve bought some plasters and patches for my leg 😁

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

Categories: Camino Frances (April 2017)

9 comments

  1. I love those kind of lunches, especially in Spain where the produce is so good, Spanish jamon is unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, that jamon … tasty!! You’re right, the Spanish food is really amazing … though, we did loose weight on this Camino (but that’s probably thanks to all the walking).

      Liked by 1 person

      • 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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