Monday, September 6, 2010

A Bordello, Don Agustín and Karma

Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado
23.9 km/14.9 miles
5 hours and 45 minutes

After a great night's sleep in the "Cuarto de los Roncadores," I hit the road at 6:50 a.m. and arrived in Belorado at a solid pace after a very hot, breezeless journey. I scored another Snorer's Room by myself with a private bathroom! These last two nights of solitary sleeping have quenched my thirst for a hotel room which I had planned to use once per week on the Camino.

As is usual in the early morning hours, several hunting dogs with their masters are out bird hunting, the sound of shotgun blasts is a constant as we walk through the fields and vineyards.

Speaking of dogs, there are hundreds of tame dogs on the Camino, how in the world did Chritie Johnson ever walk the Camino and still have time to pet each and every one of them last year?

Is there anything better than Cafe con Leche in the morning?

When we neared the village of Vilamayor del Río, Trine had had enough as she had pulled a new muscle while sitting, honest, at our last group rest stop. She asked me to use my Spanish to get her a taxi to get her the rest of the way to Belorado. I saw a man hosing off a driveway at the Hostal Club Sirocco and asked if he could get her a cab. No problem, he called for one who said he would be there in less than ten minutes. I had her sit in the shade inside the Club but she said it smelled funny in there, so she sat in the shade outside in the courtyard and told me to keep going, so I did.

I only got across the street where I saw our mates sitting in the shade, so I joined them. Marcel was reading his Camino guidebook which informed us that we should not mistake the Hostal Club Sirocco for a pilgrims hostel, the Sirocco is the town bordello it turns out! We waited for the taxi to arrive and took pictures of Trine driving away from her brothel experience. We laughed a lot!

Our albergue had a pool with ice cold water, did that ever feel great on this hot day!

My post Camino routine is the same daily, find the albergue, rest for 30 minutes, take a shower, wash and dry my clothes, explore the city, eat and sleep. Amongst my first things to consume are either a liter of fruit juice or Gatorade and a bag of potato chips. The chips fill the need for salt like nothing else!

Belorado, population 2,000, was having a Festival of Thanksgiving today so I had to check out the live traditional Spanish singers. They were fun and reminded me of my Grandmother's singing. When the festival took a siesta, four locals took up the slack in a local bar aided by some fine Spanish red wine and started singing as well.

They were all tenors, self-proclaimed "The Best Tenors in Europe," and damn if they were't worthy of the monicker.

I saw a sign stating that a Basque handball tournament was to start at 5:00 in the Fronton Municipal. I asked this older fellow, 67 years old it turned out, for directions and after getting them, he offered to buy me "copas." I said yes, of course, international relations and all. As we walked into the bar, the bartender said "Hola, Don Agustín!" Instantly two brandy snifters appeared without a word being said and cognac was poured. I would have to reciprocate and so would he. YIKES!

We discussed that state of today's bullfighting, the Franco years and life in Spain after the Generalissimo's death, FC Barcelona, Spain's World Cup victory (I thought he teared up talking about it) and the Don's favorite subject, U.S. state capitals. He was good, when I hit him with Arizona he answered with a word I think had an x in it so I gave him Phoenix. He was amazing as was all the very smooth cognac.

The Festival started up again at about 6:00 p.m. and lasted all night! A band led a parade through town at 5:15 a.m. Spaniards do tend to party hardy. It didn't matter, I had another great night of sleep, GO RONCADORES!!!

Belorado to San Juan de Ortega
24.1 km/15.0 miles
6 hours and 20 minutes

Total Distance Walked 262.3 km/163.1 miles
Total Time Walked 70 hours and 12 minutes
Total Cost of Albergues 61 Euros

Distance to Santiago de Compostela
536.3 km/333.3 miles

My Dad would have been 92 years old today, Happy Birthday Dad, I love you and miss you so much.

I was full of piss and vinegar, "Top of the World, Ma!" Out the door at 6:45 a.m.


I promised not to leave this early for two reasons, one was possible injury in the dark, the other was getting lost.

I missed a sign along with about ten other people in the dark and lost 1:10 due to our group mistake, thus the pedestrian time for today's short 15 mile leg.

I'm staying in San Juan de Ortega, population 20 souls.

It's a quiet hamlet.

It was not as hot today and I enjoyed a fabulous breeze all morning. I did stop at a monument to 300 Loyalists who were executed in 1936 by Franco´s troops at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. How could that have happened in such a beautiful, idyllic mountainside?

I was in the town's only bar listening to two of the locals arguing Spanish sports. . . CLASSIC!

They have a wonderful little church here with great wall paintings.

My albergue tonight is in an ancient monastery.

Other than a little pain in my left calf today, I'm holding together quite well.




steveswindle said...

"Is there anything better than cafe con leche in the morning"?

Only if it's cafe con leche y azucar.....sue me, I have a sweet tooth.

Buen Camino Don Jorge!!!

George said...


AZUCAR but of course!

No up-downs, you've redeemed yourself.

steveswindle said...

Gracias Jorge, I was worried about all that up-down business, I've gotten old, haha!!!

You could write a book on this adventure, I've loved reading every word it and look forward to something new each day.

Buen Camino!!!