Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado.
“ We’ll get there when we get there………”.
We have arrived in Belorado late afternoon to be informed by the hotel owners that this is the start of the town’s fiesta and tonight there will be free food and coffee available in the plaza (result). Rioja’s vineyards have been left behind as we now find ourselves in the region of Castilla y Leon. The journey was described in the handbook as one of the least attractive of the Camino, as much of the route runs parallel to main roads. To be honest I thought it was fine. The views remained pastoral as far as the eye could see, albeit beyond the busy road, but the villages we passed through were nicely appointed, and there were plenty of fields of sunflowers with smiley faces. At one point today it occurred to me that since we left Navarra all the farmland is used for growing crops ; there has been no evidence of livestock in either Rioja or Castilla y Leon thus far. I miss the ponies. And the sheep. Even the coos.
Sitting in the central plaza of Belorado, I’m listening to Carolyn reading from the Camino guide book: “The spacious Plaza Mayor…….has a delightful down at heel feel….” what the heck is that supposed to mean? Some of the shops have closed down and are very much in need of refurbishment (undeniable)? The square has clearly known better days? This small town is attractive and interesting, but it has far more graffiti than anywhere we have passed through to date. Shame. The temperature, as we sit here, is in the mid 80s. The latter stages of today’s walk were very hot, but once we reached the town it just seemed to go through the roof. Still, it absolutely beats cold rain and wind.
In an hour’s time we’re planning on going to watch a pelota match. I’ll describe it properly after we’ve seen it ; as far as I recall, they used to show it being played in the opening credits for Miami Vice ( Don Johnson/ Philip Michael Thomas vintage). The player fires the ball at a wall via a curved, hollow hand held bat (?) with which it is caught and immediately returned in the same manner. Like I say, probably best to watch it so that I have a vague idea of what I’m talking about.
There are invariably wee daft things that give you a boost as you walk along. Carolyn was captivated by two butterflies that continued to dance round each other as they bounced off her knees (they were brightly coloured – that’s all I can tell you) ; she then discovered that if you waved at the lorry drivers they honked back at her (I didn’t see any point in joining in). She was also extremely tickled by the giant haystack wall we passed (I have to admit, that was quite impressive!). All helped to take her mind off Blistardo’s malevolent brood.
In the same vein, it’s amazing (and I know this is news to no one ) how music can lift or crush you depending on the memories that a song engenders within. We had stopped for a coffee two hours into today’s walk at a cafe playing “Rock FM”. No sooner had we sat down than it played “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, a track by the band Green Day which was a particular favourite of Lisa’s and ……well, you know…Sometimes you just need a good cry.
Tomorrow we head for Atapuerca, a 30km grind in soaring temperatures. That will be a hoot, but, in the words of some idiot or other, “It is what it is, and when we get there we’re finished”. Very profound!
Finally, Carolyn would like to thank Bernadette for her morale boosting message yesterday, part of which we feel must be shared with you:
“Feeling for you Carolyn – hoping Bastardo f**** off and lets you enjoy the rest of your journey”.
Now that is a message of support. I could almost write a sonnet………(perhaps not).
Today’s track is “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day. Terrific but sad.
We march forth to Atapuerca. Relentless!!!!!