Friday, May 25, 2007

Day 10: Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Largely an uneventful day. I walked through vineyards and rolling green wheat fields in the partly cloudy day. I spent the day by myself.

Most of the towns we have visited so far are distinct and old. They have no scary suburbs on the outside. The settlements simply begin and end. The manageable, walkable, community feeling of even the larger cities is impressive. Very rarely do we have to cross highways, and the highways are really quite modest.

Before I came, I had a very hard time picturing what kind of terrain we would pass through and what the Camino itself would look like. It looks like everything. Sidewalk and road and grass and pebbles and dirt and mud and muddy pebbles and dusty mud and gravel and gravelly road. Wood. Stairs. Pebbles. Mulch. Everything. I keep meaning to take pictures of what we´re walking on, as that is the real Camino.

Today we walked through a bizarre place, an older town that seems to have grown a tumor in the form of a golf community. It seems incredibly out of place. Also, it felt as though they had illegally redirected the Camino arrows to pass through the town. The arrows are ordinarily spray painted and posted officially all over the place. This town had cheap plywood placards with little yellow arrows. Suspicious.

My destination today is Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which is known for the Miracle of the Cock and Hen. The abbreviated version is that a guy was hanged. His parents heard some voices tell them that the son had not died. They told the man in charge. That man said the son was about as alive as the cock and hen that he was about to eat. As you may have guessed, the cock and hen then jumped up from the plate and started crowing. The town is proud of this tale, so proud that a white cock and hen are installed in the actual church.

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