Friday, June 13, 2014

The Camino again.


Heading towards Santo Domingo de la Calzada on the Camino de Santiago, you come upon the golf club of Alta Rioja. This is alongside the small town of of Ciriñuela, not long before the larger town of Cirueña. The course was empty at 13.30 but there were signs of people arriving either to play or to have lunch. Opposite the golf course is what the maps call an urbanisación, or what you and I would call a ghost town. One of the many sad victims of Spain's construction madness. With block upon block of unoccupied flats, it's an eery testament to this mania.

I've never broken a bone but it can't be far off. I've fallen 3 times this week - in each case when twisting an ankle on uneven ground - but so far I've escaped without even a scratch.

We've had 3 examples of the admirable Spanish willingness to 'get involved' as Good Samaritan this week. Firstly in Logroño, when I had my first stumble and at least 5 people leaped to pick me up. Secondly in Alesón, when a young lady went out of her way to take some of us a kilometre or two to where they really should have been. And thirdly today, in Santo Domingo de La Calzada when a young woman stopped her car to ask if I was OK after falling on a zebra crossing. Missing a trick, I said 'No, thanks', rather than 'Please take me home and massage my bruised shoulder.'

Since its inception a thousand years ago, the Camino has been a money-spinner for some. Here in Santo Domingo de La Calzada, you have to buy a ticket to enter the cathedral and, for this, you have to pass through a shopful of junk. Mostly religious, of course.But you can store your rucksack for free.

Needless to say, the WiFi speed in this cafe - in the street - is immeasurably better than mine at home.

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