Back to the Camino! Day 8 was rainy and a bit cold. There were still a few sights from Santo Domingo to take in on the way out of the city, like:
Santo Domingo's bridge. The sign read: Since the middle of the 11th century, when it was originally built by Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the bridge has undergone many alterations. The middle half of the modern bridge, which dates rom the middle of the 18th century, was constructed with ashlar and up-stream cutwaters, and respects the original design with arches which are lower at the extremes.
Some angry dogs
And the green countryside
On day 8 we past through Granon, which was apparently had a really interesting albergue. I can't imagine that it could have outdone Santo Domingo, though.
Finally making it into the region of Castilla y Leon!! Walking from one region to the next was pretty satisfying. I was really excited to get to Castilla y Leon, but I also knew that many steps would be involved before I would walk my way out of it.
I loved it when cities made it easy to follow the Camino through town! Unfortunately we all turned circles as we walked around Belodorado looking for an albergue that was open.
Once we got into town we threw down our packs and went to find lunch. We ended up taking in a big pilgrims "menu" with a table full of new and old friends (Brazilians and Sevillans)...and of course, flan.
The hostels in town were really basic. While the heat was scarce, the one we stayed in had a washer and dryer. I went in with a friend and payed to have our clothes done--we knew there would be no way they would dry in the rain. In an effort to get as much as possible properly washed I threw in just about everything and sat around shivering in my tank top and skirt. I just lay on my bunk in my sleeping bag waiting for the dryer to finish...which took forever. It might have been the middle of April, but it was cold!
When I finally had some clothes to put on, I decided to mix up a packet of soup I'd been carrying in my bag since Najera. As I was making the soup several people started offering their food to me. This is pretty common on the camino--since you don't want to carry anything with you, you generally cook all that you buy and give away what you can't eat. Because they were Italians offering me homemade Italian food...I took them up on their offer! I dished up soup for everyone at the table (whether they wanted it or not!) and took in some of the salad and pasta as well. The guys ended up being German speaking Italians who were doing the Camino by bike. The biggest surprise was that they were a father-son duo.
Anyway, they were really great and it was one of those moments where you realize you can make strong connections to people so quickly on the Camino...and then never see them again.
Overall it was a cold and rainy day, but full of good food and even better company.