I thought when I started the day that I would spend the night in Santo Domingo de Calzada, which by all accounts is a wonderful historic town. But on the Camino things don't always happen as you plan. When I arrived in Santo Domingo, everything was closed since it was Sunday. I waited in the Square outside the church at 11.30am thinking there might soon be Mass inside. But it started raining, and the church doors remained still firmly shut. So, having passed the heartening 550km-to-go mark, I decided I would walk on......
And I walked on through some rain towards Granon, another eight kilometres away.
And how glad I am that I made it here, as it turned out to be one of the albergues I enjoyed the most in Spain. It was an albergue run by the parish, and you climbed up stairs near the belltower at the rear of the church to reach it. There are volunteer hospitaleros who do two week stints in Granon, and we had a lovely welcoming man from Leon looking after us.
It was yet another bitterly cold day, and he had the fire going. There was a cosy, relaxing feel to the lounge/dining area on the main floor and sleeping mats were on the mezzanine floor above.
These photos of the buildings don't really do the place justice
because they can't show how welcoming it was.
And there was an evening shared meal, cooked by the hospitalero.
At one stage the rain stopped and the sun came out, so I ventured out in the cold to explore some of the village.
The church, unusually for Spain, was open all day, and I spent some quiet time there.
Upstairs we had mattresses on the floor, close together. I was pleased to find I had the three Canadians on one side of me. And on the other side I was next to Francis, a Frenchman I had enjoyed meeting along the track. Next person along I was to discover later, was an Italian priest.... all the people who actually went to Mass found that out!
Thanks to all those responsible for setting up and running this albergue: it was a special place with such a wonderful welcome.
Paddy, who is my husband - Paddy, Patrick, is my husband. He would hate it if he knew I was writing about him. He´s English, a retired newspaperman, a thinker, a wag, a working-class ...
2 weeks ago