Day 19 – Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Castildelgado

Walked today: 7.5 miles

Walked Camino 2019: 132.3 miles

It was another cool morning for walking as we left over a later version of one of Santo Domingo’s many bridges

and joined the familiar dirt path.

We paralleled the main road most of the way to Grañón.

on the left appeared to be potato plants

Grañon had been a stopping place for us twice before and has been one of our favorites.

Welcoming pilgrim entrance into Grañon

Today was a mixed experience. We arrived at around 8:30 to find all the bars and stores to be locked up tight, which has not been the case in the past. The only exception was the bank (which doesn’t have food or public bathrooms) and a bakery.

We stopped in the bakery and purchased two pain au chocolats and asked the English speaking owner what was going on. She said that the merchants in town were getting rich from the Camino traffic and decided to reduce their hours, not opening until 10:00 a.m.! She said her customers, mostly local, still needed her to provide their daily bread, early.

We asked her if any aseos (toilets) were available and she said go around the church and go up the stairs in the albergue, which we did.

When got to the second level, a nice young lady asked us what language we spoke. We pondered between French and Spanish, then settled on English. She welcomed us and pointed to one bathroom and then another one upstairs. We split up and gratefully made use of the services.

We were offered coffee or tea which we declined but offered to make a donation which they would not accept. The lady and 3 other volunteers were from Italy and had just arrived to serve for 2 weeks. We rested for a few minutes, while Linda tended to a potential blister, and then thanked them for their hospitality and continued on to the next village.

Today we crossed the boundary between the region of Riója and the region of Castile and León. We will be in Castile and León for the next 200 miles or so.

The walk as we approached Redecilla del Camino

We stopped at the first village, Redecilla del Camino (pop.137) for breakfast. Then continued to the next village of Castildelgado, and checked in to Hostal El Chocolatero, for obvious reasons.

El Chocolatero is on the main highway, just outside of the village. Their are two very small albergues in the village with very limited facilities, so it was the best option for us.

Our hotel appears to be a popular truck stop (not with gas pumps and other services, just a place to stay/eat). Our room is spacious and has reasonable amenities. The lady at reception has helped us make future reservations and her English is good.

We had a late lunch/ early dinner in the hotel comedor (dining room) at 3:30, along with apparently most of the village’s 54 inhabitants (Lunch hours were 1-4 and dinner hours 8:30-11:00).

Most of the lunch crowd had left by the time we sat down at 3:30.

There are no services for our walk tomorrow, we’ll leave before the bar opens, so we bought a bogadilla to hold us until we reach our destination and have breakfast.

Oh, and by the way, we did buy a nice hunk of dark chocolate, very delicious and something to savor for the next few days.