What is this blog about?

My name is Lori. In August, 2014, I plan to hike the Camino de Santiago trail. Feel free to join me on my adventure by following me on this blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So the running with the bulls went pretty well last Friday. It was actually pretty tame. There wasn't a large mass of bulls, just a small group. I was also a little concerned about how the bulls would be treated, and was assured beforehand that they would be treated kindly. Other than the teasing, they were treated fair. I even saw some glimpses of a wagging tail here and there when the bulls got close to pegging some crazy guys with its horn. Some of my fellow pilgrims got in the streets and ran/got chased. I preferred my place behind the safety fence to record the craziness. It was almost more fun to capture the running of the people!

The towns people continued with their celebrations until 5am but, as in most albergues, the pilgrim curfew was 10pm and thus is when our festivities ended. The streets were awfully quiet and bare as we set off hiking the next day!
We hiked 18 miles to Longroño on Saturday, where we stayed in a Parrish hostel connected to the Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda. We attended mass there. It was the first time I have ever attended a mass, and I was even asked to participate. I read 2 small parts in English, as other parts were represented by others in their language. Most of the mass was in language I couldn't understand, but it was still pretty special. There was even a "secret passageway" between the Cathedral and the hostel, which we got to use after a communal dinner, to go receive a special pilgrim blessing.
Logroño is actually famous for their wine. It was a pleasure and an awesome opportunity to be able to walk through its vineyards. We even got some samples here and there.

Sunday was not quite a day of rest for us. We hiked 19 miles to Nájera, on a hot, cloudless day. We hiked through many vineyards and fields, but not many villages broke up our day. We arrive to town a little after 2pm, and I was exhausted and had developed some heat rash. I opted for a relaxing hotel with a bathtub, rather than a hostel this night. The privacy and relaxation was much needed!  Aoife went back to her home in Ireland this day, and her company is surely missed. She gave me a parting gift of a nice bottle of sunscreen. I'm glad she did, because I think part of my heat rash was due to the unfamiliar sunscreen I had been using. I was glad to throw it out and use what she gave me.

Yesterday, we slept in, then hiked 13 miles to Santo Domingo. We stayed in a hostel run by Cistercian nuns. I was humbled to watch as one of the nuns washed the feet and tended to a mans foot blisters. What amazing service they do in this place run by donation only. I was able to experience a lovely hand scrub that one of the nuns made, and invited me to indulge. I wish I had been able to spend more time observing their service, but instead, I walked through town and took a tour of the cathedral.

There is actually a small chicken coop in this cathedral. As the story goes, a couple and their son were walking the camino and stopped in this town. An innkeepers daughter had her eye on the boy, but when he didn't return her affections, she was angry, and hid a silver goblet in his backpack. When she reported him, the boy was sentenced to hang. The parents continued their way, and after reaching Santiago, returned to the city to find their son alive, still hanging in the gallows. They rushed to the sharifs house to report Gods will to have their son alive. The sherif was sitting down to dinner and replied that their boy was no more alive than the chicken on his plate. Just then, the chicken stood up and crowed. The sherif took it as a sign from God, and rushed to the gallows to free the boy. They keep the chickens in the cathedral as a reminder.

 Today was a 14 mile hike to Belorado. Other than some quaint towns along the way, the hike was somewhat uneventful. We arrived just after noon, which is nice. In Spain, there is siesta from 2-5. During those hours, almost everything is closed. It's nice to get in early, and be able to shower, and go to a market to buy lunch. Lately, my lunch has been fruit, a raw bell pepper, and a hunk of the oldest looking cheese they have in the case. Yum! Our hostel has a nice garden area, with a pool. It also has a large area with chickens, bunnies, and a peacock. It was hard to get a pic without the photobomb rooster. He is quite the center of attention.


I almost forgot about all the smiling faces we had along the way today!

As of today, we have hiked 148 miles. 342 miles left to Santiago!
Buen Camino!

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