May 22, 2011 Azofra to Santo Domingo

The landscape that became a painting that became a landscape.

Slept in late at Sebastian’s request and met Jahn at door of albergue at 09:00. Had a lovely, long talk with Jahn and Sebastian all the way to Ciruena. Met Kim and Janey just before Ciruena at a rest stop atop a large hill. Janey had bought new boots in Logrono and was now much happier with her camino.

Arrived Ciruena at 10:55 to sound of church bells so let Jahn and Sebastian and spent next 1/2 hour at simple mass in parish church. Exuberant singing from female congregants in front. Group of 10 seemingly Spanish men sat silently in rear of church. Many “Buen caminos” to me on the way out. Bar for tortilla and cafe con leche then on to Santo Domingo.

Outside Ciruena found camino landscape from my painting efforts. Too several photos and realized I had the unusual experience of walking through a painting. On way out of valley realized that Sheila was ahead and slowly caught up to her. Had nice conversation about church and singing. Had realized that “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore” had been sung as closing song at mass. Sheila explained this was an important song in her spiritual development. “While smiling have spoken my name…” was key line for her.

Arrived Santo Domingo de la Calzada to see a smiling Sebastian and find Rocky waiting for me at the Parador. Nice room overlooking a small courtyard. Excellent bathroom. Scheduled for dinner at 18:00. Mass in cathedral at 20:00. Sitting under cloudy skies in modern main street. Weather cool.

Realizing now that there are reveal approaches to spirituality on the camino:

  • Ordeal — struggle through aches/pains and blisters to cover difficult miles to completion
  • Sacrament — the way is full of natural beauty
  • Community — the highlight is other people. They are precious and conversation is most important
  • Religion — going to mass, viewing churches
  • Cultural/Language — the joy of immersing oneself in a different people
  • Exercise — “Hey, look how tough I am. I did 37 km today”
  • Adventure — What is over the next hill? What amazing things will I see?

Sat at table on camino and enjoyed passing parade of pilgrims. Some new faces: Guido of Italy; Carmen of Slovenia, Odd of France. Dinner at restaurant off small square with Rocky, Sheila, Janey, Kim, Joanne, Sebastian. After dinner decided to rest my blister with one more night at the Parador so said goodbye to Sebastian and Jahn at door of cathedral.

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