A glimpse into the journal I kept for all 38 days on the Camino Frances, including up to 10 photos (not necessarily the best pictures but more that they represent that day in some particular way). Today is day 12 – May 2nd. Azorfa to Redecilla

Countryside was beautiful as usual. No wind through the long grasses this time but the passing clouds over the sun made interesting shadow patterns against the green. The trail was seriously muddy. That stuff splashes up your pant legs and adds pounds to your boots. Snails were out in force again.

One of the towns I passed through (Cirueña) was a planned golf community. There was no one around and everything looked dead and shut. It was quite creepy. On the edge of town, finally saw an old man standing outside his gate so I said hola as I was approaching on the other side of the road. Nothing. So I nodded and waved. Still nothing other than a stare. Ah well. …

My feet were hurting by the time I got to Santo Domingo about 11:30am. Followed the yellow arrows until I came to a square and just off it was a restaurant. I broke down and went in for a menu del dia (3 courses) even though I had a bocadillo con queso [cheese sandwich] in my bag. The cold was making me extra hungry. Lunch was the omnipresent ensalada mixta, beef filet plancha-style with fries, and cake with tea. Got water from the fountain just outside and was on my way by 12:30.

Found the cathedral and got a pilgrim price ticket to visit. This is the church that has the two-chickens legend and so there were two chickens kept in an enclosed coop attached to the wall about 15ft up. The other neat thing about this place is that some windows aren’t actually glass, but rather are a thin alabaster.  There was also a little museum attached – had a permanent exhibition of church related stuff and a temporary exhibit of the Chinese Han dynasty. Was rather incongruous. …

Now in the province of Castilla y Leon. The walk to Redecilla was cold, mostly solitary and a bit worrying as there is supposed to be a cheap albergue (one) and I feared all the beds would be taken by the time I arrive. But I needn’t have worried. I arrived at 3:20 to no hospitelera to sign me into the place. But I found the book and signed myself in. My bed was the upper bunk of a wobbly metal bunk bed with no ladder. The room was icky, the shower was icky. When I went back downstairs, the hospitelera was there so I paid the 5€ and got my sello [stamp]. Then wandered the town which normally would take all of 2 minutes but I stretched it out to about 10 with some picture taking.

Had dinner with an Irish peace officer and an older Japanese man. Dessert was flan again and I gave it another chance. Huh. I’m starting to not hate flan, anymore.