Camino de Santiago — Day 9

September 17 / Santo Domingo de la Calzada — Espinosa del Camino

I slept quite well that night, the hospitalera even had to wake me up at 7.15am. After packing the backpack I went to have a chocolate con churros for breakfast to a coffee shop I looked for the day before.

Around 8.20am I started walking. It was really windy, a bit dangerous even for some old people. People were walking really slowly. I don’t know how, maybe because of the chocolate, but I was walking at my normal pace (5.3km/h). So I surpassed dozens of pilgrims. I talked a bit to Aaron, a guy from Los Angeles who was traveling with his father. The path was near the highway, so it was ugly and there was no reason to go so slow.

I ate a sandwich in Belorado. Most people were going to stop here; in fact, I saw several pilgrims I knew waiting for the albergues to open. I also met an American woman, who I knew from several days before and who shouldn’t be there. When I asked her how she walked so fast, she told me she took a taxi but asked me not to tell anyone. Taking a taxi is a bit too common within American people. Some take taxis or buses because they don’t have enough holidays and others because they are tired and they don’t want to be left behind (they tend to walk with their new friends).

I continued walking as I was feeling good. On the outskirts of Belorado an old local man started to talk to me. I don’t remember the initial conversation but he ended up talking about his brother who died in Argentina. It suddenly become such a private and sad conversation that I had to find my way out. So I excused myself and I continued my own way.

When I arrived to the village I was planning to sleep, I took one of the last two beds. I took a shower, but after that, it was so cold that I had to go inside the sleeping bag trying to avoid sleeping. I went to have dinner at 7pm to the only restaurant in the village. We were 6 pilgrims: a 72-year Australian lady, two German ladies in their sixties, a German man in his sixties who lived in Elche, an Italian and myself. We had an interesting conversation, although the German people spoke to much on their language. I had soup and breaded hake. The restaurant owner invited us to Orujo, a local liquor, but it was too strong for me.

After dinner, around 9pm, I went to bed.

Distance: 30.2km
Average speed: 5.3km/h
Lowest altitude: 631m
Highest altitude: 891m