Somewhere …

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby
– Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg, 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland.

Camino Day 10, Miércoles 16th September. 236 klms.

We chased a rainbow for about 7 klms this morning.
It first appeared as we left Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and we followed it down the road till almost Grañón, about 1 1/2 hours later. Very pretty. Very ominous. Because where there’s smoke there’s fire, or in this case where there’s bow there’s rain. The walk into Grañón was pretty and relatively easy. We wandered by an assortment of farmlands, mostly fallowed wheat paddocks and one huge potato farm. And all the time our rainbow danced just ahead of us.

Grañón is a nice little town with a couple of coffee shops. We were just ordering when Steve and Claire turned up (we’d seen them briefly at Santo Domingo earlier where they were breakfasting after their early in from Ciruena), so we stopped and chatted and ended up walking all the way to Viloria de la Rioja with them.

Shortly after we left Grañón we came to the border of La Rioja (one of Spain’s smallest regions) with Castilla y Leon (one if it’s largest). By now however our rainbow friend had well and truly deserted us, leaving just the rain component. That wasn’t so bad, as it was rarely more than a steady drizzle. However it was accompanied by the wind from hell, which, although we were not to know it at the time, would last pretty well for the rest of the day.

Nevertheless we pressed on, not that there were many alternative options.

The small town of Redecilla del Camino was our next brief stop. As has become my habit – as hard as this may be for some to believe – I popped into the church (Iglesia Nuestra Senora de la Calle) to have a look. They have 12th century baptismal font there, which was pretty cool. Even cooler was their old organ. I must research a bit more about it, but it certainly was a magnificent instrument.

As we walked on the wind got steadily worse. I think that at times it was probably gusting at 70/80 kph (using some of the winter gales we have at home as a reference). It was certainly strong enough to completely stop is in our tracks from time to time, particularly later in the afternoon. So for the second half of the day’s walk, about 12 klms, we battled our headwind.

There’s not much more to report. We parted company with Steve and Claire at Viloria de la Rioja (where they were staying), after a lovely bocadillo at the tiny and very friendly (and windproofed) albergue in the town. I’ve enjoyed walking along chatting to Steve. (He’s a retired bobby from the Cotswolds, a little younger than me, easy to talk to, well traveled and with some interesting stories. We are likely to see them on the road again, and all being well will catch them again in Burgos.) We then put our heads down into the wind for the final 8 klms into Belorado, where we arrived a bit after 3:30pm. It was hard work and not much fun, but we made it. And then both promptly fell asleep as soon as we got our beds.

Belorado is a nice little town with a 900 year is history (more research, again), and an element of civic pride. Photos to follow in due course.

Another moderate day tomorrow (24.2 klms), with the possibility of a 4 klm extension depending on transport at our end destination, a tiny (20 person) village called St Juan de Ortega.

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