Friday, May 13, 2016

Camino Vasco - Day 8 - Santo Domingo de la Calzada

A funny pilgrim cartoon at the albergue in Haro. Essentially it is a rengineered Camino route out of Haro in 's' shape to help the pilgrims who had probably drank too much wine in Haro.

Last day on the Camino Vasco del Interior as it joins the Camino Frances in Santo Domingo. A short 20 km from Haro. It was raining almost all the way but being the last day it really doesn't matter. Besides, the distance is short and the two towns along the way are almost equally spaced for coffee and food. We arrived in Santo Domingo by 1 pm.

Total 8 days and around 205 official km.

Right before town we saw a heap load of pilgrims walking the Camino Frances, almost 1-2 pilgrims every 10 meters or so like a train. Camino Frances is getting really crowded. The first albergue here was already full at 1 pm!

It was our lucky day. Today the 12th May is Santo Domingo day. The whole town is out on the streets well dressed to celebrate their Saint's day. Kids dancing with castanets and Santo Domingo statue with 2 chickens below.

The cathedral is the only church in the world with live chickens inside. This is the story that every pilgrim walking the Camino Frances knows. Here's my paraphrase of the story:

A German pilgrim family, a man his wife and son walked into town. The mayor's daughter took fancy on the boy (probably a blue eye blond handsome Germanic hunk) but her advances was shunned (bad move). In spite she accused him of molesting her and was sentenced to be hanged. The next day, as the man and his wife was leaving town in great sadness they heard their son shouting at them from the gallows that he is still alive. St. James has apparently saved him by holding on to his feet. When they rush to tell the mayor who was eating a roasted chicken at time, he uttered "that as surely as the boy is still alive the chicken on my plate will come alive too". Of course that allegedly happened and thus the tale of the chicken coming back alive was born. I guess the town folks keeps a pair of chicken (rooster and hen) in the cathedral in remembrance.

It was a bit dark and can't see the chickens from the photo very well but yeah, they are up there in the coop. Can't find a more iconic pilgrim town than this. An aptly location for the end of this Camino which also marks the 10 year anniversary of my first camino (Camino Frances) when I passed by Santo Domingo on my way to Santiago de Compostela. Yes, this is the second time I seeing the chickens. No reason now for me to go another 21-22 more days from here on a route that I had already walked.

We decided not even to stay here as there is a bus at 18:15 to Madrid. After that probably a train to Michael's place in Andalucia in the south of Spain tomorrow.

One more thing I needed to do before I considered to be the end of this Camino though is to eat roasted chicken for lunch. After the meal and coffee my Camino Vasco del Interior is complete. Chicken church, chicken meal...End.

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