Sunday, November 1, 2009

From Cirueña to Grañón

We reached the next village of Santo Domingo de Calzades, which is famous for the chicken they keep in the church. I wanted to see the critters, but there was an important town fiesta, so there was a big church service, thus we couldn't get in to see the famed chicken, oh well!
We walked through town and continued on our way in the headwind, and found to our dismay that much of today's path went along a busy highway, so it seemed we moved slower than usual. However, we reached Grañón around lunchtime, where we found the refugio we wanted - it was in the bell tower of the church, and they only had mattresses, but it was charming, and how often do you get the chance to stay in a church bell tower?
We got settled in in the attic right next to the bell tower and soon we were showered, did laundry, and then it was high time to find a place for a late lunch!
We found a local cafe mainly patronized by the older men of the village it appeared, so we enjoyed our bocadillos with cheese and dried ham in plenty of cigarette and cigar smoke! The Spanish in general smoke like were they paid to do so - even the young people!
Then we went on the hunt to get a stamp for our passport since the refugio did not have a stamp, so we got it from another bar in the village. After a nap I helped out with prepping the vegetables for the evening's communal meal, before it was time for the evening mass in the beautiful church, where the old women sang so lovely as they went up to receive the sacrament. As we came back to the refugio it was dinner time, and we were all benched in the dining room and had a nice dinner of salad, pasta and fruit with wine and water. Afterwards we helped with the dishes. (Amazing how some people feel no need to contribute - the same ones it seems that steal grapes, figs etc. and cut across private fields to save a few steps - I think they are the "takers" of this world - also the same ones who are stingy with their donations, while they feel free to criticize the coffee, breakfast, etc.) Luckily I meet many more of the world's givers on the Camino - most of the hospitalieros are volunteers, and the pilgrims in general are generous and caring.
During the night there was no doubt, I was sleeping in the bell tower - I think I only missed the 1 PM bell, but then there were no loud snorers, so that was a plus!

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