Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 12: Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Tosantos (27.8 kms)

Today was another long walk. Got up pretty early and after a very light breakfast, left at 8 am. The headwind did not abate today, and remained throughout the rest of the day. Walked the 7 km level track to Grañon in 2 hours, stopping for a quick cafe and pan chocolat at a bar along the way. Stopped at a store and got a banana, a pear, a whole-wheat cereal baguette, a slice of strong cheese and some salami slices for lunch along the way.

560 kms more to Santiago

Another day on the Way
We are leaving La Rioja country and moving into Castilla y Leon.  A slight downhill follows to Redecilla del Camino where we sit at 11 am for a bite to eat from our lunch stash. Next up is Villamayor del Rio then Belorado.

We arrive in Belorado at 3:30 pm. The Albergue Parroquial is closed.  Our feet are asking us to stop here but the sun is shining and I know we have to push on to the next stop.

Tosantos is 5.8 kms away and we arrive there at 5 pm. The only  albergue in town is a donativo manned by hospitaleros Jose Luis and Sergio. There are only 8 pilgrims in this 50 bed place and we are given mats and blankets in a room with the other pilgrims.  At 6:30 pm, we help prepare dinner while singing hymns led by Jose Luis who has a wonderful singing voice.  One of the pilgrims, David, from Germany, accompanies the singing with his guitar.

Dinner is a communal meal -- we share in preparing it -- a simple, yet soulful and warming meal of  pasta soup, salad, and some slices of cold meats. After dinner, we go to the chapel in the attic of the house, say prayers and sing hymns.

Communal Dinner at Tosantos

Chapel on the top floor of the albergue

South African couple, Marius and Emma, with yellow arrow pins from Jose Luis

These were some of the hymns we sang:

Magnificat, Magnificat, Magnificat anima mea Dominum
Magnificat, Magnificat, Magnificat anima mea! Anima mea Dominum, Anima mea Dominum.
(Sing out my soul. Sing out and glorify the Lord who sets us free. Sing out my soul. Sing out my soul. sing out and glorify the Lord God.)  

Ubi carites et amor. Ubi caritas Deus ibi est.
(Where there is charity and love, God is found.)

There is a ritual where we read intentions written by other pilgrims, which, as Jose Luis says, will, on the 15th of August, be burned in the mountains and offered up to the heavens. He says we can write our intentions, which will be read by other pilgrims who pass this way 20 days after, which is the time we are expected to have reached Santiago and finished our pilgrimage.  It is a very touching moment.  He gives us little yellow arrow pins which he says is una indicacion para que no nos perdamos en la camino de la vida -- so as not to get lost in the Way of life.

Tosantos Albergue

With Jose Luis, our kind, caring and musical Hospitalero

On the Tosantos Albergue wall -- so as not to forget, Desiderata -- "Go placidly amidst the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence..."


  1. Longing so much to be back on the Camino, I was surfing the internet tonight and came across your wonderful BLOG. We are the South Africans (pictured with the yellow arrows!) Marius & Emma Burger from Stellenbosch, South Africa. What a small world! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. My contact details : info@ekovsa.com Love from South Africa. Emma

  2. 'what a wonderful surprise. Longing sooooo much to be back on the camino I was surfing the internet tonight and came across your wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing ~ we are the South Africans (the funny one's with the yellow arrows). Marius & Emma Burger from Stellenbosch, South Africa. My contact details : info@ekovsa.com

    1. Hi Emma and Marius! Wow, so great to hear from you! We never got to see each other on the Camino after this day. Am sure you had a wonderful time the rest of the way to Santiago. I could not help posting your photo -- you were so cute! :-) Would love to hear more from you on how your Camino went!

  3. Dear Gaya, you are welcome to visit our Facebook page Em & M Camino 2013. Please stay in touch! Wsrm regards from South Africa

    1. Dear Marius and Emma, I just visited your Facebook page, and enjoyed your beautiful photos and narratives. Thanks for sharing your adventures!