Posted by: knitknigel | May 15, 2009

The Polyglot Camino

Today was a good day. Yeah, my blisters hurt, and yeah it was cool up on the highlands, and yeah, I don´t have my old guides, but – it was only a 4.5 hour walk, it was over rolling land, with not too much up and down, I took a slightly different route through an old town while everyone else when through the new, not so pretty conurbation, and I wrote and sang a song in my head: As Happy as a Lark in the Morning!

Twas lovely.

Back at the beginning of my camino, I was surrounded by Canadians. At least 10 or 12 from Quebec, and 12 more from Newfoundland. Now they are all behind me. I feel sometimes like the only English speaking person on the camino. When I arrive at the albergues I am surrounded by people from France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Brazil, and I´m sure other places I haven´t yet establisled. But my sock knitting entertains them all; I am going to be in many photo albums around the world after the Camino is over.

Last night I finished my first Camino sock and it is lovely. The colours are great, and the design was fun. It´s a toe-up sock, with wool and cashmere yarn from Hand Maiden in Canada, and it has a Scallop Shell decoration on the front of the leg. It impresses everyone. Last night a woman from Nájera where I stayed sat down with me, drew out the shape of the sock, asked me all kinds of information and told me she was going to try knitting with one needle toe-up as I did. (But I forgot to tell her that I increased only 2 stitches in 3 rows on the sole/gusset, so I hope she figures it out.

Scallop Shell decoration

Scallop Shell decoration

Tonight´s albergue in Santo Dominogo de la Calzada is very very nice, even if the volunteers are very officious. The man checking us in kept asking all the pilgrims to be quiet, and the women who showed us our rooms wouldn´t let us go upstairs until she said so. Then she appointed beds like a sargeant-major and when two of the people who came chose two lowers instead of up and down she was a little miffed.

But – there are tons of showers, separate ones for men and women, lots of beds, a really nice lounge, well-appointed kitchen and I have power next to my bed so I can recharge my camera batteries.

And Santo Domingo de la Calzada is celebrating it´s 900th birthday this year, while the Albergue started operating in 1044! (The building is new, but the society is old).

I´m going out soon to find the white hen and rooster in the church. There is a legend about this. A couple and their son were going to Santiago but the son was falsely accused by a young woman whose advances he spurned. He was condemned to death and hung. The parents went on to Santiago and prayed for the deliverance of their son. On the way back they stopped and saw that their son was hanging on the tree but still alive, so they went to the bishop to ask that he be taken down. The bishop was eating dinner and said, “Your son is no more alive than this roast chicken on my table”. At which point of course, the chicken leapt up and began crowing. So the son was saved, of course, and for that time on two chickens are kept in a coop in the church!

My friends, I am going to go get some good food and some fine wine of the La Rioja region I have been walking through today, past acres and acres of vineyards as far as the eye can see. Que aprovche.




  1. Nigel/Geordie

    I really do love your stories.
    I look forward to them sitting at my desk at work all the time.. another world to escape to!

    I love how you have integrated knitting into your travels..its simple , its beautiful!

    I want all those cafe con leches that you post all the time!

    Have fun boys!

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