Pay To Pray

Mesa in Castillo y Leon along the Camino de Santiago
Mesa in Castillo y Leon along the Camino de Santiago

Let’s see. What are we going to do today? Walk.

We walked out of the Rioja region and into Castillo y Leon, our third providence in Spain. The countryside has shifted from vineyards to wide open rolling hills full of wheat. Maureen, my cousin and our walking partner, is a farm girl from Dundee, New York, Starkeys Corners to be precise, on Seneca Lake. She has been pointing out all the geeky farm minutiae, the same stuff her father did on their farm.

I lost my second glove today. Just as well, it’ll lighten my load. I probably put it under my arm when I stopped to take a photo and then let it go.

I’m still thinking about the ghost town we walked through yesterday. It took about a half an hour, the same length as the early Twilight Zone episodes. A town in the country with rows and rows of new apartments or condominiums, all empty with “En Venta” signs in the windows. Spain had a housing bubble worse than ours. Surrealism at its finest sticks with you.

So many of the churches we’ve been in along the Camino charge a Euro to put the lights on. They are unattended and in near darkness until you drop a Euro “por la luz.” The statues and altars, the retablos, the stations of the cross and paintings all come to life. A real bargain!

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