Day 7, Oct 5: Azofra to Santo Domingo, 9mi

Short day!  I had planned to walk just a couple hours this morning to the next city of Santo Domingo, which is a small-medium city of 6,600.  There is a nice square, cathedral with museum, tower, and cafes to peruse.  My Camino-predacessors and advice-givers Christy and Cary Graham told me they had stayed in this town and treated themselves to a Parador (nice, historic hotel), instead of an albergue for the night.  So…I did, too!  I like the idea of taking a rest day every 7-10 days (or whenever needed), to stay fresher in mind and body.  I really love the albergue set-up (so practical, and so affordable), and it allows for me to meet and mingle with people if I feel like it; but having my own room and shower, a big bed (not a bunk) with 4 pillows!, and plenty of space to unpack and air out my stuff…was a lovely treat.  I went to a grocery store, did laundry, and toured the cathedral, museum, 132-steps up to the bell tower, and chatted with some other (English-speaking) pilgrims which was nice.

I had some good time off my feet to relax, read, and blog as well.  It was a really well-rounded day.

Funny incident doing laundry.  I used a local laundromat.  I went with my backpack full of everything, and after I had gone to the grocery store and bought stuff for lunch to eat in the adjacent park while I waited for clothes to wash.  I was loading my clothes when I realized I really wanted to add in the things that I was wearing at the time – they were some of the stinkiest!  By golly, there was no convenient changing room attached to the tiny Lavandoria, so I quickly scanned the area – not many people around and no one paying attention – so I did my best on-deck Transition ever; changing into my rain pants and rain jacket, which were the only things I wasn’t going to wash!  I laughed at myself, but also congradulated myself for getting all the dirty clothes into the washer.  I looked like I was headed out for a rainstorm, though, not to picnic and journal in the park!  Another great thing about this trip for me – these kinds of details, “what I look like”, just don’t matter, and it’s very freeing.  What is practical, what works, use-what-you-have, that’s what I’m doing….awkwardly changing outfits in a Spanish laundromat!

Early morning light, so peaceful.  I left before 8 today, walking with a few other people felt safer, and we saw the sunlight hit the earth.  I took many photos.

Early morning light, so peaceful. I left before 8 today, walking with a few other people felt safer, and we saw the sunlight hit the earth. I took many photos.

My Parador's sitting area; historic and beautiful.

My Parador’s sitting area; historic and beautiful.

Inside the 12th century cathedral, one of the bigger ones I've seen.  This one also had a museum attached, that for 3 euros (pilgrim's price), I could explore.

Inside the 12th century cathedral, one of the bigger ones I’ve seen. This one also had a museum attached, that for 3 euros (pilgrim’s price), I could explore.

 

132 steps up to the bell tower, and an amazing view.  It was blustery and fresh up there.  Loved it!

132 steps up to the bell tower, and an amazing view. It was blustery and fresh up there. Loved it!

 

Looking down at the city; even over the short timespan of about 15 minutes I was up there, it was incredible to watch the clouds & sunlight change.

Looking down at the city; even over the short timespan of about 15 minutes I was up there, it was incredible to watch the clouds & sunlight change.

132 steps up to the bell tower.  We could see the pulleys and cogs on the way up.

132 steps up to the bell tower. We could see the pulleys and cogs on the way up.

 

Looking down on the Square and the other Parador (there were 2; I stayed in the other one which cost a little less) from the bell tower.

Looking down on the Square and the other Parador (there were 2; I stayed in the other one, a couple blocks away) from the bell tower.

 

 

 

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