Dear Christine and Renee’.

Today was a Goldilocks day: Not too hot, not too cold, not too far, not too short, not too sunny, not too cloudy. It was just right.

For vast stretches of the walk today we could see lines of pilgrims ahead and behind us.

This was mostly farmland with no fountains or significant rest spots in between the start and finish of the day.

One exception was a man who had set up a stand for refreshments, accepting donations for his offerings.

Another exception was walking into the town which had been developed as a golf resort community. When we were here in 2013 it was largely vacant… a ghost town. Today there were a few golfers, but most of the buildings were still uninhabited.

Our Polish friends have gone ahead, Kasia to Burgos, where she will be resting her tendinitis, and Witek to the next town beyond us.

We walked much of a day with a very friendly young Spanish woman, Rocío.

She has spent the last 8 years working in Yorkshire, England, and thus speaks good English. She was a delight!.

Our rooms for the night are courtesy of a community of Cisterciense Nuns.

The simple but spotless room was likely an accommodation for two sisters in the past. A crucifix looks over us from above the beds.The facility has been converted to a simple pilgrims hotel. Our room with dinner and breakfast totaled €100. Dinner is tonight after Mass in the Cathedral.

Britton and I toured the Cathedral, the Cathedral, Museum, and Crypt where Santo Domingo is laid to rest.

Most fascinating to us was the Bell Tower which is the tallest in the province, the tower clock which is the oldest working one in the province, and the magnificent bells which overlook the city.

We were standing under the bells when they tolled 5 o’clock.

My ears are still ringing and it’s not just tinnitus!


There is a minor controversy on the Camino. It has long been the case that a pilgrim walking the last 100 km is entitled to Compostela, as is a bicyclist or horseman who ride the last 200 km. These days electric bicycles have become very popular.

I estimate that half of the bicycles we see proceeding to Santiago with packs are electrically assisted.

Should they be entitled to Compostela? Therein lies the controversy. Britton’s thoughts, of which I tend to agree, are that a bicycle (electric or not) is not different than a horse which transports the rider. He votes that the e-bikes should qualify.

Britton and I have begun transporting our packs each day. In my case it is a matter of preservation given the pain in my back each morning. With Britton it is just a matter of fairness on my part.

As we near Burgos and our transport to Leon I am becoming sensitive to another controversy, what qualifies as a “real pilgrim“. Perhaps it is my imagination, but I think that I have sensed some silent disapproval from a pilgrim here and there.

Do you remember “Pat“ from New York who in 2013 voiced that a “real pilgrim“ does not transport their pack and walks every step of the way. About halfway to Santiago we observed her transporting by taxi cab! Perhaps that was a bit of karma.

Thank you for arranging the appointments with the orthopedic physician, massage therapist, and Chiropractor the day after our return. I hope that there is something that can be done to alleviate this difficulty. 72 years and my family genetics are definitely catching up to me.

Tomorrow is a long day, but the weather looks to still favor us. I understand that Kansas City is suffering under a terrible heat wave. Please stay cool and take good care of yourselves.

Love you both. Peace. Dad

The view from our room tonight:

18 thoughts on “The Goldilocks Day. Santo Domingo Del La Calzada

  1. Ah Pete and Britton – yet another phrase that I will steal – a “Cinderella Day” … perfect description. I am glad that you had one. Yet again – I am coming in with advise that it might be too late to take – but I am told there is a nice walk along the river that brings you into the city of Burgos. You take a left before you reach the city – I believe there is a park involved. I know many that have taken that route and it misses the industrial bit of the walk. If you have time – I am thinking you can investigate it.
    Now – about shipping your pack …I am here again to eat my words (nom, nom, nom) – I too felt that shipping a pack was a luxury and took away from the authenticity or the point of the Camino. We are supposed to suffer, we are supposed to give our difficulty up for God to prove our worthiness. One of my earlier Camino’s – just before Logrono – I twisted my knee, it blew up to a basketball and not only did I jump ahead (by train) but I had to ship my pack multiple days because I couldn’t take the extra weight. Since then – I have had to do the same – I have had to walk down steep hills backwards due to knee pain .. ice, rest, cut my Camino short due to my stubbornness – yikes the things I did to myself to prove my worth. Just crazy. Because my belief – or the belief I have come to rest in, in my elder years – that whomever God may be – they don’t want us to suffer, they don’t want us to prove our worth – they just want us to love. Love God, love ourselves and love others. So dear Pete – be loving to your back, to your self – shuck other’s ideas of a “real” pilgrimage/pilgrim and reveal in time spent with your GRANDson.
    You are as real a pilgrim as I have ever seen. One moment, one step, one day at a time my friend! (insert smiley face and a hug)

  2. Another term I am going to steal – “Goldilocks Day” – perfect. I have been told that there is a different route into Burgos – before you get to the city – you take a left and walk at some point through a park along the river. Vague – but if you have time you might investigate it.
    As far as shipping packs – I too held myself to a higher standard – looking askance at those that walked with “cute little packs” – ah – holier than thou – eh? Well I got to eat my words (nom, nom, nom) when a twisted knee would find no relief. I felt that we were supposed to suffer, supposed to work through pain to prove our worthiness to God (and anyone looking). Poppycock! The belief I have adopted in my elder years is that God – whomever that is – only wants us to love; to love God, to love others and to love ourselves.
    I have never seen a better example of a pilgrim than in you Peter. Ship your pack, enjoy your walk, enjoy your time with your GRANDson.
    Peace my friend – one moment, one hour, one step at a time!

  3. Hang in there Pete. I feel your pain as I too have morning back pain, only mine is on the left side. Stretching does not alleviate it, so I’ve learned less time reading and drinking coffee and quicker to the garden where the pain subsides. Seems if I go to work and ignore it, it goes away. Maybe it’s just my body telling me to get my work done before the day gets too hot, or more likely it’s being 76 years old.
    Loving “our” trip so far. Beautiful pictures and smiles on your faces show how good this adventure is for both of you.
    Good health and peace. Bill

  4. As you know, there is no ONE “right” way to do the Camino! Your particular way IS your way and I’m so glad to hear that you listen to your body and do what is right for it! That is also being a good example to others who are struggling. Good job! Buen Camino (your way!)

  5. BERRY GEORGE C says:

    Hi Pete,
    Great pics, good commentary thanks for letting us follow along.

    As for your minor controversy, your Camino is only yours. Only you get to decide what is best for you: who wants to walk through the industrial chaos of a city or carry their bag every day or walk long days when you are hurting. So, instead, just laugh and drink wine and meet new folks. You and Britton are doing so well. Have so much fun, my friend! And enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in the world:Burgos. Say hello to El Cid for me!!

  6. The willingness to be flexible each day of your Camino adventure is not unlike life itself. And isn’t that one of the Caminos best lessons.
    The willingness to assess, evaluate, and the flexibility to change has elevated your Camino to one of life’s greatest lessons.

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