In May of 2022 I returned to Camino with my bf and repeated most of the way, but this time walked all the way to Santiago. We resumed the walk exactly from the same place where he left the previous fall, at Logrono.
Second time around felt very familiar, just like coming home but at the same time some places look and feel differently; some hostals have closed since last year; some new cafes opened up while the old ones closed. Also, since this was a different season, the colors and the views also looked different.
Also, on this second Camino we made a point of discovering good meals beyond the usual pilgrim menu as food is also an integral part of the Camino experience.
New Experiences this time around:
In Burgos, a massage place called Ultreia, ask for Felix, he doesn’t speak any English but this was one of the best massages I ever got.
We got to Santo Domingo de la Calzada on June 12 and witnessed an amazing fiesta; the entire town with all their dignitaries was on the streets celebrating the day of their saint, Santo Domingo.
In Carrion de los Condes I wanted to catch the famous singing nuns, which I missed the year before. Nobody actually knew where this takes place but after some search, turned out that the singing happens at the main Santa Maria Albergo. However, this year the nuns were out on a field trip and the event was conducted by volunteers. About 20 pilgrims gathered in a circle and were asked to introduce themselves and to state their reasons for doing the Camino. Some people’s stories were actually very touching; some walked to honor dead relatives while others to celebrate getting over deadly illnesses, and so on. Some people like us walked for the sake of walking while some others didn’t speak neither English nor Spanish so their reasons remained a mystery…overall this was a pleasant experience and I recommend doing it, hopefully while the nuns are there.
Ponferrada Castle is a worthwhile visit in good weather. We had our break and laundry day there and went to a bar with live American country music band… of all places…
In Santiago do not miss a very nice jazz and blues bar Arume as a pleasant end to the Camino.
In Burgos, we managed to hit all the same bars as I noted in my previous blog: La Quinta del Monje, La Cantina de Burgos, Tapas San Lesmes and Los Herreros. All were as good as I remembered, but if you can do only one, go to La Cantina. This is where we discovered zamburiñas, scallops on a shell roasted with oil and garlic. We couldn’t get enough of this dish for the remaining Camino and tried to eat them everywhere we could.
This time around, we opted for a short day after Hornillos Del Camino and stayed in Hontanas, a very cute town with a happening main street and good lunch options. The next day, I planned to have breakfast in Castrojeritz, a place I remembered fondly, but this time it was dead quiet and there was no place to eat breakfast. We ended up going to the only open tienda and ate potato chips and a banana for breakfast. Sometimes things like that happen on the Camino, which reminded me that it’s always good to have some snacks with you.
In Burgo Ranero, we stayed in El Peregrino, same as in the previous year, but Piedras Blancas is a better choice for food. It has a nice garden in the back and an a la carte menu with great salads and other good choices.