To Villambistia

12.08.08 Tuesday.

Santa Domingo de Calzada to Villambistia.

Last night in Santa Domingo there was the third night of four of an outdoor local production of the life of St Domingo. This runs from 2200-2400hrs. We did not attend but it is preceded by a street procession past the hostel. We did watch this complete with horses and music on what may have been shawms or relatives thereof. We also climbed the bell tower (the highest in Rioja at 70 metres they seem very proud of this) for some very good views.
But as usual it was up at 0515 and off after orange juice and a very large chocolate pastry purchased the previous evening. Next door to the albergue was a set of vending machines including a coffee machine labelled as for 24 hour use.Which 24 hours these were for we never found out as they were closed, so no coffee to start the day. The day went down hill from there as in the dark, navigating by headtorches, we took a wrong turn somewhere, adding 3km to our planned day. We were back on track after a 45min wander around the Spanish countryside and battling into the face of a strong head wind blowing threatening clouds over us which produced just enough rain to persuade Tim to put on his waterproof and then promptly stopped. The sun broke through briefly about 0830 and illuminated the stubble fields with some beautiful yellow light and a persistent rainbow ahead of us.
After 4-5 hours of effort we reached Belorado and had a much needed coffee or two at the refugio/bar there (plenty of accommodation here but not yet travelled far enough. We reached Villambistia about 1200 and the bar/alberge we stay in tonight, just in time to watch Spain tie with China at basket ball in an early heat of the Olympics, much to the delight of the locals, as they had been trailing most of the game.

Link to where we are on Google Maps