Friday, January 1, 2016

Santa Catalina de Somoza

Camino Gazetteer
.....Camino 3-2007:March 10, 2007
.....Camino 4-2008:February 17, 2008
.....Camino 5-2009:March 2, 2009
.....Camino 6-2010:November 12, 2010
.....Camino 7-2011:November 16, 2011
.....Camino 8-2012:November 23, 2012
.....Camino 9-2013:November 23, 2013
....Camino 10-2014:November 22, 2014



March 10, 2007

Spent the morning sightseeing in Astorga. Visited the Archbishop's palace designed by Gaudi in his unique Art Nouveau style. Today it houses a museum for the Camino. Much use is made of 19th century stained glass and decorative clay tiles. Superb! ...I walked on towards the Maragato region and the mountains. Tried to stay in the nice private albergue in Murias de Rechivaldo but it was closed; the municipal one was a mess. While eating lunch I asked advice. The chef-patron knew a place in Santa Catalina de Somoza. Now I am here in a small private albergue above a bar. Clean, cheap, warm and friendly, its perfect!

February 17, 2008

Today we walked 10 km or so towards the mountains and are staying in a bar with albergue above in a tiny, stone village called Santa Catalina de Samozo. Tomorrow we start the real climb up towards the high peaks. All goes well.

March 2, 2009

Left the albergue early for breakfast on the Plaza Mayor. Many of the other pilgrims joined me; then we went our separate ways. After buying some basic food and getting euro bills in small denominations (try using a 50 euro bill in a remote village) I set out towards the mountains.

While crossing the highway a brown UPS delivery truck zoomed past. How strange to see that familiar color and logo in English here in very rural Spain! Mentally I associate such trucks with childhood parcels from Macy's delivered sixty years ago. How times have changed!

Now I am in the tiny mountain village of Santa Catalina de Somoza staying in a private albergue over a bar, the San Blas. It is cheap, very friendly and extremely clean. Hope the heat works!

November 12, 2010

This morning I quickly visited a nationally protected village a few kms off the Camino, Castrillo de los Polivares. Unfortunately these small rural sandstone buildings roofed in tile ALL now have the same green painted trim ! The effect resembled a stage set; No evolving village EVER looked like that. Much of my professional life I worked for building preservation; both in Canada and NYC we opted to leave buildings 'in their own juice' and not gussy them up.

Back on the Camino I stopped at the authentic mountain village Santa Catalina de Somoza where a small private albergue is over a bar. The barman/owner gave me a big hug of recognition when I entered. Four men were my dorm mates; one monolingual Spanish, two multilingual Germans, and one French working in Dubai as a lighting specialist for the Cirque de Soleil. We all shared tips.


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