Monday, September 18, 2023

The Chicken Legend

 Day 46 - Granon 

     Because the hotel did not offer breakfast until 8:30, we ‘had’ to sleep in and get a later start.  Going from the elegant hotel dining room to the dusty trail felt awkward, but we’re pretty used to it by now. Our morning walk transitioned the landscape from vineyards to plowed fields. Whatever crops were harvested are long gone and tractors were busy turning the soil already.

    We walked through a very strange town that was filled with fairly new condos and a manicured streets but totally EMPTY, like a ghost town.  The story on the Camino is that they built a huge golf course and all the condos, but nobody bought them.  While walking through the town we picked up an Irish pilgrim about our age who talked our ear off for a couple of hours.  It was hard to understand what he was saying because of his accent and a strong wind.

    The next town we came to (Santa Domingo de la Calzada) has an interesting legend.  Centuries ago a pilgrim couple and their son stopped at the town.  The mayor’s daughter was infatuated with the son and tried to gain the boy’s affection.  However, he didn’t give her the time of day.  The town council caught wind and seized the boy and hung him.  The parents went on to Santiago and on the way back stopped and found their son still hanging but alive.  They went to the mayor to ask him to cut the rope.  The mayor, who was eating dinner, exclaimed, “The boy is as dead as the chicken on my plate.”  At that moment the chicken came to life on his plate.  To honor the momentous event the town put the chicken in the cathedral.  Since then they have kept a chicken descendant in the cathedral.  The legend caught on and they have been charging pilgrims money to see the chicken in the cathedral.

   Well, as luck would have it, we again came into the town the festival day of celebrating the legend.  They were all dressed up, had music and dancing, and carried a silver statue of a pilgrim and chickens, eventually into the cathedral.  Because of the commotion, we didn’t get a chance to contribute our pilgrim money to see the live chickens.

    Moving on to our destination, we were a little anxious because our lodging was an apartment that we found on From our experience, we knew this can be confusing, because you get emails and text messages telling you how to get in and where it is. I wasn’t getting good information on my phone and when I called, my Spanish was not good enough to decipher what to do.  Well, sure enough, we found the large apartment building on the outskirts of town; but no idea what to do next.  I suddenly received an email telling me to go to some lobby in town to get the key.  While I was frantically trying to locate said lobby on my phone, a delivery van pulled up and asked, Are you Peter?  Ah, yes. si si .  The driver pointed to a building up the street where people were waving at us.  As it ended, we are in a nice large two bedroom apartment with a washing machine for $50. We washed just about everything in our backpack and are sprawled out in four rooms with a big deck.  We are savoring it because tomorrow will probably be a bunk bed!

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