Day 9 was a rain day again. The rain fell steadily all day. I wore a plastic poncho, but keeping my arms, hands, and lower legs dry was basically impossible. Nothing to do but just keep on walking, keep on walking...
How can they dry?
Around the middle of the day, I saw an alternate route to go and visit a Roman temple at a town called Santa Eulalia de Bóveda. I decided to go.
Signs along the way were basically non-existent. I was depending on an app, which I didn't trust very much. At one point I waved down a rare car and asked if I was going the right way to see the temple. They told me there was no temple and I was going the wrong way if I was on the Camino. After they drove away, I stood there in the rain poking my app for a while and decided to continue on anyway in the direction it told me.
Eventually I reached Santa Eulalia. It was such a tiny village that I could walk through it in just a minute or two, and certainly didn't see any Roman temple. Just some dogs barking at me from a courtyard.
Then a woman from the tourist office found me and guided me to the temple. She sent me down some steps into an underground vault.
It was a small room with a square pool in the center of the floor with four pillars at its corners. It didn't look like a temple to me; there were no deities or religious symbols of any kind anywhere. Just a lot of painted birds covering the vaulted ceiling. It looked to me like a place designed for women to bathe in. It was peaceful and lovely and somehow holy.
A group of other tourists were there also discussing the mysterious apparent contradictions. I read later that we were not the only ones confused, and in fact archeologists have been unable to either date or categorize this "temple" in any concrete way. You can read more here .
When I walked out, up, and around the vault, I found this church had been built squarely on top of it, which is why it's called Santa Eulalia.
Here's a river of chocolate I passed on my way back to the Camino trail. ;)
The rest of the day, the trail felt particularly magical. Take a look and see:
That night it was well after dark when I reached the albergue. I was soaking wet and freezing, and again the lady running it told me to go take a shower before signing in. I had the entire albergue to myself again, but I didn't feel lonely or spooked. What a great day!
Thanks for coming along with me. It means a lot to share my journey with you. All comments, upvotes, and reblogs much appreciated. :)