San Bol to Ermita de San Nicolas

Day Fifty Eight. 15.1 Miles, 23.2 Kilometers.

Written on June 16, 2012.

There were nine of us at San Bol. Several of us were up and ready to leave by 6 a.m. We are getting an early start. There is very little shade so it is a good idea to get going. The sunrise is beautiful.

Sunrise at 6:45 a.m. On the way to Ermita de San Nicolas.

As we approached Castrojeriz we walked under the arch and pass the ruins of the ancient convento de San Anton XIV. This was the monastery and hospice of the Antonine Order founded in France in the 11th century. The archway has recessed alcoves where bread was left for Pilgrims.

Ruins of San Anton XIV.

Not far from the town of Castrojeriz is the climb to Alto Mostelares. A resting place for Pilgrims has been built with a cover for shade at the top. Further on was another stop for Pilgrims…donations accepted for oranges, water, soda, etc., a great place to rest in the high plains.

We have decided to check in at Ermita de San Nicolas to see if there are two beds available. The buildings are 13th century and have been restored by an Italian Confraternity. The electricity is limited to a couple of hours in the evening, generated by solar power.

Ermita de San Nicolas.

Hospitalieros at Ermita de San Nicolas.

Before dinner was served our two Hospitalieros announced that there would be a foot washing in the tradition of hermitages along the Camino de Santiago. I quickly took a seat and prepared to participate in this ancient tradition. They announced in Italian and English that we would be removing one shoe. They also told us that they would symbolically be washing our foot simply by pouring water over it and saying a prayer. It was a wonderful experience and each one of us participated.

Communal candlelight dinner at Ermita de San Nicolas.

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