Belorado to San Juan de Ortega

Day Twenty Eight. 26.6 K., 16.5 Mi.

Written on May 27, 2014.

The above distances are what Vern and Angel walked. When I woke up at the Albergue I was not feeling well. At breakfast all I felt like having was tea. Thanks Angel for bringing it to my bed! I started walking with every intention of getting to San Juan de Ortega.

An ancient Hermitage on the way to Villafranca de Oca.

Vern and Angel were already in Villafranca de Oca taking a break with Sonja and Izzy when I arrived. By this time I was not feeling much better. Several people started telling me that Sonja, Izzy, and Monica, among others, were going to take the bus. Angel and Vern suggested that I follow them to the bus stop and go ahead to San Juan de Ortega to take care of myself. As I was walking up the road toward the bus stop I became sick on the side of the road….thanks Sonja, Izzy, and everyone who helped me at that moment!

When the bus arrived Monica was speaking to the driver. Monica lives in Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish. She told me that the bus does not go to San Juan de Ortega but somewhere in between there and the next Camino village.

I sat back and was very grateful that I would be getting off the bus with Monica….not really sure where that would be. When the bus stopped only Monica and I got off, everyone else was going to Burgos. We were not even in a village, we were left in front of a few structures. Monica listened carefully and heard voices. She walked toward a couple unloading their car. She spoke with them for a few minutes with a lot of pointing and and head nodding. I heard them say that there were no taxis in the area and no way to get to Ages, the closest village to them. San Juan de Ortega was at least 7K from them, Ages only 2K. I just said to myself, “I am safe and I'm with Monica”. The woman motioned for us to follow her. She pointed down a dirt road in the middle of fields. Monica and I walked at least a mile until we reached Ages.

Ages, Spain.

A church on a hill on the way to Ages.
When we reached the Albergue in Ages Monica got in line to check into the Albergue. She decided to stay there. I was still comtemplating how I was going to get to San Juan de Ortega. I had the phone number for the Casa Rural that we had reservations at. Monica was kind enough to speak to the owner when he answered. Within ten minutes I had a ride to San Juan de Ortega. Today I walked 9.4 miles.
An Angel named Monica!



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.