Castrojeriz To Fromista

Day Thirty Three. 27.0 K., 16.8 Mi. *(My pedometer).

Written on June 1, 2014.

*A note: when I show mileage with (my pedometer) following it is because I have noticed changes to the Camino that are not listed in my guide book. I trust the mileage on my pedometer more than the mileage listed in the guide book.

This morning we go up, up, and further up to Alto de Mostelares. For those of us who have to take it slow and easy it is a great time to insert headphones into our ears. I am not beyond letting music help me in certain situations. The first song that came up: “It's A Long Way To The Top If You Want to Rock'n Roll” by Lucinda Williams!

Directly above Vern and Angel is the path to Alto de Montelares.

The view from the top of Alto de Mostelares.
Angel and I before we make the long descent into the valley.

Volunteers at a Pilgrim rest…fruit, coffee, etc., for a donation!

Vern on Puente de Itero.

Puente de Itero is a Romanesque structure that has eleven arches. The Rio Pisuerga provided the natural boundary between Castilla and Leon.

Canal de Castilla.

We walked many miles into Fromista today along the canal.

 

Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

Day Thirty Two. 22.4 K., 13.9 Mi.

Written on May 31, 2014.

It's early morning and the trail winds it's way up a hill. When I get to the top I like to look behind me. Some of the greatest photos I have taken are of where I have been.

Theos, Francois, and Angel not far behind me.

Vern and I know of a place in the Meseta between Hornillos del Camino and Castrojeriz. It is a municipal Albergue, San Bol, that has had the reputation of being a hippie Albergue. We are fascinated by the claims of magic water. In our guide book it says, “the waters from the well are said to have healing properties and to cure aching feet”.

Sign and marker for San Bol.

Angel and I are walking together. Vern had said that he was going to stop in San Bol so we walk 100 meters off the Camino to see if he is still there.

Just in time to see Vern put his feet in the water.

Angel doesn't have to say anything. Her face shows how cold the water is!

I take a moment of mental preparation so that I am able to keep my feet in the water.

We go inside the Albergue to get warm and have breakfast that they are now serving.

Today is the first time that I see the Pilgrim dog. He is carrying his own pack. At a break in Hontanas he was even playing with a ball.

A pilgrim and his dog.

San Anton, ancient monastery. A road goes through the ruins.

There is an operational private Albergue here.

Lots of flowers on the path today.

 

Burgos To Hornillos del Camino

Day Thirty One. 19.5 K., 12.1 Mi.

Written on May 30, 2014.

The walk out of Burgos is like an art walk, much like the city itself is.

A sculpture near the University.

A fountain on the way out of town.

Pilgrim creativity!

Pilgrims have told me that their guidebooks suggest that they take a bus and avoid the Meseta, (high plains). I love the vastness and solitude of this beautiful area.

Welcome to the Meseta!

On May 20th I had first mentioned Theos, the donkey and Francois. We had first seen Theos when he was crossing the bridge in Puente La Reina. Today I was grateful to see this beautiful animal in the Meseta!

Theos at a Pilgrim rest stop.

Chris and Ursula from South Africa walking backwards down the hill!
 
 

 

Day Off In Burgos

Day Thirty.

Written on May 29, 2014.

A great day to sleep in, go have coffee, and take care of errands. One of the most important things to do today is have my clothes washed in a machine. Since April 30th I have washed my clothes by hand. I found a dry cleaners who would wash them in a machine and not dry them. Two years ago on the Camino I had my clothes washed and dried…they shrunk. Now it's time to go explore.

Nancy, Vern, and Jim with one of our favorite sculptures.

Today we saw many Pilgrims that we know in Burgos. It was fun getting together without being tired after walking all day.

We found a sporting goods store and bought Vern a pair of sandals. I went to the library and printed boarding passes to be used at the end of June. As we were walking around Burgos we kept seeing more Pilgrims and started making dinner plans. When we did start to gather to make our way to a place to eat I noticed that another group was forming close by. I heard someone say that they were going to Dane's concert. Dane had walked by me several days ago with a cello on his back. I had been wanting to see him play. This was the perfect opportunity. I told Vern and who could hear that I was going to the concert and took off to follow the people who knew where they were going.

The line for Dane's concert in front of Monasterios de Huelgas.
Dane and I after his cello performance.
For more information about Dane, the Pilgrim cellist, go to walktofisterra.com.
 

 

San Juan de Ortega To Burgos

Day Twenty Nine. 23.3 K., 14.4 Mi. (Approx). Vern and Angel's mileage.

Written on May 28, 2014.

As I was lying in bed in San Juan de Ortega yesterday I was thinking about the couple that directed Monica and I to the best way to Ages. What I was thinking about is: do I take my chances and start walking in an area that does not have taxi or bus service or do I make an arrangement this evening? I had noticed a card on the bulletin board downstairs for backpack transport. I called the number on the card and in my best Spanish asked if he could pick me and my backpack up tomorrow. That was pretty easy. By the time I left the Casa Rural I had been in bed for many hours.

Raul and his partner had picked me up on time and drove me to Burgos. It is easier to stay in a Pension, Hostal, or Hotel when you want to stay in a town or city for two nights or longer. As Raul and I were walking toward the Hotel Norte y Londres I kept hearing someone yell, “Mom, Mom”. I couldn't believe that Vern and Angel had arrived in Burgos before me.

Front view of Cathedral in Burgos.

A “portal” into Burgos by the river.

Burgos is a city full of art, sculptures, any resource you may need, and the Catedral de Santa Maria. It is a great place for exploring, relaxation, and taking care of errands.

 

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!
 
 

 

 

Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado

Day Twenty Seven. 25.1 K., 15.6 Mi.

Written on May 26, 2014.

There are a few villages on the way to Belorado today. It helps to have a place to sit and have coffee or juice every few miles. Angel has met an American from Michigan, Steve Allen.

Vern, Angel, a cat, and Steve Allen.

Most of the way today I walked by myself. Vern and Angel were walking ahead to Belorado. Two Pilgrims were hitchhilking. The husband's leg was hurting, he thought it would injure his leg more to walk the two miles to Belorado. One of the owners of Albergue Cuatro Cantones drove from Belorado to pick them up.

The entrance to Albergue Cuatro Cantones, Belorado.

Most of the landscape today looked like this.

Belorado is a city with many murals throughout. Some are very sophisticated. Some are intricate and some are tags.

A beautiful mural in Belorado.