Sunday, October 9, 2022

Day 18   Itero de La Vega to Villalcázar de Sirga, Spain   October 9, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! I will not be eating turkey today but maybe some hamburger? Not sure yet but whatever it is, it is well earned. We changed our mind about our final destination and ended up walking the farthest so far – 27+ km.  I’m a little stiff right now but hope I’ll recover during the night-

I had a later start- 8 am because we set our alarm for 7.  I had a great sleep.  Breakfast was dried up baguette, chorizo , cheese and tomato.  No coffee! 

Along the way-

 It was 8.2 km to the first restaurant where I ate again.   You never know when your next meal might be!  The church in Boadilla del Camino was very nice but closed-

Carrying on, I finally saw some farm work being done:  loading bales-


There is a boat-

 that runs from Boadilla for a couple of kilometres in the canal-

Unfortunately it was at the wrong end for me to ride it.  Where the boat trip ends are some locks.  There’s apparently a plan to restore about 50 of them-

This is the first terminal I’ve seen because the train runs through this town - Frómista.  I have walked many miles through combined fields and seen only a couple of tractors with cultivators. I have seen no grain storage areas or combining equipment. It is really weird and I think the land must belong to large corporations who come in to combine and haul the grain away immediately to terminals.  There are no farm buildings or people who live rurally because everyone lives in the villages and or cities-

Pretty bushes along the path-

Once in Frómista, I caught up to Bernadette, Mirjanne and Helle.  We visited the church, which cost one euro to enter and it was the most minimalist church I have seen this trip –

I know one euro isn’t a lot to pay to get in but when did churches start charging? They do have to keep the lights on and employ staff and with church attendance dwindling I guess they have no choice.

Carrying on-

We crossed over this highway.  They have such nice roads but without nasty winters, we would too-

I walked a long way on this path-

Finally Villalcázar de Sirga came in to view.  The church really dominates the town –

Walking here, Mirjanne and I left the so called scenic route to save 1.5 km and luckily we did.  We found Hostal Las Cantigas-

 just in the nick of time. An Aussie sitting outside told us that the bar had just closed - at 4 rather than 5 and so we walked around to the side of the building and Mirjanne must’ve made a noise because a man opened the shutter. He quickly let us into the building and informed us that he was going to Leon for a funeral and that the bar and restaurant were closed. We had to pay for both rooms because he wouldn’t be back until nine tomorrow morning. He at least served us drinks and had to change the keg.  The funeral was at 5:30 in Leon, 100 km away and they didn’t leave until 4:30.  

Our room is lovely-

Yes, that’s a bathtub-

We can see Santa Maria La Blanca out our window-

We had to pay another Euro to get in but she was worth it.  It was built in transition from Romanesque to Gothic style from the second half of the 12th century to the last third of the 13th.  The Knights Templar, who protected the pilgrims bound for the Holy Land, built, with the help of the Cistercians, this temple fortress in praise of Saint Mary.

The front altar-

The vaults are ribbed and finished off with polychrome rosettes-

A side altar-

and a pulpit-

I had a bocadillo for supper from the supermarket.  I’m getting very tired of baguettes!  We found another peregrino-

 I visited with an American couple from Minneapolis for a bit, then fell into my bed to enjoy the peace and comfort.  Looking forward to a shorter walk, 22.8 km to Calzadilla de las Cueza tomorrow.  


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