Monday, May 27, 2018 … 20 km … 12 miles
We only had 4 extra pilgrims in our room last night and one of them was snoring very loudly. It was the first time for me to really hear snoring at night. I woke up a few times, but I was able to get back to sleep. It helps that your body is tired.
We had a pretty easy day ahead of us. Only 12 miles. It was going to be a flat day in the Meseta. We had a choice today along the Camino. We could walk along the road all day or take the scenic route along a river. Of course, we choose the river.
We arose at 6 and left the Albergue at 7. This time seems to be good for us. It was a cool morning and there was a chance of rain. So, we covered our backpacks and headed out the door. This has been a daily thing for us, we have had rain a lot along our Camino.
We planned to stop in town and get a light breakfast before moving on. Because we stayed at the beginning of town, we had a little walk to the café. When we arrived, the cafes were busy. Pilgrims and locals, it was breakfast time. Café con Leche of course and a quick bite for everyone. Then we were ready to move on. We only had 8km to our next café.
After we made our way out of town, we basically were walking along a highway until our turn to the scenic route.
Población de Campos
It was cloudy, chilly, and we were hoping the rain would hold off. We soon arrived to Poblacion de Campos and the river Ucieza. This is where we turned off the highway and made our way to the path along the river. This stretch along the river would be for the next 10km.
Today was a quiet day, not a lot of talking. Speaking only when needed. We were mostly alone today along this path, only a few other pilgrims chose this route. We had to cross little creeks and some parts of the path were muddy from all the rain. It was nice. Way better than following a highway.
We finally arrived in Villovieco and it was time to get a snack. I think we were all hungry and the mix of food on the table was great. Cokes, Aquarius, Snickers, Ice Cream, Nuts, Banana. A little of everything.
I was glad we went the scenic route because we would be able to see a church by the name of Ermita de la Virgen del Rio. This church had a story to it and I was hoping we could go inside. Inside was an alabaster image of Santiago Peregrino and a statue of la Virgen del Rio. Our Lady of the River was said to have swum up the Rio Ucieza during a flood and stopped here.
That’s all I knew of the story. I just thought it was interesting. I love to hear about all these miracles and stories.
Until then we just enjoyed our walk along the river.
Ermita de la Virgen del Rio
Perfect timing, just as we needed a break, we arrived at the church. But unfortunately, it was closed. The grounds were nice so we enjoyed a little break.
We all were getting hungry for lunch, real food. The guidebook showed a café just a few kilometers up the road. I just feel like every time we need something, there it is!
The Camino provides! That is the saying.
Palomar del Camino
We walked up to the café and were amazed. There in front of the café was a huge white structure. The café was very nice and we enjoyed this break. Good food and a little history lesson. We learned the white structure was a dovecote.
“The pigeons use the loft as their home, creating their own nests in the nests. This is where they lay the eggs from which the chicks hatch, which are then collected by the owner of the farm for consumption or sale to third parties. Every year it is necessary to leave a pigeon to continue with the pigeon breeding. Pigeons flock out in the morning to feed and return early in the afternoon to the loft. At certain times of the year, it is necessary to supplement their diet in the loft so that they do not abandon you.
Pigeon breeding was a very widespread activity in the Castile area, especially during the Middle Ages. Although the dovecotes began to be abandoned with the rural emigration to the city, with the modernization of agricultural work, and with the manufacture of chemical fertilizers.” source: https://www.palomardelcamino.com/interpretacion
Villalcazar de Sirga
The café was on the edge of Villalcazar de Sirga. As we left the café, we made our way into the town center. Luckily the Camino took us this way, but there was another church I was hoping to see.
Santa Maria la Blanca. This Cistercian and Templar church is a jewel from the 12th and 13th centuries. Unfortunately, this church was closed also.
As we continued on our way, we had a little fun and I saw a blue door. I love blue doors.
Our last stretch of the day would be along the highway. Only 6km. Not bad at all.
The dark clouds were rolling in, we were just hoping the rain would hold off. The clouds were dark and we didn’t want to get caught in a thunderstorm.
Just as it started to rain, we arrived at our Albergue, again Thank you, Jesus!
MONASTERIO DE SANTA CLARA … 30 beds … 5-7 Euros
Tonight, we were staying in an old monastery. Not just any monastery but according to legend, St. Francis stayed at this monastery when he walked the Camino de Santiago! Yes, St. Francis walked the Camino de Santiago. https://turismoenpalencia.com/english/blog/monastery-of-santa-clara-in-carrion/
They originally gave Cale and me a room, Luca and Natalie a room, and Minh was by himself. We didn’t want him to be alone, so we all gave up our little rooms and moved into a bunk room with Minh.
After we showered, we went to check out the kitchen. We needed to see if we could cook our dinner. The kitchen was great, so off we went to the grocery store to get our dinner supplies. It was perfect the Supermercado Dia was just around the corner. We were able to get our dinner, breakfast, and snacks for tomorrow.
We made some new friends tonight. As we were cooking, two pilgrims were in there cooking as well. We ended up talking to them and we all ate our dinners together.
Monday, May 28th … 20 km … 12 miles, cloudy, windy, and chilly.
Even though it was a short day it was still hard. We took the river route; it was nice and off the road. It was quiet, walking with nature. Way better than walking with cars. Everyone was quiet today. Great prayer time. We passed two different churches where miracles have happened with the Blessed Mother. Both churches were closed, so sad!
Met a great couple tonight at the Monastery, Kim, and Deb from Kansas City. We sat and talked while dinner was being cooked. Great talk and I shared my Vino with them.
Loved staying at the St. Clara Monastery. Just knowing that St. Francis stayed here was awesome.
St. Francis, pray for us!
Reminding myself of yesterday’s messages today along the trail, let go and forget, open your heart, be true to you, love. All things we should live by daily!
“Blessed are you, pilgrim, when you hold our Father’s hand. Listen to the quiet and know He is guiding you.”