On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Carrión de los Condes To Calzadilla de la Cueza

March 23, 2012 — 10 Comments
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I felt the first raindrops at the crossroads of another country road with seven kilometers left to go. By now, dark purple clouds were overhead, and I put on both my rain jacket and poncho. For the next hour and a half, I walked through cold and gusting wind with driving rain, often into my face. The storm wasn’t bad, it was fierce. I scolded myself for taking such a long break earlier. As opposed to previous days, I wouldn’t have a sunny evening walk… From Page 113, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. That will be later in the post, although I only have one photo from the storm.

Ahhh… the senda. I left my last post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Boadilla del Camino To Carrión de los Condes, as I approached Carrión de los Condes on the senda, a wide gravel path parallel to the highway. I believe one of the reasons pilgrims run short of time while walking the French Way of the Camino de Santiago is because they don’t take advantage of the days around the midpoint—the large area dominated by the Spanish Meseta, and a few days walking along the senda and relatively flat roads. For the most part, the track is easy, and often, you can walk for an hour or two with not a lot to see. I wrote in my book and on my blog—to make good time, or make up for lost time, the best places are on the meseta and senda. If you don’t take advantage of the easy walking, you may find yourself really behind, with the challenging mountains ahead. In my opinion, the mountains and Galicia are certainly not to be missed. Let’s start this post as I entered Carrión de los Condes.

This is the rest or service area. I could never fully understand if the image depicted in the mural was St. James, Jesus, or even Carrión himself. A very angry, perhaps crazed, depiction.

Photo of mural, stone marker, trees, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

This early section of downtown Carrión de los Condes was quiet during miday.Photo of metal statue, buildings, people, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

 A serious looking Carrión. Carrión de los Condes is named for Alonso Carreño who adopted the name Carrión, shortly after taking the town from the Moors around the early 9th century.

Photo of metal statue, buildings, people, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

The 12th-century Iglesia de Santa María. While looking for interesting information on Carrión de los Condes churches, I found this wonderful YouTube video of nuns singing to pilgrims. I’m not sure which church it was at, but you can view it here: Camino Song of Blessing.

Photo of stone church, truck, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

Carrión de los Condes had many tourists, many who had arrived on bus tours. Here, a large group led by a guide was outside the Iglesia de Santa María.

Photo of people, entrance, church, tour group, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

I apologize this photo of the plaza is dark. The Virgin Mary stands on top of the statue.

Photo of statue, monument, Plaza, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

The lineup in front of the albergue, waiting for it to open at 1:30. I still had a long time before I planned to stop.

Photo of Pilgrims, street, old buildings, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

The town hall or Ayuntamiento. For more information on Carrión de los Condes, please visit the official website.

Photo of town hall, Steeple, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

I wrote on page 111, “As I searched for a café, I wandered off the Camino and looked at shops and old buildings… I only needed food and chose a small restaurant that looked like it served local cuisine. I didn’t treat myself for lunch often, but after a good morning walk, I figured I deserved it. The menu was in Spanish, and I had trouble understanding most of the dishes. Sure, I understood “chorizo,” but I had no idea how it was served. My waitress didn’t know English… Without consultation, I ordered my dish… when it arrived, I was surprised to see a plate with only eight small slices of chorizo… Another waitress spoke some English and explained that this chorizo was a local specialty, mixed with pimientos, soaked in blood and red wine, and then aged…”

I had never tried anything soaked in blood before, and found it a little unsettling. After my lunch, I exited the restaurant and headed toward the Iglesia de Santiago. A pilgrim had recommended that I look inside. When I arrived, the church was closed for a break and I continued.

Photo of church, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

The peaceful, slow-moving Río Carrión with the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Belén overlooking from the top of the bank.

Photo of parked, River bank, trees, River, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

I had expected a monastery across the bridge, but was very surprised there was a raised causeway too. Although it was most likely rebuilt many times through the years, I was very excited to walk along it. I can’t find any further information on this causeway. If somebody knows the origin, please comment below. Thank you.

Photo of stone causeway, trees, parks, grass, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

Photo of Causeway, stone, grass, Park Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

This stone marker with the crest of Galicia stood at the end of the causeway. I wasn’t sure why this marker was here because it would be days until I reached Galicia.

Photo of stone marker, Galicia, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

The façade of the Monasterio de San Zoilo was incredible. The monastery was founded in the 10th century and was prominent in the town until the 14th. I also tried the door but it was also locked.

Photo of stone, carvings, monastery, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

I know these photos don’t match too well, but I wanted to include them anyway.

Photo of stone, carvings, monastery, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

Photo of stone, carvings, monastery, wood door, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

This Camino marker showed the different routes to the village of Calzadilla de la Cueza. The left one was a highway for cars while pilgrims found themselves…

Photo of stone marker, weeds, highway, trees, clouds, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

on a pleasant road. I had met the Belgian woman from the albergue in Boadilla del Camino, and we started walking together.

Photo of trees, farmland, gravel road, grass, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

The irrigation system in Spain has been integral for the livelihood and existence of people for centuries.

Photo of irrigation, irrigation system, Stone, trees, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

Although there was nothing too exciting to see, it was nice to get off the senda with the crowds of people.

Photo of gravel road, farmland, trees, dark gray skies, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

Photo of gravel road, trees, farmland, Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

At this pilgrim rest area, I had an extended break. The sun was still shining at this point, but when the cold wind started to roar, and I saw the dark clouds coming my way, I knew I had to get moving. I still had over ten kilometers to the village of Calzadilla de la Cueza, my closest place to stay for the night.

Photo of rest area, picnic table, trees, grass, farmland Carrión de los Condes, Spain

 

Approaching Calzadilla de la Cueza in a storm.

Photo of gravel road, dark clouds, village, farmland, Calzadilla de la Cueza, Spain

I arrived to Calzadilla de la Cueza at 6:30, which was normally early for me to find a place to stay. I tried to wait out the storm, but it wasn’t going to let up. Instead of the albergue, I chose a private room in a hostal or hostales. I even had Wi-Fi and was able to make phone calls and check the internet.

I hope you enjoyed this post as I concluded Day 10 of my journey on the Camino de Santiago. On my next post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Calzadilla de la Cueza To Sahagún, I left the albergue in Calzadilla de la Cueza to a horrible gusting wind. It was a difficult walk but the skies started to clear as I arrived to Sahagún, one of the most unique towns on the Camino. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.



About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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10 responses to On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Carrión de los Condes To Calzadilla de la Cueza

  1. Great post and beautiful photos. I walked a portion of the Camino – from Leon to Santiago – six years ago at age 59. I’d love to go back and start at St. Jean Pied-de-Port.
    Congratulations on your book about the Camino.

  2. Thanks Sandra. Congratulations on your walk and I’m glad that you saw an important section of the French Way. You got to walk through the mountains and Galicia. I wish you the best and hope you can walk from St. Jean Pied de Port one day. Buen Camino.

  3. bravo c’est de bons souvenirs pour nous je pense le refaire bientôt mais pour le moment je continue l’écriture de mon livre bonne journée du 8 mai journée de la libérATION FIN DE LA GUERRE CHEZ NOUS

  4. bravo c’est de bons souvenirs pour nous je pense le refaire bientôt mais pour le moment je continue l’écriture de mon livre bonne journée du 8 mai journée de la libérATION FIN DE LA GUERRE CHEZ NOUS

    • Merci Jean-Marie. Je suis tellement heureux que vous ayez aimé ce poste, et il a ramené des souvenirs de la Camino. Bonne chance et de succès avec votre livre.

    • Désolé, je n’ai jamais vu ce commentaire jusqu’à présent. Tous les meilleurs avec votre livre!

  5. what’s the difference between a hostal and an albergue? would the former have a private bathroom? i don’t mind staying in a room with other people, but i’d certainly prefer my own bathroom.

    • A hostal (not a hostel), is very similar to a hotel room, just smaller. I always had a private bathroom, although some don’t. There are also casas which are similar to an inn, sometimes with a private bathroom. It is more likely to find a shared bathroom, but a private sleeping space. I didn’t see any instances where you had a shared room but a private bathroom. Thanks for your comment.

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