On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

March 11, 2012 — 1 Comment

What can I say about my night in Hornillos del Camino. Hmmm… If you have never walked 40 kilometers during a day, arrived late in the evening sweaty and exhausted, couldn’t shower because there was no hot water, slept on a lumpy bed in a gymnasium with no heat, used blankets that hadn’t been washed for months if not years, and felt a chill on your face all night while listening to snoring that echoed throughout the room… then you haven’t really travelled at all. One thing about the Camino de Santiago: every night was a new experience. The people I met at the albergue in Hornillos del Camino, however, especially the French hospitalera, were all very nice.

Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago as I left Hornillos del Camino, Castilla y León. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).

On my last post, On The Camino de Santiago In Spain, Burgos to Hornillos del Camino, I had arrived to Hornillos del Camino in pleasant evening sunshine. Well, I left the next morning to…

Photo of Church, blue skies, rooster monument, stone, Hornillos del Camino, Spain

overcast skies and rain. What a difference! At least it was warmer than the previous morning. A temperature of about 7°C  actually seemed temperate.

Photo of Clouds, wet, monument, church, stone Hornillos del Camino, Spain


I had an extremely slow morning getting ready. I’m definitely not one of the pilgrims who can leave before 6 AM. I was the last to leave the albergue, and walked through a very quiet Hornillos del Camino.

Photo of Empty streets, stone houses, Hornillos del Camino, Spain


Not an ancient wagon, but a very old one nonetheless.

Photo of Old wooden wagon, Stone wall, clouds, grass, Hornillos del Camino, Spain

Photo of Rusted metal sign, Stone wall, grass, clouds, Hornillos del Camino, Spain


Ahhh… the Spanish Meseta. As I wrote on page 100, “Ahead, I saw many kilometers of meseta, and much of the landscape was similar… Although I tried, there wasn’t much to see. I looked near and far, up and down. There were few birds and no wildlife, which brought a question to mind – where was the wildlife? It was my ninth day on the Camino and besides a small lizard on the first and numerous birds, I never saw anything. I was in forests, grasslands, valleys, and now, the meseta, and not a deer, antelope or even a damn squirrel. A few pilgrims were the only ones who resembled wild beasts, although I’m sure I had my moments, too.”

Photo of Gravel path, green farmland, clouds, Hornillos del Camino


Photo of Cross, gravel road, green farmland, pile of rocks, Camino de Santiago


There was a slight incline through the meseta before it flattened. After almost 90 minutes, I arrived to the outpost of San Bol. This is all that remains of the Monastery of San Baudillo.

Photo of Farmland, ruins, clouds, stone, San Bol, Spain


As I wrote on page 101, “To say San Bol was a hamlet would be an overstatement.” Photo of Building, albergue, green farmland, trees, San Bol, Spain


Hontanas was almost hidden from the meseta, below the height of land. The Church of Inmaculada Concepción is in the center

Photo of Village, farmland, green, hills, clouds, Hontanas, Spain


Entering Hontanas. This scene with the narrow dirt road and stone walls on either side resembled many that I would see in Galicia about a week later. Photo of Clouds, village, church, stone, path, walls,


While the approach to Hontanas was from the meseta, leaving the village was through a more scenic valley. Photo of Gravel path, green farmland, trees, scrubby hills, Hontanas, Spain


I never did found out what these flowers that grew right beside the path were. If anybody knows, please contact me.Photo of Red flowers, green leaves, short, near Hontanas, Spain


All that remains of the ancient village of Valdemoro.Photo of Ruins, column, stone, path, hills, Camino de Santiago, Spain


I wrote on page 101, “… There was only a six meter high narrow section of wall that had crumbled near the base. I couldn’t see it standing for much longer, but someone may have said the same thing years ago.” I believe this was actually a chimney.

Photo of Ruins, narrow column, stone, clouds, Camino de Santiago, Spain


The path went along the valley for about another two kilometers until the main road, and the ruins of the Convento de San Antón. The convent originated in the 12th century but most of the current buildings are from the 15th. The village of Castrojeriz has an excellent webpage devoted to Convento de San Antón, with photos and a designer’s brillant rendering of what the complex may have resembled.

Photo of Ruins, monastery, grass, clouds, Convento de San Antó


Photo of Ruins, monastery, clouds, arch, Convento de San Antón


Many of the details of the individual sculptures on the archivolt were weathered and lost forever.

Photo of Stone, weathered, carvings, Convento de San Antón


I thought about joining other pilgrims who were having lunch at the ruins, but decided to wait until Castrojeriz, which is in the distance.

Photo of Clouds, trees, green farmland, hill, Castrojeriz, Spain


Castrojeriz derives its name from the castle, now in ruins, overlooking the village. The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Manzano is on the right. Castrojeriz, as an organized village, originated in Roman times, and evidence shows that humans were there long before that. However, it flourished after the reconquest in the 9th century. I’m very impressed with the village’s website, which I never discovered until writing this blog post. It’s more informative and modern then many websites for much larger towns. For history and tourist information for Castrojeriz, including dining and accommodations, please visit the Castrojeriz website.

Photo of Church, Iglesia, Castle, hills, clouds, green farmland, Castrojeriz, Spain


Photo of Trees, road, clouds, cross, Castrojeriz, Spain


Another view of the the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Manzano, a large complex built between the 9th and 13th centuries.

Photo of Church, clouds, path, trees Castrojeriz, Spain


I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the museum, but the stained-glass windows were amazing. These exterior photos obviously don’t show the details and colors. If you’re in Castrojeriz, please visit the small museum. It doesn’t take long, but just to see the stained-glass windows is well worth the inexpensive admission.

Photo of Church, clouds, stained-glass, stone carvings, Castrojeriz, Spain


Photo of Stained glass, stone, church, Castrojeriz, Spain


This castle has been the site of battles throughout the centuries. One day, I’ll walk up there for a closer view.

Photo of Ruins, Castle, stone, hill, clouds, Castrojeriz, Spain

I hoped you enjoyed this post as I had a relatively good 21 kilometer walk to Castrojeriz. On my next post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Castrojeriz to Boadilla del Camino, I’ll leave Castrojeriz, walk through the meseta for hours, spend some time on a Roman causeway, visit an ancient piilgrim hospital, and have an enjoyable evening in the sunshine. 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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  1. Day 18: Letting go — Burgos to Hornillos del Camino | Jen's Journey – Camino de Santiago 2013 - July 7, 2014

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