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…
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.
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.
Not an ancient wagon, but a very old one nonetheless.
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.”
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.
Hontanas was almost hidden from the meseta, below the height of land. The Church of Inmaculada Concepción is in the center
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.
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.
Many of the details of the individual sculptures on the archivolt were weathered and lost forever.
I thought about joining other pilgrims who were having lunch at the ruins, but decided to wait until Castrojeriz, which is in the distance.
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.
Another view of the the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Manzano, a large complex built between the 9th and 13th centuries.
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.
This castle has been the site of battles throughout the centuries. One day, I’ll walk up there for a closer view.
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.
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