On The Camino de Santiago In Spain, Villar de Mazarife To Hospital de Órbigo

May 24, 2012 — 6 Comments

The Camino followed a flat, paved road through fertile farmland, where the soil was worked by large tractors and loaders harvesting crops of giant potatoes. At least, I thought they were potatoes, because some of them were the size of cantaloupes. It was incredible for this city boy to see large dump trucks carrying away heaping loads of potatoes. As the trucks pulled away, the odd potato would bounce off the load and crash on the road… From Page 132, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. Okay, this city boy has a confession. I’m embarrassed to say, those weren’t potatoes.

Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago in Villar de Mazarife, 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).

I left my last post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, La Virgen del Camino to Villar de Mazarife, at the park on the edge of Villar de Mazarife. It was here where said goodbye to a fellow Canadian. We had walked together for two hours and it was sad to see him go. This was the main plaza in the village. The only store I remembered that was open was well-stocked, and had reasonable prices. It was a treat in a small place and I stocked up on food for the afternoon.


The Mudéjar style church had huge stork nests.


Near the end of Villar de Mazarife, I had a pleasant break in a small park under the warm sun. I wrote on page 135, “These were the breaks I enjoyed. Not the “hide in a bar to get out of the cold” breaks. Outdoor breaks in the sun were all I needed.” After the village, the Camino followed this road for a long stretch. 


I can’t remember what this building was. Again, I was very impressed by the size of the stork nest. 


The aforementioned “giant potatoes.” Okay, they were actually sugar beets. I was close though, wasn’t I? Thanks to Peter and David for pointing this out.


Of course, irrigation is very important in this part of Spain.


The long stretch along the paved road went on for about 6 kilometers, before veering off onto a gravel road toward the village of Villavante.


Another example of irrigation—this time, much older.


With darkening skies ahead, I walked toward Villavante.



Villavante and the Camino were very quiet during the early afternoon. After a break that included a Magnum ice cream and checking up on my painful blisters, I continued.


I’m not sure what this building was—an Ermita or maybe a Convent.


The front façade of the attractive Mudéjar style church stood out brilliantly against the last patch of blue sky.


Past one more giant pile of giant potatoes… 🙂


and back on another quiet stretch. At least I wasn’t alone all the time.



I’ll leave this post as I approached the town of Hospital de Órbigo.


On my next post, On The Camino de Santiago in Hospital de Órbigo, Spain, I’ll focus on one of the most magnificent sights along the Camino—the bridge at Hospital de Órbigo. 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 and Kobo. 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.


6 responses to On The Camino de Santiago In Spain, Villar de Mazarife To Hospital de Órbigo

  1. Great post Gideon. I walked the other route so it was good to see what I missed. Enjoy your descriptions of each segment! I think what you were seeing are sugar beets.
    Thanks for making your blogs available.

  2. Peter Pfliegel March 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Looking to the photos with piles of ‘giant potatoes’, I had to smile. These are, of course, sugar beets.
    BTW, I will definitely choose this -a bit longer but quieter- way than the one via Villadangos and San Martín.

    • Thanks for letting me know about the true identity of the “giant potatoes.” You may have been the only one to notice. Enjoy your Camino, Peter.

  3. Am about to set off again for the CAMINO this time Fromista to Pomferrada so it has been great seeing your pics and learning your experiences. But I can assure you that those big spuds are sugar beet just like Fred and Peter say. Coming from Suffolk UK I just know that’s right.

    • Thanks David. It should be fixed now. Peter has been reminding me that they weren’t giant potatoes. I’m excited for you that you’re walking the Camino again. Wishing you another special journey. Thanks for stopping by. Buen Camino.

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