Day 26 – Itero de la Vega to Pablación de Campos

Walked today: 10.7 miles

Walked Camino 2019: 187.9 miles

An early start had us in the dark for the first few minutes.

Linda walking just before first light

Our hands were actually cold in the 55F morning air. An advantage of starting this early, other than beating the later heat of the August sun is this…

The pre- sunrise sky was in fire

The brilliant sky behind us soon opened our view for the way ahead.

We walked through the fields of freshly cut hay and sunflowers..

… then turned around to this…

The sunrises on the Meseta are incredible and well worth a few minutes sleep loss for early risers.

Our morning walk continued for nearly 5 miles before reaching the first village, Boadilla del Camino (pop. 124), where we observed another church, a stork’s nest and a resident stork.

Iglesia de Santa María de la Asuncíon
view of stork in nest

We stopped at an open albergue for cafe con leche (but no tostadas) and moved on.

Shortly after leaving the village, we walked on a tree lined path which led back into the fields but without warning, began paralleling a canal.

The trees provided a nice break from the morning sun.
The Canal Castile

Canal de Castilla was built from 1753-1859, covering 207km. The canal was used for ships that were pulled by mules on tow paths. Today the canals are used to irrigate agricultural fields.

We walked along the canal for 2 miles until just outside Formista ( pop. 846) we carefully crossed the inactive canal locks and then walked into the town.

Linda crossing the old locks of Canal Castile
Looking downstream

Frómista has been a breadbasket farming area since Celtic times until being destroyed by the Moors and later rebuilt in the 12th century. When the Jews of Castilla y León were systematically attacked in 1391, Frómista absorbed some of the Jewish refugees, though the Jewish population was exiled in 1492. In spite of being a successful market town in the 15th century, the town declined until a revival in 1773 when the canal brought water and enabled agriculture to again thrive.

We walked into Formista with a mission to renew our Orange sim cards which run out today. This has provided us with phone service and cellular internet service since we purchased them in Madrid in late July. It’s a much cheaper option than using the international cell service offered by Verizon.

After a few stops we concluded that our mission was not going to be completed in Formista. We had already walked 9 miles today and considered a taxi or bus to take us the final 2 miles to our destination for the day. The tourist info office, which was our source for bus/ taxi availability and timing, was closed at 10:30 Friday a.m. when we arrived with a ” be back in 20 minutes” sign on the door, and which remained for the entire hour we waited and probably much longer. A bit frustrated, we put our packs back on and walked the final 2 miles.

The Spanish sim card is a new luxury we added this Camino, just to see how it works. In the past, we have used the reception at wherever we’re staying to make calls for us for future reservations, arranging for pack (mochila) transport, etc. Wifi has been and still is our main method of communication, so doing without the simi card and cellular service us not a big deal. But we’ll try again in Carrión tomorrow and in subsequent large towns to get new sim cards, because we have gotten used to the convenience.

Other than the ever increasing heat of the mid-day sun, the walk to Pablación de Campos and the casa rural, Amanacer en Campos (45€),

Amanecer en Campos from the street
The nice jardin common area of Amanecer en Campos

was not overwhelming and we were welcomed with a glass of sangria while our room was being prepared. We figured we could wait as long as the sangria kept coming.

Right after we checked into our nice room, there was a knock on the door. The sweet lady that runs the establishment, who speaks zero English, handed Jim her cellphone. Jim, without hesitation, said “Hola” and Rachel asked if there was a room available tonight. We began a three way conversation between the owner, Rachel and Jim, ending with Jim assuring Rachel that we had a single room for her at 30€ and we were holding it for her until she arrived two hours later.And the owner was noticeably happy that she had earned an extra 30€ + for the day. Jim decided not to ask for a discount. (Jim met Rachel later in the day. She was from Ireland, walking alone, her first Camino.)

We stayed here in 2014 and had a delightful experience, especially the food. This is where we were introduced to the Spanish version of lentil soup which has become a staple in Jim’s diet back in S.C.

Today for our 2:00 late lunch/early dinner we had the most delicious paella anywhere.

The most delicious paella we’ve ever had
All that was left of our delicious paella lunch/dinner

The simple salad of heirloom tomatoes and lettuce and “no-name” Riója red wine more than adequately complimented another extraordinary Camino culinarily experience.

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