Walked Today: 7.3 mi / Camino2022: 150mi
We thought we’d let you walk up the mountain with Linda this morning. Follow the photos below in left-to-right order… her perspective looking ahead and looking back on her way up.
The hermitage of San Nicholas de Puentefitero dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Its membership in the Order of the Knights of San Juan, later known as the Order of Malta, is documented and linked to the presence of the nearby Fitero Bridge over the Pisuerga River, an infrastructure of great importance that linked the kingdoms of Castilla y León and, today, to the provinces of Burgos and Palencia. The Knights of San Juan would have taken care to keep the bridge in good condition, facilitating the passage of pilgrims and also offering them their hospitality.
A famous traditional pilgrim shelter, it was restored by and is supported by the Italian Pilgrims Association.
We checked in to La Mochilla albergue soon after arriving in Itero de la Vega at 10:45. The albergue is a very old, make-shift collection of rooms with possibly 30 beds ( dormitory style) and two private rooms (w/o bathroom) of which we have one. There are two bathrooms with sinks, 1 working shower and ourdoor patio for socializing and meals, a basic kitchen for doing your own meal and a kitchen for albergue prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner. Soon after occupying our room we had no key so Jim asked the owner for one and he came back with two containers of keys to try to find one that fit our door. He said (we think) that a prior occupant of our room apparently took the key with him as the owner began trying keys in the two boxes. Jim offered to look for him so he could get back to processing the line of other pilgrims waiting to rent beds for the night.
After trying all the keys in our door without a fit, we abandoned the effort and accepted that our room tonight is not “technically” private. (Jim considered asking for a discount but decided against it). This may not be the most primitive albergue we’ve stayed in, but it’s close… at 35€.
We met two delightful sisters from New Zealand who checked-in shortly before us. We had chats with them during breakfast and later for lunch in a nearby bar in Itero de la Vega.
Dinner tonight was with 8 other pilgrims. We had interesting conversations, mostly in English, even though 5 were from Spain. The other pilgrims were from Norway, Switzerland and Philadelphia. It was enjoyable and lasted until our new, normal bedtime, 8:45 p.m.