Companions on the Journey

Fromista to Carrion de Los Condes (Population: 2200)
April16, 2015
8AM to 1PM
5 hrs for 20.98 km

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Our new Irish friends from Wicklow were our companions on today’s journey right from breakfast to our arrival at market day in the central square, Plaza Santa Maria, around the corner from Hostal Santiago where we have our three bed room with bathroom. The bathtub looks a little short for Brian. We may have to pry him out if he sits in there. Fancy antique style brass beds and a sunroom that runs the length of the room with a clothesline outside the window. We already have today’s duds dripping there.

It was a relatively easy day, mostly flat with lots of conversations with Jim and Mary, both recently retired, Jim from administration in Fire Services, Mary after twenty years as an elementary principal. Both did part of the Camino last year and decided to do the whole thing this year for Jim’s sixtieth birthday which is next week.

We could have done all of today’s path on the Senda which would have followed beside the highway. We chose the slightly longer tranquil path along the river on dirt road. A happy decision. We hardly saw any other pilgrims until our route rejoined the main one.

Jim said they had never walked so fast. I said we were just keeping up with Mary. The men thought that if they added some rocks to the women’s packs, we might slow down.

Rain threatened much of the way but did not happen. The sun came out before we reached Carrion. This used to be a town of ten thousand but now has 2200 and is declining. We have not seen so many people since Burgos. There are many different stores here and many are open, although they just closed for siesta. There is even a jewelry store where Brian hopes to score a watch battery. We have already bought our goodies for tomorrow’s lunch including a quart of strawberries. We already ate chocolate cream pastries.

Yesterday we visited two of the three large churches in Fromista. St. Martin’s, an eleventh century church, noted as one of the finest examples of pure Romanesque in Spain. The exterior has 304 intricately carved corbels, about a foot in height of human, animal and mystical characters. The interior also contains many fascinating carvings and high arches. San Pedro is a bigger church, austere in its beauty, with an unusual upper floor that we wee bit able to view. It looks as if only pigeons inhabit that space now.

We had a pizza for supper, a frozen one, baked in an oven in a bar, nothing special. We switched from rummy to “oh hell” for our evening’s entertainment. I lost at both games.

Today we missed the Templar church in Villalcazar today as the Camino did not take us into the village. We did not realize this until we were past the village.

We stopped for our picnic lunch beside the closed hermitage of La Virgen del Rio, not particularly pretty. Part of it was restored and looked as if someone lived there but nobody was home.

We had a cafe con leche a little further on beside a very large round concrete pigeon coop or dovecote with a fascinating set of photos and story about this two or three hundred year old building.

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