Homer's Travels: Camino 2013 - Day 21: Itero De La Vega To Villarmentero De Campos

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Camino 2013 - Day 21: Itero De La Vega To Villarmentero De Campos

We left Itero de la Vega early on a sunny day.  The weather would change soon. If I'd known that, I would have enjoyed this day more.  Then again, I enjoyed this day anyway.

Pilgrim sculpture In Boadilla del Camino.
The first stop of the day was at the private albergue in Boadilla del Camino.  Last Camino I'd stayed at the municipal albergue but I should have stayed here.  The place had an impressive courtyard and a friendly staff.  Despite them being in the middle of cleaning the albergue the hospitaleros let us use the facilities and we bought some food and a few walking snacks.  This town seemed a lot nicer than last time.  I think it was because it had been really cold last time.

As we were leaving we noticed luggage piled near the door of the albergue.  Some pilgrims don't carry their bags and have baggage services transport them to the next albergue.  The odd thing is most people still use backpacks even if they use a taxi service but in this pile of luggage there were some hard sided suitcases.  They didn't even try to pretend to be traditional pilgrims.  

Second stop of the day was in Fromista.  The approach to the city is nice as the Camino follows a canal used for irrigation.  As we got closer to the town you cross a bridge over the canal.  As we approached the bridge we noticed a large group of tourists gathered around the narrow foot bridge - many were taking pictures. We reached the edge of the crowd.  Someone noticed us and told everyone to make way for the pilgrims.  They made way for us and said Buen Camino as we passed.  The tourist were taking pictures of a torrent of rushing water filling the canal.  Not sure what the attraction was for tourists but they seemed interested in it.

Weeping Willow Reflections near Fromista.
We entered town and stopped in a bar/cafe to get some food, drink, and internet.  On the way out of town we looked at the street market wares.  We were lucky to pass through several towns with their weekly markets going.

The way we walked this time was a slight variant from what I took last time.  This variant passes through more towns and it was nice to see something different from last time.  We ended the walking day in the village of Villarmentero de Campos.

The albergue was attached to a bar/cafe - the only source of food in the town I think.  The bar was decorated with images of Bob Marley and marijuana leaves.  Every square inch of uncovered walls were written on with messages from prior pilgrims.  I didn't add to the walls but a few of the other pilgrims did.

Tepees and a donkey at the albergue in Villarmentero de Campos.
The place was interesting.  It was located on a plot of land. that was shared with two dogs, two donkeys, and a few chickens.  When the fresh bread was delivered, the day old bread was hand fed to the donkeys and dogs by the owner.  The albergue had a large garden along one edge.  In the middle was a couple of tepees and a couple large concrete pipes that had doors and beds.  You could sleep inside the building or you could choose to sleep in a tepee or concrete pipe room.    There was a cluster of signs pointing out the highlights on the town - the bathroom, the sunset, the church, and the bar.  It was kind of funny - there wasn't much here.

The attractions of Villarmentero de Campos.
A few people that we'd seen on and off since Grañon showed up - the Polish couple, Tq and Ad, the Austrian woman, Kr, and a young German girl, Ax, who were all walking together.  A few other we didn't know arrived as well including a crazy bike pilgrim.

After doing our chores we laid out in hammocks and relaxed in the sun.  I discovered I'd developed another heel blister on the other foot.  I'd hoped the blisters wouldn't multiply but they did.  I put some duct tap in the heel of my shoes in the hope that would reduce the friction.  It was a relaxing afternoon.  

Chilling in the hammock.
Took my first selfie here (Facebook friends have seen it).
We shared a communal vegetarian meal at the bar that night.  The food was locally grown food from their garden.  It was very good.  The conversation was fun as well.  The biker guy had just got a divorce and I don't know if he was happy about being single again or missed his wife.  He was a bit confused I think.  The meal ended with some flaming alcohol ritual which has some connection to magic I believe.

Flaming Alcohol.
Tq, Ad, Kr, and Ax had chosen to stay in a larger Tepee.  As it started to get dark the clouds started to roll in, the wind picked up, and it began to rain.  It was quite a storm with lightning and thunder.  Everyone except Ax moved into the dorms with us.  Ax would spend the night in the tepee and said it was quite dry and warm in there once she fell asleep.

After the rain started we relaxed inside our dorm common area.  The hospitalero started a fire in the fireplace and clothes that weren't dry yet were moved near the fire.  People gathered around the fireplace as the bike pilgrim played guitar.  A nice evening indeed.

Pictures can be found in my 2013 Camino de Santiago Google Photos album.

Total Distance on Day 21: 24 km ( 14.91 Miles)
Total Distance Walked: 479 km (297.64 Miles)

Approximate Track of the day's hike.
[Click on map for a larger version]

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