The rain was pouring down early this morning, but thankfully it stopped by the time we left our hotel in Castrojeriz. We walked down the main street through town which again there was not a soul in sight. Although our guide book said La Taberna was open for breakfast, the doors were chained and locked. On the way through town, we passed the 16th century German Gothic Iglesia de San Juan. After walking 2 kilometers out of the town we had to tackle a steep climb over the mountain. A great way to get our blood flowing. Once over the mountain top, we stood on the plateau in awe looking out into the vast brown landscape in the distance. The sky meshed with the land, creating a seemingly endless horizon. I felt as if I was looking out onto a sea of water with infinite possibilities.
The camino path was clear in the distance with pilgrims making their way into the horizon. We imagined our next 8 kilometer walk to Itero del Castillo. Here we found “Ermita de San Nicolàs”, which is a religious hostel run by Italian volunteers who practice a ritual washing pilgrim’s feet. There were several pilgrims who stopped here, but we decided against the religious ritual and bypassed the Ermita. Shortly thereafter we were on Ponte Fitero Bridge, walking over the Rio Pisuerga. Here is the historic border crossing into the Province of Palencia, Leòn. The original bridge was built to unite the kingdoms of Castile and Leòn.
We were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to have our morning “cafe con leche”, when 2 kilometers later we finally reached Itero de Vega. The only open establishment, Hostal/Restaurante Puente Fitero, was filled with quite a few pilgrims who had the same idea. Unfortunately, the watered down, overpriced “cafe con leche” was the worst we’ve had in Spain. I guess when you are a pilgrim you take what you can get, and some owners take advantage.
The next 8 kilometer stretch to Boadilla del Camino was filled with nothingness. Although some pilgrims find this stretch quite boring, we rather enjoyed the vast land around us. It was the first time on the Camino we saw pilgrims on horseback. Our feet were hurting after 20 kilometers of walking and we were wishing we were on a horse at that moment. Our walking without pain limit seems to be 20 kilometers. After this our feet feel swollen and sore. It’s always that extra 5 or so kilometers that are the worse. We have a few 30 kilometer days coming up…. we’ll see how that goes…. yikes. Boadilla del Camino is another small farming village with nothing but an albergue. We stopped to use the restroom and continued on our last 5 kilometers to Fròmista.
The final stretch was very beautiful and peaceful as we followed the Camino path along the Canal del Castilla. The water, vegetation, swaying trees and verocious winds made our walk interesting as we noticed the life breathing all around us. Within no time, we were crossing a small iron bridge to Fromista. Brett was so happy he was doing bar tricks on the bridge.
All was quiet in Fròmista, as it was a Saturday afternoon during siesta. We roamed around the town searching for our Pensiòn de Niko, until we finally found it on the other side of town. We rang the bell many times, but no one answered. We asked around at the local hostels and restaurants and finally discovered the owner had another hotel in town. We found a nice young man at the hotel who showed us back to our room in the pension. He attempted to call the owner several times, but had no luck as he said the owner was now in Bilbao. We have no way of finding out the wifi or paying the pensiòn. Very strange for a hotel that you reserve on booking.com.
Both famished, we headed over to a local wine bar/restaurant. There we found our British Columbian friends, Allan and Ronda. We hung out for a few hours, eating drinking and chatting about life. It’s so nice to meet up with familiar faces along the Camino. You start to feel like family and look for those you know everyday when you arrive to a new Camino town.
See our Photo Album:
El Camino: Day 16 (Castrojeriz to Fromista)