July 17, 2008

Day 62: 14 June- Hontanas to Itero de la Vega

I left Hontanas before 7am while it was still cool, as it was forecast to get a little warmer... It was beautiful and peaceful in the early morning, and the landscape was still so surprisingly green.
The nine kilometres to Castrojeriz seemed to pass by very quickly. There, medieval history seemed to jump out at you from the stones of the old buildings.
I had breakfast at a friendly bar. Again I was in a place too early for buildings to be open for viewing, but I was desperate to buy some shampoo -and a hairdresser's was open!
There was another climb here onto the Mostelares part of the Meseta. It was actually quite steep... more so than it looks in this photo...
This moth gave me an excuse to stop and catch my breath.

And as always, the climb was well worth it, with a magnificent view back in the direction of Castrojeriz.
There was evidence that the farming season was progressing.
I arrived at Hospital San Nicholas, run by an Italian group. This has been restored from 13th century buildings and luckily they had let a few walkers in to eat lunch -possibly because they were Italian- and so I got to see inside. The chapel section was up the front, and a long table filled the main room. It was beautifully done. Francis had also stopped here, and I think this is probably the last place I saw him until I had the joy to see him again in Santiago....
The forecasters had got it right, and the temperature had warmed up, but it was only a few more kilometres until Itero de la Vega. I bypassed a place on the outskirts with a pushy owner, and arrived in the centre of town to find a family-run place, with a very genuinely Spanish atmosphere.
A wander in the town here showed some more storks that had chosen a church tower for their nesting place. And seats in the square here provided a chance to 'mix and mingle' with those staying in the municipal albergue nearby.
Dinner was an interesting meal. It was being served while Spain was playing in a European Cup game. At half-time Spain weren't doing so well, and we heard all about how lazy they were. By full-time though, the team had found redemption and were absolutely wonderful again..... Somehow, this all reminded me of home.....

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