Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Camino Photos, Stages 15 through 20

Friday, September 10, STAGE 15
Castrojeriz to Frómista

Sorry for the break in the action but the last few days have been a little hectic what with saying my goodbyes in Hässleholm and the flights back to Camarillo, more on that in the next post.

Meanwhile, back at the Meseta. . .

Looking back at Castrojeriz

This was taken at Alto Mostelares, about 3.5 km into the day's walk.

Same spot, looking forward at the next
22 km of Meseta Magic for the stroll

A lake? On the Meseta?
Where did that come from?

Near Itero de la Vega

Interesting and different Spanish art

The Meseta can get into your
tired head if you are not careful

Another grocer bringing his wares
to a small Meseta village

Biking the Camino

The few rude bike riders can be truly dangerous on the Camino, these guys did ring their bells and shout out their presence far enough in advance to make it safe for everyone on the Camino.

The Canal de Castilla

Our albergue in Frómista was well stocked
with the essentials for the Camino. . .

. . . VERY well stocked indeed!

Frómista's Main Church

Corinthian Column Capital

He is BIG in these parts!

How long would it take Brian FitzGerald
to straighten this cross?

Saint Agatha

She is the Patron Saint of Catania, Sicily where they have a great three day festival in her honor every February. Those were the days!

Interesting choice of robes


Always the key to good fashion sense.

Sunset in Frómista

One of the saving graces for this desolate part of Spain known simply as the Meseta is its spectacular sunsets and equally fabulous. . .

Saturday, September 11, STAGE 16
Frómista to Carrión de los Condes

. . . Sunrises

This one as we left Frómista today for a "short" 20.1 km/12.5 mile day.

Color the Meseta mostly brown if you will

Sunflowers are a big crop in northern Spain

Every self-respecting town on the Meseta
has to have a handball/jai alai court

Tepees on the Meseta?

It has been a long time since Columbus brought back Indians to the Royal Court in Madrid. Who would have thought that they would still be clinging to their old ways on the Meseta?

Morton from Norway

The journalist from a small town in Norway, we walked together the last half of today's Stage.

Jesús greeting us as we enter
Carrión de los Condes

The main intersection in
Carrión de los Condes

Peace be with you

Martina from Germany

I first met her at dinner in Larrasoaña on Stage 2. She was a very nice lady who had to fight hard at the end but overcame her blisters to finish the Camino.

These pastries were sinful
but necessary for the soul

Me and my church ceilings

My favorite color for a house
in España yet again

I used to be a Los Angeles Rams fan

A typical Spanish gentleman
enjoying a Cafe con Leche

The B.V.M. is big in Spain too

Our albergue in Carrión de los Condes

Silver and Gold

Laurie's two favorite things.

Swords to the Heart

It was definitely not easy being the B.V.M.

Hans and Leontien

From Holland, they were landslide winners in the "Cutest Couple on the Camino" contest!

Hans actually got to play this organ

St. Andrew was crucified
on an X-shaped cross

I even liked their street lamps

Our exotic, hand written menu at dinner

Sparing no expense to make the customer happy!

Sunday, September 12, STAGE 17
Carrión de los Condes to
Terradillos de los Templarios

Camino Angel

At about the 17.5 km mark, Jillian and I stopped for our morning ration of Cafe con Leche and were greeted by this man who was from the Spanish Red Cross and was giving out free doses of First Aid and positive energy for weary peregrinos.


Carlos from France

Carlos was the semi-Twilight Zone man I passed today going in the opposite direction for the third straight day.

I had to ask him about this and found out that he is with a group of people. He drives a car with all of their belongings to the next stopping point bright and early in the morning and then walks back down the Camino until he finds then each morning.

The Patron Saint of Shoppers?

Adobe is still a main building
block on the Meseta

Halfway Done!!!

This hamlet is the exact halfway point on the French Route of the Camino de Santiago. Needless to say it was a huge mental burden lifted to know that we had come this far.

The Knights Templar are a big part
of the Camino's history

They served a great meal at our albergue

Silver Chalice

Monday, September 13, STAGE 18
Terradillos de los Templarios to
Calzadilla de los Hermanillos

Another day, another Meseta landscape

I would roast wearing the traditional peregrino garb

Interseting Construction in Sahagún

Two Abuelas, One Morning Gabfest

Cool Wheels

Our alberque was still closed
but the local bar wasn't

We had to slake our thirst for about an hour before we could check into our small but clean digs.

Town logo on the wall of the
handball/jai alai court

Calzadilla de los Hermanos answer
to Ralph's in Camarillo

The Super-Market was very small, the man running it was even smaller.

Tuesday, September 14, STAGE 19
Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to
Mansilla de las Mulas

Just another Meseta sunrise

The old City Gate to Mansilla de las Mulas

Another funny Camino Angel

She offered free First Aid help to peregrinos too at our albergue for the night.

Ste. Julie preparing notes for the next Stage

Music Men

It's Tuesday, so of course a band just started to randomly roam the streets lifting everyone's spirits.

The Camino Provides.

Abuelos gabbing as they wait for the tobacco store to open

Wednesday, September 15, STAGE 20
Mansilla de las Mulas to León

Have I said anything about
the Meseta's sunrises?

Roadside maps are always a plus

The Lion of León

The Meseta is finally over, we conquered it and were all happy. We didn't know yet of the difficult days ahead in gorgeous Galicia.

At least it wasn't another Moor

This was on a building designed by Anton Gaudí in the early days of his career.

León is a big, festive city. . .

. . . with a great Gothic Cathedral

The interior of the León Cathedral

It is not as spectacular as the cathedral in Burgos but is still enjoyable with its emphasis on stained glass windows.

The Scale in a León Farmacia

This is the one that claims that I had lost 20 kilos since leaving Los Angeles back on March 3rd. I don't know how accurate it was but it definitely made me feel good about myself.

I would celebrate this occasion with an awesome slice of chocolate-orange cheesecake for dessert at dinner.

León's entry in the
"Peregrino Tribute Statue" contest

Shouldn't they be using an up-sweep pass?


Some days on the Camino, I feel just like this as I get to the albergue but I can't show it to my Camino Saints, they need positive energy as much as I do.

A full view of the Gaudí Building

One of León's little shopping streets

Highly Recommended by Jason Johnson

We were all set to eat dinner here but it turns out that they would not open for dinner until way too late for us. This was a big disappointment but it did lead us to that cheesecake I mentioned.

Guarding the Cathedral

They are everywhere!

We even had an antique car show in León


The León Cathedral at Dusk

Air your shoes out peregrinos, PLEASE!


steveswindle said...

Are you familiar with Barnaby Conrad? He is a writer and has done tons of stuff on Spanish Bullfighters. "The Death of Manolete" is one you probably know.
He lives near my station and has an amazing artist work shop.....I can arrange for us to meet and have coffee and a chat if you are interested.

Thanks for sharing your photos...it has cemented my desire to do a Camino too!!!!!

I walked from the souther tip of the Sinai up to the Israeli border in Taba, but the scenery was even browner than the Meseta. The walk wasn't my choice either, haha!!

George said...


Barnaby Conrad's "La Fiesta Brava - The Art of the Bull Ring" was my favorite book about bullfighting as a youngster. It was my Dad's.

My sister Linda gave me an autographed copy of the book with an original art work of his to boot for my birthday a few years ago, a cherished gift indeed.

I would love to meet him if it is not an imposition.


itzbfitz said...

Considering my penchant for symmetry in all things (aka OCD) and figuring in a reaction time of 0.24 seconds, it would take me approximately 0.77 seconds to straighten out the cross, far less time than it would take the artifact to burn through my hand.

steveswindle said...

Brian....you're too funny!!! And thanks for letting my Camarillo Cougars use RMHS football field...you guys rock!!!

George....no imposition at all, Mr Conrad is a a very social and welcoming man. I'll set it up.
Can I find your contact phone via the white pages?

George said...

I am listed indeed.