We awoke to one of the sunniest days we've had in a week. We started out at 8 and ended up quickly on a path that is directly beside a main highway. The path, also known as the "senda" is mostly straight and flat. (Photo 1)The beautiful weather certainly made this more bearable.
All along the Camino, the small communities have invested in metal art and sculpture which commemorates the pilgrim spirit. This piece (photo 2) can be seen along the trail as well as the autopista (highway) while (photo 3) is a small sculpture in the little town of Villovieco.
At Poblacion de Campos, we chose "the road less traveled." Our option included continuing on the highway (a shorter distance) or through farmland. We chose the latter (which few did) and for awhile we were on a path that cut through green fields. Then we crossed the River Ucieza and the trail followed the water canal for several miles. The river was tree-lined with birches, poplars and various grasses, and there were numerous birds serenading us along the way. I was not familiar with most of them but we did hear the distinctive sound of the cuckoo.
The river trail ended at the Ermita de la Virgen del Rio, where we had our lunch outdoors but we were not allowed in.(photo 4)
Our next stop was Villalcazar de Sirga, a very well kept little village with an impressive Iglesia. On the way into town, we noticed some dwellings built into the hillside. This one (photo 5)was actually right along the Camino. I had been in one of these when I visited Spain in 1997 and they can be quite liveable.
We had coffee in the square across from the 13th century Romanesque Templar church of Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca. (Photo 6) It houses the tombs of nobles and royalty and is a national monument. There is quite a bit of sculpture over the doors on the tympanum and elsewhere on the outside, but the inside is rather austere except for several large sculptured panels.
Then we were back on the senda headed for Carrion de Los Condes (pop. 2,400), our destination for the day. We arrived about 2:30, completing 13 miles. We checked into La Corte for 50€ for 2, with bath, and it was an exquisite room all in pink with a balcony. We also were overlooking the 12th century Romanesque Church of Santa Maria (photo 7). I guess every city has a church of Santa Maria.
We walked around the city and visited the church of Santiago which has now been made into a museum.
Michele was not feeling well so I went to dinner at the hotel with Brent, Mike, Christina and Martina. There were plenty of other pilgrims there, many of whom we keep connecting with along the way. That is one of the allures of the Camino.