Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19, 2014 -- Villafranca de Montes de Orca, Spain

I only walked 11.9 kilometers or 7.4 miles to reach Villafranca today, and I arrived in mid-morning. I would have liked to have gone on, but this is the last place to stop before San Juan de Ortega, which is another 12.4 kilometers farther on over hilly ground. My left leg is gradually improving, but it is still swollen, and I thought it wise to give it another afternoon's rest.

It is cold and windy today. It seems strange that one would want to wear a jacket in Spain in July, but it's that chilly. A possible thunderstorm is forecast for this afternoon with a chance of showers tomorrow. I expect to be hiking through a sea of mud tomorrow.

Before I write about Villafranca, here is a photo I took of Belorado yesterday afternoon from the ruins of an old castle above the town.

For the benefit of those pilgrims reading this blog who know him, Australian Jack entered Villafranca at the same time I did today, and he continued on toward San Juan de Ortega.

The hostel where I am staying is part of the luxury hotel Antón Abad, which is built on the site of an old pilgrims' stopping place dating to the years of the Roman Occupation. The hotel's bartender showed me around and explained the hotel's history.

The original pilgrims' hostel and church on this site were built in 1283. In 2009, the buildings were rebuilt and restored into the present hotel and hostel. I am paying five euros (about US $6.75) for a bunk in a dorm at the same place where ordinary tourists pay a steep price for a hotel room. Here is what it looks like from the outside.

There is a more modern church here now, constructed in the 1700's. Below is a photo.

It is alleged that there are some ancient relics inside the church, but I walked all around the outside and couldn't get in. All of the doors were locked.

No comments: