Camino Day 11 - Fri 7/6/2002:

26.5 km today
353.5 total

It was cold and windy but dry when I left at 8:20, having decided to be a lazybones: I only got up at 7:30, which was my latest rising time on my camino. The way was through fertile farmlands on the valley floor, but slowly wound its way back up to the meseta. In the dry brightness, this looked much more hostpitable than it did yesterday. It was dead flat, with only one or two bushes to break the monotony of cornfield after cornfield.

A 15th Century Rollo (roadside cross) in Boadilla del Camino impressed. From there, I followed the tree-lined towpath of the Canal de Castilla all the way to Frómista (780m, pop 1400.)

View Back to CastroJeriz

Panoramic (28K)

Another view

back to Castrojeriz (29K)

Siglo XV Rollo

Boadilla del Camino (54K)

Canal de Castilla

Lock in Frómista (49K)

Arrived in Frómista just before 1pm: 26.5 km on mostly flat terrain in just over four-and-a-half hours. Considering my crocked condition, I was more than pleased. I checked in to the albergue (5 euro), which was OK but crowded -- I began to suspect another sleepless night coming up and thought that maybe I should have carried on to Carrión de los Condes. But I stayed.
After a shower, I went exploring the town, which was a bit on the dull side. Aside from the canal and lock on the way in, the one architectural bright spot was the Romanesque church of San Martín, which has 315 carved figures around its eaves. Met an Irish guy, an economics teacher from Co. Wicklow who was spending 10 days walking and bussing bits of the camino; he wanted to see some of the sights and so he caught the bus to Léon. It was nice to be able to talk about home for a bit.

Church of San Martín

Frómista (36K)

Some of the figures

Church of San Martín (44K)

Another view

Church of San Martín (41K)

House Wall Decorations

Frómista (56K)

Did a small bit of exploring, found a decent-looking pub, and had a coffee. Went shopping to replenish my snack supplies. Later that night, had dinner at a pub after briefly checking out the restaurant next to the albergue - it looked a bit too snooty for me. Had spaghetti and a beer with a girl from Denmark who was cycling to Santiago: it was her first day, and she was still getting used to the bike she'd hired (she had started in Burgos that morning.) She used to work in the public health service in Denmark, but with the advent of a new slightly "right-wing" government, lost her job along with hundred of other health workers. Ouch. She was philosophical about it all, which is probably the best way to be. But don't get sick in Denmark anytime soon!
Back to the albergue: bedtime. Actually, "bedlam" was probably more accurate, considering the crowds. People were even sleeping on the floor in my dorm!

Didn't sleep very well -- I made the mistake of sleeping too near the door and people wandering in and out to the loo were constantly banging it. The next morning, the albergue's 2 euro breakfast was eminently forgettable: a cup of lukewarm coffee and two queen cakes. Lukewarm -- kind of summed up how I felt about the town. Onwards.