Tag Archives: Tabara

Tábara to Santa Croya de Tera to Santa Marta de Tera to Camarzana de Tera

May 25 – Up early again today, for a fourteen mile hike to Santa Croya.  Daybreak by the Torre (tower) with storks, of course, and sunrise from the road.

Tábara looks like a very nice town in the early morning light.  Too bad I was too tired yesterday to see any of it!

Lots of company on the trail this morning, mostly French, with one skinny Irish boy toting a ukulele.

A nice mix of farm track and green trail today.  For some reason, we were plagued by black flies.  Bugs usually aren’t an issue, and we have no bug spray.  I kept my mouth closed, but they flew up my nose and in my ears.  I thought for sure you would be able to see the flies in the photos!

At a fork with no clear sign to indicate the right direction, pilgrims made their own arrows to guide us:

Tonight we are staying at Casa Anita, a huge alburgue that is the only place to stay in Santa Croya.  In addition to the dormitories, they rent private rooms upstairs, and we booked one.  Signs let us know we are getting close.

Our hostess made us feel welcome, and let us know that Casa Anita is not only the only place in town to sleep, but also the only place to eat!  They serve a communal supper at 7:30, with two choices of entree.  What fun!  Back in 2011 when we walked the Camino Franćes, we enjoyed many communal suppers, but this one is the first opportunity we’ve had on this trail.

We arrived downstairs about 5 minutes early, to check out the tables.  One long table was buzzing in French, but at the other, we heard English!  Yay!  We sat down and introduced ourselves to three Australians and the Irish lad, and had a long, rambling conversation over wine, vegetable soup, pasta, pork loin, salad and fresh fruit for dessert.  Nicest evening.  208 miles to go.
May 26 – Back when we were in Zamora, we heard about a statue of St James that dated from the late eleventh or early twelfth century – the earliest representation of him as a pilgrim.  We looked in the churches and the museum at the cathedral, but couldn’t find it.  Finally, a tour guide who spoke some English let us know that the statue we were looking for was not in the city of Zamora at all, but a hundred kilometers away in a small church in Santa Marta de Tera, which is part of the province of Zamora.  Well, guess where we are right now?  Visiting a string of little towns on the Rio Tera, and Santa Marta is just a short walk away!

We woke to thunderstorms, making us glad we weren’t planning to walk far today.  We hung around the alburgue until almost 10, then set out for Santa Marta.  The Romanesque church was small, and was identified as a Monesterio, so I guess there used to be more to it.

The very nice lady inside turned on the lights for us and let us explore.

On the wall was a reproduction of the statue we were looking for – St James with his trademark staff and shell.  We asked where the original statue could be found?  Oh, she said, (in Spanish of course) it’s around back by the cemetery. Whoopee!

We went around to the back of the church, and there it was!

On the other side of the door was an equally ancient statue of St Peter.

The cemetery had some fresh mounds, reminding us that actual people were under there:

Upstairs there was a little museum with old books, pilgrim artifacts and bits of saints:

So glad we found this place!

Then it was back into the thunder and lightning for a wet walk to Camarzana de Tera.

And now we are in a little hotel with a very nice restaurant, drying out.  203 miles to go.

Monesterio de Moreruela to Tábara

May 23 – Our original plan was to walk west today, but we discovered that we are just two miles away from the ruins of an ancient Abbey that resembles what the original Santiago Cathedral looked like back in the 1100s, before they built the new one.  This deserves to be explored.  Jim called our proprietress and asked if we could stay in our lovely Casa Rural a second night.  Our comfy room was booked, but she managed to find us another, further down the street.

The brochure said the Monesterio opened at 10 (which we thought odd for a ruin) so we started walking a little after 9am.  A sunny and breezy morning, with our path half on dirt track and half on an unbusy paved road.We arrived just before 10, and waited outside the gate.  When no one came to open the gate at 10, Jim lifted the latch and we walked in.

We saw the ruins of the cloisters:

…and part of the inside of the actual church, looking through a locked gate.

I walked around back, thinking I could see the exterior of the church from that angle, but instead encountered some construction workers up on a scaffold, working on the reconstruction.  One of the men climbed down to tell us that the Monesterio was closed on Tuesdays, and we had to leave.  What?

Sure enough, when we returned to the gate, we read the fine print:  Cerrado Lunes y Martes.  Drat.  The man followed us out to be sure we did not linger.

Here is the picture I couldn’t get of the front of the church, borrowed courtesy of the Internet:

We’ll have to come back and explore some other year!

May 24 – We are heading into a stretch where accomodations are few and far between.  16 miles today to get to Tábara, and it will be hot and sunny all the way.  This will be our longest day so far.  

We got up at 6am to get a jump on the day, stopping for coffee at our Casa Rural.  On the road by 6:30.  Lovely sunrise.

We walked four miles at “Google speed” (the rate Google thinks everybody walks, regardless of terrain) – three miles per hour, on flat farm track.  No one was passing us, and we actually passed a Frenchwoman!  I was feeling very full of myself, when all of a sudden the path took a steep decline.  Something new!

At the bottom of the hill, we could see the Rio Esla and the bridge that crosses it.  Very pretty in the early morning.

After crossing the bridge, the yellow arrows pointed straight down (!) to a narrow rock-studded path.  

Jim made a movie.

We scrabbled up and down  the cliff on the other side of the river for the next hour (mostly up), until the path spit us back onto a dirt road.  Dirty trick!  And I was doing so well up to that point!  Now I was drenched with sweat and exhausted, and we still had 11 miles to walk.

The path was flat and featureless, until we spied a flock of sheep coming toward us.

It took one shepherd and eight dogs to keep the herd together.

After that distraction, there was absolutely nothing but absolutely straight dirt path.  The road behind:
The road ahead:

And now we are in Tábara, and I am resting my feet.  222 miles to go.