Tag Archives: Zamora

Zamora to Montamarta to Granja de Moreruela 

May 21 – Eleven miles planned for today.  Once again, there aren’t a lot of arrows to get us out of Zamora, but we looked at the trail map, and it was a pretty straight shot north.  I now know which way is north, at least in the morning.  Put the sunrise at your right shoulder and start walking!  On the northern end of town as we exit, we can see more of the original city wall.

Saw a sign for the Camino Portugués, which we walked in 2014.  I guess if you hike due west from Zamora, you can catch the northern edge of Portugal and take that route north to Santiago.  Not for us this time.

Eight hikers passed us as we left Zamora, walking along the highway.

We had a short road walk, then got onto a farm track that paralleled the highway.

In a few miles, the track took us through the little town of Roales del Pan.  Nothing was open on a Sunday morning, but we got to see a yard filled with strange animal sculptures.

A giraffe for Lexi:

An elephant for Emma:

One of those dwarves must have done something that really pissed off Snow White…

Pretty soon we were back on a farm track.  Here are some amber waves of grain, with windmills just generating power:

Montamarta is not much of a town.  We stayed at what was advertised as a B and B, but the bed was hard, no soap or shampoo was provided, and we had to share a bathroom.  Luckily, there was only one other guest, so KF, stop whining.  The restaurant down the road fed us the typical pork and French fries.  We have been told that from here on out, the service will get worse and the prices will increase.  I believe it so far!  252 miles to go.

May 22 – Hit the road at 7am for a fourteen mile day.  Lovely sunrise:

There was a ruin of an old church visible as we left town.  Don’t the dark shrubs look like monks walking up toward the cemetery?

As we walked on farm track, we saw the ruins of an old fort or castle in the distance:

As we walked along shadeless farm track, a helicopter flew low overhead, obviously following our dirt path.  We joked that the Guardia Civil were probably looking for dead hikers in the heat of the day.  After a few moments, the helicopter reversed direction, and landed right in front of us!  

Two policemen jumped out and stopped three bicyclists who were just passing by us.  The young men had to produce their passports.  We were right behind them, and got out our passports as well, but the policemen waved us on – we were not who they were looking for.  After a few more minutes of discussion, the policemen let the cyclists go, returned to their helicopter and flew off!  It was definitely the most exciting thing that happened all day.  By 1pm, we walked into Granja de Moreruela.

Under our sunbrellas in the heat of the day:

Today is the northernmost point of our journey so far.  At Granja, a decision must be made:  one can continue north on the Via de la Plata to Astorga and join the Camino Francés (jam packed with its hundreds of hikers each day) or head west toward Ourense and continue on the Camino Sanabrés, which approaches Santiago on a diagonal.  The latter is the route we will follow.  

Tonight we are in a lovely Casa Rural, with our own bathroom, a comfy double bed, and access to a full kitchen.  The nice proprietress even let us use her washing machine for free!  Although we handwash our clothes every day, I must admit that there is a certain aroma that never seems to leave us.  A good machine wash is just what we needed today!

238 miles to go.

A Day in Zamora – a Cathedral and a Castle

May 19 – We slept in this morning and caught up on the news.  Can’t believe what’s going on back home.  Time for some sightseeing!  

Zamora’s cathedral, Santa Iglesia Catedral de Zamora, is Romanesque – sort of square and blocky – with a museum inside.

Pretty Madonnas:

Pretty Mary with a very odd looking baby Jesus and his cousin John:

Another odd baby:

Speaking of odd, this is Jesus receiving comfort from an angel while he prays in Gethsemane:

I’m forming a hypothesis that just because it is in a museum, it is not necessarily great art!  Beauty is in the eye…

Images of St. James:

There is a huge fresco of St. Christopher that is the first thing you see when you enter the sanctuary.  Lookng at St. Christopher was thought to guarantee you would not die today.  You’re welcome!

Next door to the cathedral is an old castle / fort that looks over the Rio Duero.

From the ramparts, you can see over the city:

 A good view of the storks in the bell tower:

We enjoyed a menu del dia of lentil stew with spicy sausage, and a roast chicken leg, with nata (custard with cinnamon) for dessert.  A poor man walked among the tables, trying to sell little packets of tissue for spare change.  The lady at the next table called the waitress over, handed her 10 euro and told her to serve the beggar a meal.  Nice person of Spain!  We encounter so many poor people here.  What do you do when a beggar approaches you?

After our meal, we wandered back to our room for siesta.  The busy bustling shopping streets are empty and pin-drop quiet at three in the afternoon, as all the stores are closed.  

Back on the road in the morning!

El Cubo to Villanueva de Campeán to Zamora

May 17 – Meanwhile, back at the alburgue, some good news.  In our roomful of Frenchpersons, Jim was the only one that snored.  They were up at the crack of 6, shining flashlights at one another and making as much noise as possible.  Sigh.  I’m just not an alburgue person.  Luckily, I had gotten up at 5 to take a pre-emptive pee, so I just closed my eyes and waited for them to clear out.  

Rainy morning, but just drizzle. Eight miles to get to Villanueva de Campeán.  Leaving El Cubo:

Interesting sunrise:

About two miles into the walk, I realized that I was not wearing my little neckerchief. Alburgues! Best place to lose your stuff! I know right where I left it, hanging on the bunk bed, but the quilt must have covered it, and I didn’t see it this morning. It’s my job to check the room to make sure we leave nothing behind, so I have no one to blame but moi. Oh well. 😔 

All farm trail today, featuring different crops:

This one looks very Zen:

A whole lot of dirt.  Wonder what will be planted here?

Pretty view from the top of the hill:

Before long, we reached our tiny town.  

Thankfully, there is a Casa Rural here, so we don’t have to spend two nights in a row in an alburgue.  The Casa is lovely, with a comfy bed and lots of pillows, and I figured out how to work the espresso machine, so at least we’ll have coffee for breakfast.  At 2pm we found the only bar in town and got the menu del dia – very generic noodle soup, pork filet and French fries, which we ate while watching a Spanish-dubbed episode of The Simpsons.  We asked directions to the grocery and were told this town has no grocery and no shops at all!  Just alburgues and this bar, said the barmaid.  I wondered where folks buy food here?  She just smiled and shook her head.  Must be a secret.

276 miles to go.

May 18 – 12 miles planned for today, which will get us into the city of Zamora.  We each had three cups of espresso at our DIY breakfast, so we’ll probably make it in record time!  It is supposed to rain this morning, and it is really cold – in the low 40s – so we are wearing all our layers of clothes.  All farm track again today. Pretty clouds.

It didn’t rain on us, but the clouds were ominous at times:

We found the very marker that is pictured on the front of our guidebook:

And some thoughtful person left a chair so hikers could stop and rest!

We could see Zamora in the distance, even when we were still eight miles away.  We sang “How are things in Glock-Zamora”, and remembered what God had against Sodom, but why didn’t He like Zamora?  We saw a sign for Za❤️ (amore).

By noon we reached the Rio Duero (same river as in Salamanca) and crossed the footbridge.

Doesn’t this look like a blanket?  It’s graffiti painted on the bridge.

Zamora has 24 churches and a castle. Tomorrow we’ll see what there is to see.

264 miles to go.