St John of the Nettle

It was almost 16km from Espinosa del Camino through Villafranca Montes de Oca, a quick stop for coffee and a pastry and then along the narrow main street dodging articulated trucks on the N-120 before climbing up behind the church to Fuente de Mojapán at 1,100 metres and then Monumento a los Caidos to 300 murdered by Franco’s men in 1936 during the Spanish civil war.

The route then descended into the narrow “V” shaped valley of the arroyo Peroja and then across a plateau along a straight forestry path for another eight kilometres. The pine forests protected us from the cold wind until the gentle descent into San Juan de Ortega. The clouds were low  and grey moving across the hilltops in sailing on a stiff westerly. It was only 5degC so all felt a lot colder. The Santuario San Juan Ortega can take 60 peregrinos on a first come first served. It is so cold in the Monastery dorms. We were about ten in line. €15 for the bunk bed sleeping 20 and €8 for peregrino dinner. Temperature in the Dormitory room 2 was 15 degC, 11 deg outside
Heating at 4pm, mass at 6pm. The Priest asked me to do the readings and asked me back to do the prayers of the faithful. The dinner was at 6.30pm, pasta as nd ham and green beans. Not bad for €8, but a glass of Rioja was extra. Lady in a corner bunch was coughing. First time I heard such on the whole Csmino so far.

2 thoughts on “St John of the Nettle”

  1. I’m enjoying following your Camino I have always wanted to do this and after a Carmen left this world the way she did I considered taking her ashes along the route with me and leaving a piece of her at the end of the world. But as I’m watching your trip it’s so much harder than I could have imagined. Sending you so much good vibes and health for your journey to the end. Well done John!!!!

    • God Bless you Susie. There are many sublime moments mixed in with the challenges.
      I am done for now and completed this stage in the beautiful city of Burgos where I know you have deep roots.


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