Saturday, April 22, 2017

Via de la Plata - Day 5: Monesterio to Fuente de Cantos (21km on 4/23/17)

We slept a bit later than usual and left the Hostal after 7am and were surprised that none of the bars in our immediate vicinity were open for breakfast - then realized it was Sunday morning.  Debated going back into the village but saw other peregrinos leaving town and they had been unable to find anything open so decided to hit the trail.

Morning was spent walking between stone walls with fields of oak trees on either side.  Obviously set up for pigs to graze for acorns in the fall but most of the pigs were in different enclosures and sleeping comfortably.  We did see one litter of piglets - very red in comparison to the dark greyish black of mama.  Again we noticed Sheep, goats and cattle grazing under the oak trees.  After 5km we sat on a stone trail marker and had cheese for breakfast.  After a bit the oak trees gave way to scrub vegetation and views of rolling hills with wheat fields in the distance.  Eventually as we descended we began walking along the wheat fields on either side, crossed a small stream on stones and had lunch beside another of the memorials to a pilgrim who died en route (or so we assumed).  Then climbed on the gravel/dirt one lane road through the fields and at 21km reached the village of Fuente de Cantos.  A largish village of typical white walled houses  Back ~5k along the road into town two different hostal/albergue owners had approached us with pamphlets asking us to stay at their places.  We chose “El Zaguan de la Plata” and found it to be a most interesting place.  Still not positive what it was years ago but it must have been really something in its time - built in 1886.  Now, almost museum like in places.  On the first floor are dormitories with bunk beds but we chose to pay a little more and fo 15 euros have a room upstairs and with two single beds and shared bath.  The upper floor seems to have originally been two 3 bedroom apartments with bath, kitchen and sitting areas.  Much of the furnishing are antique.  In the back is a terrace and the courtyard has palm tree and pool.  Behind that is a building with a large kitchen where we will have breakfast.  There is an almost “walk in” fireplace that must have been used for cooking and the walls were lined with antiques of all sorts.  Behind that was a walkway with stalls would have been used for animals and a garage with more antique implements, an old carriage, etc.  Really very amazing and we would have loved to get an english language tour of the place!  After a beer in the kitchen building we cleaned up, did our laundry (free washing machine!) and enjoyed lunch and a bottle of wine across the street.  It seems like very few places are open on Sunday - the very late lunch will probably do for the day and neither of us want to explore because of somewhat sore feet -- but thankfully no blisters!

Sleepy Sunday morning in Monesterio

Typical morning pathway

Bucolic scenery!  Pigs will be grazing here for acorns in the fall.

Terrain and vegetation changes

Late morning scenery

Wow!  Only 889km to go.

Glenn on road betwen wheat fields

Nearly there.  Fuente de Cantos in background.

Pictures at our hostal/albergue "El Zaguan de la Plata" follow.  Buildings date to 1886.

Old stuff hanging on the wall in the big original kitchen.

View looking back from the terrace.

Courtyard with fountain, etc. and pilgrims relaxing.

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