Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Via de la Plata - Day 30: Tabara to Santa Marta de Tera (23.6km on 5/18/17)

Our hostal’s bar served breakfast beginning at 7am so we slept in, had cafe con leche and tostada (toast) and left around 7:30am.  The weather was cool but we wore shirtsleeves.  The path was a bit different than the guides due to the high speed rail construction but not difficult.  We left the valley and crossed over a ridgeline.  Walking was on a gravel track and vegetation was small oaks and white rock roses.  After 15km we entered the small village of Bercianos de Valverde.  We could not find a bar but asked an old man.  He walked with us to the city hall, unlocked the door and led us upstairs to a room (community center?) and made us cafe con leche.  That was quite a treat.  Leaving the town we crossed another ridge and then descended into through small vineyards and bodegas built into the hillside.  The next village was Santa Croya de Tera (with bars, shops and and albergue).  We stopped at the shop of a meat market where we bought cheese and a piece of cured lomo (pork loin).  The woman sliced it for us and we tasted it - delicious!  The cost for the cheese and meat was only ~$7 and probably enough for two lunches.  It was only another 1.5km, the other side of a small stream to our destination of Santa Marta de Tera where we got beds in the municipal albergue - only 6 bunks in two rooms and a very nice place.  We’ll eat breakfast in the kitchen.  Lunch was at a bar across the street.  The village is home to a late 11th century Romanesque church, formerly part of a monastery.  An 11th century statue of Saint James as a pilgrim is on one facade.  It’s considered to be the oldest depiction of the saint as a pilgrim - at least in Europe.  At 5pm the hospitalero gave us a tour of the church and its museum.     

After leaving the Tabara area we climbed over a ridge and walked through uncultivated land

Weather was pleasant - cool and with a breeze

Descending towards Bercianos de Valverde

View of Santa Clara de Tera in distance.  Vineyard on the left with bodego just beyond.

The vineyard has the vines without support.  Grapes will probably be laying on the ground

Another view of the bodega built into the hillside.  

The shop where we bought our cured pork loin and cheese.  The lady is slicing the pork.  Yum!

View inside the 12th century Romanesque church in Santa Marta de Tera

Closer view of the altar area.  Note the stonework in the vault.

Outside the church - the statue of Saint James as a pilgrim is the oldest in Europe and dates to the 11th century.

View of the church from across the square.  Our alberue is ~50m to the left of the church

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