Stage 11 – Peñaflor de Hornija to Medina de Rioseco, 25.6 km

Another day of long, straight, flat, sandy, gravelly tracks. Accompanied by the brightest blue sky I have ever seen, chilly to start but soon warming and becoming quite hot as the day progressed.

At one point we saw ahead of us a huge mound of rubbish and as we came closer we could see that it was packaged bread with lots of packaging spread far and wide. We were wondering why anyone would come all this way into the middle of nowhere to dump their rubbish, when all became clear. The field at the side of the track was home to several dozen pigs – big pigs, absolutely gigantic pigs, small pigs and tiny pigs. They all came running when they thought there was a chance of an unexpected feed. Marilyn and Eli threw some stale loaves into the enclosure and even more piggies came running up with much oinking and squealing. The larger specimens looked more like wild boar with long coarse hairs on their faces and tusk like teeth barely concealed.

As we walked away alongside the enclosure we noticed three bouncy, lollopy pups running towards us. These pups were the size of labradors, with massive feet. They were the spanish Mastin breed, which typically have double dew-claws on their back legs. They were adorable and literally lapped up the attention we gave them.

The first village that we reached was Castromonte, where we found the only bar and ordered a hot drink. This is another village with an impressive church and many very old buildings. We passed an albergue that looked as if it would be very nice.

We strode on through the increasingly warm day stopping for a photo shoot at a field full of poppies and continuing to the next village of Valverde de Campos with yet another oversized church – we popped inside and were rewarded by a statue of Santiago (edit: not Santiago I have been informed, but San Roque / Roch, the Patron Saint of dogs). We found a couple of benches in the shade and shared what food we had before setting off on the last leg of today’s journey.

We could see Medina de Rioseco from a long way off, but it was a very long last three kms to reach the outskirts of town. The albergue is situated in the Convento de Santa Clara, run by nuns. We have a nice room with ten places, a good bathroom with fabulous showers and a decent kitchen. We can use the lovely grounds to relax or wander into the large town to admire the ancient buildings overhanging the pavements and supported by stone and wooden pillars. Quite charming. Only around 5,000 inhabitants, but it seems much larger.

The Swiss peregrina from last night arrived some time after us, and also a Spanish guy.

Today’s distance 25.6 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 40 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 140 m
Total distance 280.7 km
Average per day 25.5 km

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue
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32 Responses to Stage 11 – Peñaflor de Hornija to Medina de Rioseco, 25.6 km

  1. Annie Carvalho says:

    The nuns were so nice here at the convent. I stayed an extra day. I hope you will see the Semana Santa museum. A cool little village! I’m loving your blog and reliving my Camino.


  2. jb says:

    enjoying your story. I believe that is St. Roch, not St James, by the way.


  3. Janice Tyler says:

    More great pics, thank you! Why is Santiago flashing his leg and what does that dog have in his mouth?!


  4. Mary Lynch says:

    I’m loving this Camino with every passing day. Love the photo of Marilyn in the poppy field. the albuergue sounds as though it was made in Heaven!! Buen Camino and keep up the brilliant blog. xxx


  5. lynharrison4wind says:

    I’m torn between a Mastin puppy and a pig. Both perhaps?


    • magwood says:

      The puppies would have licked you to death, but the pigs would have eaten you as quickly as they did the bread. They were huge brutes with very big teeth!


  6. Amanda de klerk says:

    Lovely pictures Maggie! I am enjoying your postings so much and am inspired by your spirit and love for walking! And the sheer joy of a good shower after a long day! Enjoy every minute! Amanda from Cape Town South Africa


  7. caminojakke says:

    We had a horrendus hike today (34 km) without bars or other possibilities to obtain water. I think it is worth a warning. When you go to Cañaveral (on the Via de la Plata), make sure you have plenty of energy and water: nothing for 34 km!!! The Cañaveral aubergue though is the best I have seen. Keep on going!


    • magwood says:

      Hi Jake. I filled up my water bottles at the hostal by the embalse, so I was ok, other than the fact that I got lost up in the hills before Cañaveral. What a fab albergue that was!
      Continued buen camino!


  8. Sue says:

    Hi Maggie pictures and blog fab, it’s great being able to follow you, have no idea where you get your energy from to be able to post blogs after such a long day. Roland home safe and sound. (A stroll compared to your days!) He’s very pleased. 😀


  9. I am dazzled that you have the time and energy to blog every day! I am lovin’ it and you are a bloody marvel. Thanks for your dedication! Mel


  10. Henk Slabbekoorn says:

    The saint on the picture is not Santiago but Saint Roch. He is also the patron saint of dogs and seems to be invoked by people who want to prevent getting the plague. Also invoked against knee problems.


  11. Bill Ludwig says:

    Hi – I’m enjoying following your posts. I’m going this Fall leaving the States September 12 so it is nice to see all the spring colors you are enjoying.
    One question. How are you able to group your photos? I’ve not figured that out yet.
    Gratefully yours. Bill


  12. Conchy says:

    Love yur blog and photos more every day. Thanks, Maggie.


  13. This same statue of St Roche is on the Le Puy Camino at a roadside oratorio between Chanalleilles and St Alban.


  14. Yes, St. Roche, found all along the way in France and Spain. He had a wound on his knee, and dog licked the wound, which kept it from being infected. Sometimes it seems wound is on the left leg and sometimes on the right. I’m enjoying your blog immensely.


  15. M. Charlotte Lewall says:

    Lovely and lovely and lovely…love your commentary, love your photos and love the Walk. My only quibble (ha!) is that you show too much of the Spanish spring for my comfort. I want to be there NOW! This is my usual time in Spain and I miss the poppies and storks and singing frogs. I will have to wait until September…I hope those pups will still be as friendly!. Buen Camino, peregrina!


  16. Love your shadow photos.


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