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Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago: Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca

Shadows on the Camino Frances Day 12 Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca on eatlivetravelwrite.comThose of you who follow me on Instagram will know that this summer, I spent 7 days walking around 120km along the Camino de Santiago, from Logroño to Burgos in Spain. This was the second leg of the Camino that I started in 2016 (if you’re interested, I wrote a Q&A post in response to some of the questions people had asked me along the way). This is Part 14 (other posts linked at the end of this post).

Belorado pilgrim sign on eatlivetravelwrite.comCamino Frances Day 14: Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca (approx 13 km)

A shorter day today after a few longer stretches was something to look forward to. Though it was *only* 13-ish km, we started out early after a breakfast of champions…

Breakfast in Belorado on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt was extremely warm (again) so we were happy we set out early. The roads today looked a little bit like this:

Blue skies on the Camino Frances Day 12 Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca on eatlivetravelwrite.com Landscapes on the Camino Frances Day 12 Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca on eatlivetravelwrite.comOur friends the sunflowers were there to keep us company again…

Sunflowers on the Camino Frances Day 12 Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd we had an early morning pit-stop in a lovely little town called Tosantos.

Bicycle in Tosantos on the Camino Frances Day 12 Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca on eatlivetravelwrite.comTruth be told, I wasn’t feeling too well on this day – most likely simple dehydration- so we hung out for a while in this town. There was an excellent bar/ café with a lovely outdoor space where it seemed other pilgrims had the same idea. Eventually, re-hydrated, we pushed on to our destination that day, Villafrance Montes de Oca.

Arriving in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com(soooo close to Burgos….)

Church in in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe were a little surprised on entering our hotel to see this:

Lobby in Hotel San Anton Abad in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com Hotel foyer in in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comSo fancy! The Hoel San Antón Abad is part hotel, part hostel and the hotel part was the old pilgrim hospital originally built in 1377, lovingly restored and converted to a 3 star hotel and hostel. It certainly was the fanciest room we’d stayed in!

Fancy hotel room in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd it had airconditioning! We hung out in this room for a while, cooling down and hydrating even more. There’s not much to do in the blazing heat of a Spanish afternoon in a tiny (pop. 200) town so we stocked up on the essentials…

Fried egg chips in in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com… and hunkered down to rest up. It’s nice to have shorter days like this on the Camino because it does allow you to recharge properly (I can’t possibly do 20km a day for days on end).

That night we enjoyed a typical pilgrim meal… in a FANCY dining room…

Dining room at Hotel San Anton Abad in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com(actually that’s the breakfast part of the dining room but you can see how modern and up to date the building interior is!)

Pilgrim meal choice 2 at Hotel San Anton Abad in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com Pilgrim meal choice 1 at Hotel San Anton Abad in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.com(simple grilled pork and chicken, a handful of chips and some “salad”)

But there was an exceptional standout…

Garlic soup at Hotel Sant Anton Abad in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comDoesn’t look like much but Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup) was a pretty amazing way to start this meal.

It’s full of garlic, olive oil, paprika and fluffy bread. A magical combination I’m going to have to see if I can re-create this winter. In any case, it definitely felt like soup for the pilgrim soul!

That evening…

Big fiesta setup in Villafranca Montes de Oca on the Camino de Santiago on eatlivetravelwrite.comUh huh. For a town of 200 people this was the setup for their annual “fiesta”. To be fair to us, we had been warned about this in advance (and the hotel had soundproofing, even more so when you had the air conditioning on) but wow – it was quite the setup! In typical Spanish style, this event did not get going until midnight (! Seriously – we were there around 9.30 and they were just getting setup!) so sadly, we had to pass on that. Next time maybe…

Verdict on this day? A nice easy leg after a few challenging days which was much needed. The hotel, though a little over the top, was the perfect place to recoup and re-hydrate and chill out for a few lovely hours in the afternoon. Definitely recommended!

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Disclosure: I researched Camino trips independently and chose the Camino Travel Center based on a number of features such as flexibility to accommodate a couple of “splits” in some of the longer days, price and customer service. They were, in fact the first company I came across in my very first Google search and the one I ended up booking with. From the initial inquiry to the actual trips, they have been a pleasure to deal with and we have been very impressed with the service provided (bag transportation) and the accommodation choices. I was not compensated to write about this trip in any way but I love sharing companies and products I believe in with my readers. I couldn’t recommend the Camino Travel Center more and, in fact, am booking another Camino walk with them for next summer (and every summer until I reach Santiago!).

Read more about the Camino de Santiago

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One Response to Walking (part of) the Camino de Santiago: Belorado to Villafranca Montes de Oca

  1. Geoff October 9, 2017 at 22:28 #

    Nice post, Mardi…lovely pics too.

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