Camino Frances Day 13 – Itero de la Vega to Villalcazar de Sirga

Another 5.30am start after Pilgrim Bob turned the bright lights on at 5am. Unfortunately I am one of the Pilgrims on the Camino that struggles to get up early in the morning !  

Pilgrim Bob and Burny do a great job of getting up early and keeping us on track for our 28 day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. I’m just about half way through the journey to Santiago de Compostela and feeling very good. 

I’ve had my Camino legs for some time now and the day to day toil of walking on the Camino Frances seems easier every day. Today we are walking from Itero de la Vega to Villalcazar de Sirga.

Day 13 Overview

  • Distance – 27km
  • From – Itero de la Vega
  • To –  Villalcazar de Sirga
  • Min/Max Elevation – 767m/829m
  • Elevation gain – 145m
  • Steps – 45,000

We retired early to the albergue for an early 8pm night and actually had a 9 hr sleep night. It’s my first long pilgrim sleep for over a week. 

Getting sleep in an albergue is surprisingly hard unless you sleep like a rock and snore all night long. I don’t so having a pair of really good ear plugs to drown out the Camino anthem is an absolute must and I recommend every Pilgrim has them for the complete journey.

We are set to cover 32km today and feel great but I’ve got a few small hot spots on my feet and my old foot injury is really starting to bother me. 

Today’s walk was mainly flat and along the canal path and we had more echoes of the UK’s Yorkshire landscape. The weather was perfect as well and really good for walking. Does it get any better than this ?

We even saw the Spanish version of the Yorkshire 5 rise locks on the canal at Fromista. There is a lock system in West Yorkshire called the 5 rise locks and totally reminded me of this section of the canal.

canals near fromista
Camino frances near Fromista

The walk after this stage was fabulous and quite flat for most of the day. Mile after mile walking through cool flat lands, forests and field. The poppies were especially amazing.

One of todays highlights for us Yorkshire Pilgrims the Camino was singing bawdy lyrics at the top of our voices to “Ilkley Moor Bah Tat”. It’s an old Yorkshire song and we had a blast walking the flat track of the Camino de Santiago singing at the top of our voices.

If you are from Yorkshire you’ll get it and it know what what I’m on about 🙂

Entering Palencia was a treat as well as we move in a busier Templar path of the Camino. there are Camino symbols and iconic Templar signs everywhere.

We’re moving along a quite a good pace and seem to be averaging about 26/7 km per day which is really good and a little more than we envisaged when researching and planning our pilgrimage on the Camino Frances.

I used a couple of main places for research before setting off and suggest you check them out for help. they are detailed in my Resources section along with a number of other research sources.

poppies in on the camino frances
entering palencia

Vallalcazar de Sirga

Villalcazar de Sirga is directly on the Camino de Santiago trail as it passes through Palencia. The town owes part of its fame to the miracles which pilgrims attributed to the image of Santa Marie la Blanca of which there is a fantastic church directly in the middle of the village.

I recommend visiting this monumental 13th-century church whilst stopping here. Its just a short walk from all the albergues and the municipal albergue close to the Plaza Major.

The town has a fantastic history and was one of the main strongholds of the Knights Templar. The church in town that they were based out of is really big and imposing and originally this town had 8 pilgrim hospitals and was a major stopping route on the Camino Frances. It turned out to be a great place to rest our weary feet.

church santa marie la blanca in Vilalcazar de Sirga

We arrived in Villalcazar de Cirga about 2pm and found a great albergue to stay in at the far end of town which was really nice.  This Pilgrim albergue was called Albergue Tasco don Camino and we got a great room for 3 people at just €10 euro a night per person. 

I would recommend staying here as it was really clean and catered for Pilgrims on the Camino. There is also a municipal Albergue in the town as well which got good recommendation from a number of other Pilgrims we talked too.

Its always a good photo opportunity at municipal albergues as there are nearly always lots of backpacks lined up outside the main doors awaiting the albergue to open especially as they are first come first served. 

This municipal albergue is a donativo as well. This means paying for what you believe the nights sleep is worth and doesn’t just mean it’s free.  

Albergue Tasco don Camino

After doing some washing and chilling out we ventured out into this fabulous small town on the Camino Frances and it had lots to offer especially one photo spot I have seen a lot of pilgrims on the Camino take pictures at.

The town has a metal statue of a pilgrim and nearly everyone poses with this iconic Pilgrim symbol. Pilgrims must have been a bit smaller back in the day as I stood about 2 ft taller than him. Great photoshop opportunity

mark stevens in Villalcazar de Sirga

Our dinner selection was a bit limited as its such a small town but we choose the main restaurant in the Plaza Mayor, the Meson de los Templarios which I believe is in the Michelin food guide for Spain. 

The food was a tad pricy but was fantastic. If you want to splurge and treat yourself check this one out. If not there are a few cafes doing Pilgrim dinners that will support a reduced pilgrim budget.

Meson de los templarios

Albergues in Villalcazar de Sirga

We stayed in the Albergue Tosca don Camino which I believe is not bookable. We just turned up in the early afternoon and they had lots of rooms left. Here are the details of some other accommodation options in Villalcazar de Sirga:

Albergue Tasca don Camino

Call to Book

+34 979 888 163

Hostal Las Cantigas

Albergue de Peregrinos de Villalcazar de Sirga

 

First come first served

I hope you enjoyed reading about the walking stage on Day 13 Itero de la Vega to Villalcazar de Sirga.

Day 14 coming soon.

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