One Hundred Maidens were the annual tribute demanded by the Moorish rulers of their Christian subjects in the region of Castile. Evidently prayers worked and stampeding bulls chased the lecherous Moors out of town. The event is documented in the carvings on the Santa Maria del Camino opposite the Hostal where we are staying.
We traveled up the pilgrim highway known as the Senda some 20 Kms from Fromista where we spent last night. The entire region is covered in wheat fields and has been that way since well before Roman times. Fromista is derived from the Latin frumentum or cereal. It remains the basis of the local economy today. Yesterday we walked along the canal designed to move this product. Today we walked along side the highway used to move these crops. It was like walking from Tulare to Pixley with identical terrain and temperature. May have some scattered clouds tomorrow. Pilgrims are never content with the weather.
We did walk by what is considered the best Romanesque Church in Spain, Iglesis de San Martin. Very unusual double bell towers. We then hit the straight away. Passed through a couple of small towns before reaching Villalcazar de Sirga where the Templars built a fortress like church of Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca. The 13th century statue of the Virgin is on display. Reaching this point in our journey is miracle enough. Cool tombs of Castilian royalty. The church looks like a fort with strict Romanesge design on the outside with a muscular Gothic interior. Interesting combination but not surprising given its sponsors, the Knights Templar.
Reached Carrion de Los Condes before it got too warm and checked in and got lunch at a bar. Toured the church of Santa Maria where the end of the egregious Moorish tribute is documented. Some really neat bull sculptures. The town is named after the Counts of Carrion who earned the wrath of the Cid when they mistreated their wives who were the Cid’s daughters. He seems to have dispatched several of them. The town saw the destruction of another church during the time of the French occupation under Napoleon.
Looks like more of the same tomorrow as we return to the wheat. We will try to start early in case the promised clouds don’t make it. Talked to the French girls and they made contact with Jacque, the Sausage Guy. He saw a doctor in Burgos and got treatment for his foot and is back on the road again. Keep running into a friend of the Madagascar Samurai, he like to sing Elvis tunes. Its Now or Never is one of his favorites. Also saw the very quiet Frenchman who we stayed with at a Gite the first night in France. Very curious.
The trail is getting more crowded but it is a big place. Plenty of room for pilgrims. Off road bikes still bug us. See what tomorrow brings.