Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Sunday, May 11, 2014

To Alcazaran

May 11, 2014

We tried to leave a little earlier this morning 
and managed to be walking by 7 am. 

The way was once again beautiful. 
The first 2 kilometers passed through plowed fields.
 Soon we were again walking through the piñares. 

ALERT!  When you come out of the forest you will be at a crossroads. Some arrows say go straight, and some say go right. 

Either route will get you to Alcazaran. 

If you go straight, you will walk in the hot sun. 

If you turn right, you will walk on the roadside about 1/4 k and the will turn off to the left. You will cross a bridge then have a wonderful, shady walk through more pine forest nearly all the way to Alcazaran. 

NOTE!!  There are no fountains or bars. 
Bring food and water. 
The bar will make sandwiches 'para llevar.'  (To go)

The 18k took us exactly 5 hours and we stopped for picnic half way. 
So it is an easy day. 

Tuna in sauce with olives. Yum!

The walking today is flat except for one small hill. 

A beautiful field of flowers
As we walked into town, we were met at the TI by a nice young man named Victor, who showed us around and escorted us to the brand new albergue. 

Joe with Victor

We passed one market (which closes at noon on Sunday). 
It was about 12:15 but the owner let us do some rushed shopping 
while Victor waited patiently. 

The Albergue has 8 beds, a nice hot shower, 
microwave and fridge (no stove). 
There is an enclosed patio where you can dry laundry. 

A very sweet place.

By the way, there is free wifi at the T I  
 I'm sitting behind it in the shade right now. 

Here are some photos of the albergue:

Nice new beds
The tiny kitchen has only a microwave

Nice shady porch

We again are alone. 
Joe having a siesta

Time for a siesta!

Then dinner.

Ensalada mixta

That evening, 
we met back up with Victor
and he took us on a tour of the village and the spectacular church!
This church is a big attraction here and is not to be missed.
Here are some photos:

Beautiful retablo

The most interesting thing about this church is what was found behind the retablo!  For years, for as long as anyone living could remember, there was a tiny space behind the retablo. It was only large enough for small altar boys to squeeze behind, and they often spoke of "beautiful pictures on the walls" behind the retablo. People thought they were joking.

Earlier days when the retablo was set closer to the wall.
Then one day, they moved the retablo. 
I don't remember why. 
Maybe it was for repair or cleaning . . .
and THIS is what they found behind it:

The fresco paintings are of apostles and angels

Another attraction is the absolutely spectacular cupola 
with art carved by a famous sculptor
I'm looking for the information I brought so I can post his name, 
but haven't yet found it.

Here you can see both the retablo and what's behind it
 This church is worth a visit.
You will have to find the TI and make arrangements
for a private visit as it is not left unlocked.

I have probably 30 more photos
but can't post them all here.
There is much to see.

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