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Friday, November 27, 2015

To San Antón

2006
September
In 2006, San Antón was one of the highlights of my Camino. We arrived in the late afternoon and were greeted by Marina, our hospitalera. The regular hospitalero had been killed in a train accident the day before, and Marina was an emergency substitute, and what a sweetheart she was!

San Antón is beautiful. Built into the ruins of the ancient convento de San Antón, 16th century, it is only open in summer because the rooms are not enclosed. You sleep in a 3 walled room, with a heavy plastic wall that is dropped at night after everyone is in bed.

There are 12 places and Marina cooked a wonderful communal meal from things she found in the kitchen. As it grew dark, candles were lit all around the ruins, and we drank wine and shared stories. It was a very special experience.

Joe washing his clothes
San Anton was the monastery and hospice of the Antonine order founded in France in the 11th century. San Antón Abad is the patron saint of animals and he is often shown with a pig at his feet. If you look close, you will find the pig built into the ruins.  The Order's sacred symbol was the Tau, a T-shaped cross. Brierley says the Order was known for its ability to cure St. Anthony's fire, a fungal skin disease that could be fatal. The disease could often be cured or at least helped by a change of diet, increasing wine, and vigorous exercise. A pilgrimage was just what the doctor ordered!




The bathrooms are even beautiful here. 

Dinner with our fellow pilgrims
People often ask if you can camp along the Camino. The gentleman with the white hair and red vest and his wife were camping. They set up their tent in the yard and were welcomed.

Drop down plastic wall




2013
June

Leaving San Bol in the early morning, the walking was quiet and perfect:

Next, I would pass through Hontanas, tucked down in a dip in the meseta. A quick breakfast there, and a stop for some groceries, and I was on my way again.



I had to have a photo of the peeing man statue!



Soon I was at San Anton, passing under St. Anthony's archway with its alcoves where bread used to be left for pilgrims. Today, people leave messages and prayers here instead.




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