Below: Putting on our shoes, a morning ritual. Pepe’s in the doorway. He awoke us this morning at 6am with Spanish military marches piped into our bedrooms via a speaker on the wall. After the bombastic marches, the music switched to more mellow Gregorian chant arrangements of pop songs while we were getting dressed.

Below: Stopping for coffee in Villafranca Montes de Oca. A typical scene: bags piled in the corner, a discussion of foot problems, and standing at the bar.

Below: Small bars like this were places to get coffee, bread, beer (in the evenings), and more.

Below: This one even had a small tienda (shop).

Below: As we left, we noticed some cats and kittens coexisting peacefully with chickens in the barn out back. Here, the owner presents a kitten for us to play with.

Below: The monastery at San Juan de Ortega, founded by its namesake, himself a disciple of Santo Domingo (de la Calzada, seen previously).

Below: We’d heard rumors of a fountain in San Juan that would give fertility to those drank from it. I don’t know if this was the actual fountain (the water was non potable), but the ice-cold water was a great place to cool one’s feet (and more!).


Below: A 15th-century Mr Bean makes an appearance at the monastery in San Juan de Ortega. I’ve never been able to get so close to historical artifacts – these things probably belong in a museum, but it was wonderful to experience them in situ.

Below: Dinner in Agés: potatoes in spicy mayonnaise and bull meat. I liked it, but Ori was not impressed.

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