Sat 3 Oct - Day 19: Itero de Vega to Villarmentero de Campos 25km

363km walked. 422km left to walk.  

A very early start as I was up 5.40am in Itero de Vega. As my room mate was already up and downstairs in the kitchen area, I began to pack up my gear. Let start off with a bit of morning photography. 

The bedroom window at 6am. Very pleasant outlook. Although it looks, and was, cold out there. 
The downstairs kitchen area. Somebody's living room. Yes, the accommodation here was like a cut down version of a bed and breakfast. 
The water did not come out by turning the taps. No, you have to step on that pedal and then you can control the amount or flow of water with the taps. 
I liked this pilgrim ornament so much that he became my temporary Facebook profile picture. Let's see how many likes I will get. 
Since I now have teabags, I was able to begin the new day with a hot cup of tea. Heaven. The rest of the breakfast can wait but hot tea.... Ahhhh...

On the road again at 7am. Predawn, fog and coooold. And again beautiful. 
After a bit more Meseta lookalike country, the Camino trail suddenly got much more scenic as it started to follow the Canal de Castilla. 
Plenty of photo opportunities along Canal de Castilla. Easy and pleasant walking too. 
Autumn is clearly coming to these parts of Spain. There had gradually been cooler mornings and there are more yellow leaves on the trees. Again it looked very beautiful. 
This building made almost a picture perfect reflection in the Canal de Castilla. 
A bit of spiel regarding the canal. If you can read it...
Arriving at Fromista, there was an impressive old looking lock system for the canal. 
From a different angle...
...and looking towards were I came from. 
After Fromista, the Camino was definitely less scenic. 

First it went through a traffic junction with a mega roundabout. 

Then this. Alongside a busy road for a long time. At least the Camino was not part of the road as it had been many times elsewhere. And you can't really miss where to go. 
Below is an interesting sign from an Australian perspective. 

While some Australian states have introduced a mandatory 1m gap between car and cyclists, other states to the best of my knowledge have no such rules. I don't believe any Australian state has a mandatory 1.5 meter gap. 
The town of Publication de Campos was very pretty and very much a Camino town. The evidence was everywhere... is visible here. 
Publication de Campos from the other west side. 
I am not sure what kind of bird would build these massive nests, but they are quite common along the Camino. 

I for sure would not like to be the one climbing up there to try to remove that nest. 
Today's destination Villarmentero de Campos came into view just before 1pm. 
The albergue was a real hippie joint. What you would initially be met with may provide some idea....
18 inside beds and this salon commedor. And a few outdoor beds as we will soon see.  

An eclectic mix of... Everything. Inside and outside. 
The Camino team and a few others...
...and from another angle. 
OK. Hippie joint about the albergue we said. 
Well, you could spend the night in either of these two bed arrangements. The concrete tube to the left or the tipee to the right. 
Perhaps you dear reader didn't believe me. Well, this is how it looked inside that concrete tube. Yes, there is a bed in there.  
The 2 freestanding huts were furnished with a double bed each. You can have one hit all for yourself for 14€ if you have no one to share it with. I stayed inside. 
Not too bad really...
In the combined restaurant / bar, there was a European Union flag hanging off the wall. 

Now, hold on. Something is not quite right there...
You may get the message about the albergue by now... Not your average accommodation provider. Fun place though. 

The albergue also housed several farm animals. These guys below like the pool. Unfortunately, the donkeys apparently went somewhere else this morning.  
The geese were quite aggressive and chased people at times. However they were pacified with bread as this guy knew...
...although that didn't prevent the geese from nibbling on the wash that had been hung out for drying.  
Dinner at 10€ was a complete vegetarian affair. And very tasty. 

I may sticking my neck out here but I found the vegetarian pilgrim meals to be far superior to anything served with carne. 

Lentils, salad, pasta salad and tortilla with a variety of veggies were offered. I ate a lot of it all as it was very good and felt very fresh. 
This is the dinner table with a motley crew of Aussies, Americans, German, Kiwi, Spanish and French. 

Did I mention that the albergue was owned by a Dutchman, managed by a German and with a Belgian in the bar?  
Today I also learnt that Mary Jane is another name for a drug recently legalized in some American states. It is all educational...

Plenty of beer and then vino Tinto meant that an old man like me had to retire at a decent hour. Otherwise the old man may suffer later...

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