The absence of trees during this stretch makes pilgrims more vulnerable to weather conditions, something they should take into account. We depart from Hontanas towards the ruins of the hospital of San Antón, founded in the 12th century. The Antonianos were a monastic order tending to ailing or injured pilgrims. Today it is a public hostel with 12 beds.
The arches tell us that 5 kilometres are behind us and that 3 more are still left to reach Castrojeriz, the last village in the province of Burgos. All the standard services for pilgrims are available here. Notable sights includethe ethnographic museum, the castle on the village’s hillock (some 20 minutes away on foot) andathe churches of San Juan and Santa María del Manzano, the latter of which currently houses a museum of religious art from the area.
From Castrojeriz the path continues rising towards Teso de Mostelares in a steep slope extending more than one kilometre, from which one can admire the immensity of the natural environs of the Tierra de Campos district. It is worth the climb.
Next, we come upon the Hospital de San Nicolás de Puentefitero, currently a hostel. Some pilgrims decide to finish the day and sleep here. In the evening, there is a ritual foot washing. Traditionally, the monks wash the feet of the tired pilgrims before everyone has dinner together by candlelight.
The Camino continues at a lighter level of challenge and enters the province of Palencia. Itero de la Vega (9.5 km away) is the first village in Palencia and from here there are 8 kilometres left until the end of the day’s walk in Boadilla del Camino.