Day three on the Camino Teresiano takes you on a short distance, through more open fields passing by historic monuments. Because of the brevity of this traditional stage, we chose to go onward to Mancera de Abajo, another 14.1 kilometers, described in our day four.
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.” ~ Santa Teresa
Here is our interactive Google map for the day, with our GPS tracks. There are no services until Narros del Castillo, as this stage is a walk through the countryside. Once you arrive in Narros del Castillo there is an albergue and three bars, only one of which was open when we arrived here around 10:30 in the morning.
The elevation profile portrays what appears to be a good climb, however, the elevation change is only about 100 meters for the day. You will not even notice anything, except for the little hump into the first town of Rivilla de Barajas at about 3.0 kilometers into the day.
We cooked a substantial breakfast in the Casa Rural La Fonte (+34 636 03 79 55), before leaving Fontiveros at daybreak. My heart and my belly were happy and full as we set off.
In only a few meters, the Ruta Teresiana takes a westword turn onto the Camino Sur at this juncture. We took a left hand turn here.
In only about 250 meters, come to this intersection, and turn right onto the Camino Fontiveros.
As we wandered down the lane, the morning was glowing, in my most favorite time of the day. Rich and I were chatting this morning, discussing our experience thus far on this most solitary of Caminos.
I had originally planned to walk this Camino by myself, but was grateful that I had chosen to bring Rich. I am not a fan of total solitude, and without a lot of services, no pilgrims on the road, relying on my wits alone, it would have been quite a challenge for me, as a single, over-60 woman.
I found that I could find as much solitude as I needed with my husband. We would just turn off the chatting as needed. Was I happy to have made the choice to walk St. Teresa's Way? Absolutely! Was I happy I brought Rich? Absolutely!
Almost immediately after leaving Fontiveros, you see a huge something ahead. If you can pinch open the photo below, you will see that it is a huge solar farm. And even farther in the distance, you can see your first destination, the town of Rivilla de Barajas, only 3.5 kilometers away.
We watched the sun on our left shoulder as it commenced to daybreak! It was a glorious phenomenon in this wide open space on the Ruta Teresiana on day three.
The sun was only starting to light up the town, as we made it halfway there. As you can see, there is a rise in the land just before town, with a brief hill climb of about 25 meters (80 feet).
When we arrived only 40 minutes later, the town was asleep. Once again, when in town, you follow the Teresiano tiles on the buildings, shown by the mirror in the photo below. It is a quaint directional indication, isn't it?
The town is quite small, and it is essentially a 1/4 kilometer, straight shot through it, toward the tower at the other end, shown in the photo below.
Even though it is small, there is a prominent church, the Iglesia de Santa María Magdalena, its bell tower looming above on the left, at the exit to town (not pictured). We did not take the short detour to see it.
There is also a café bar here, just before the church, one block west of the Camino. I am unable to find its opening hours, but it was most certainly not open at the early hour we were passing through.
Instead we kept straight on the lane leaving town, as it descended toward the Río Zapardiel and the arroyo ahead. The trees were the giveaway that water was close by.
After only 80 meters or so, cross the river and follow along the Arroyo Molinillo and its trees. There is a lovely park along the river, with picnic tables and BBQ grills.
After a bit more than a kilometer, leave the comfort of the shade and walk up and out onto the open lane again.
Just ahead, a mound rising above the earth comes into view. We couldn't figure out what it was at first. We were approaching the A-50 motorway, coming up on our right. We soon realized that this was an overpass, over the highway.
It is just shy of 2.0 kilometers from the river to the top of the overpass. Here is a photo at the top, shown below, and you can see the next attractions that lie ahead. First, is the ruined 15th century Mudejar church, the Iglesia de Castronuevo.
As we descended to the north, on the other side, the Castillo de Castronuevo can also be seen. There is a yellow arrow on this side rail. I was unsure of its purpose! Did someone confuse this with the Camino de Santiago??
It is about 1/2 kilometer from the top of the overpass until you walk by the Iglesia de Castronuevo. You are at about 6.7 kilometers into your day three on the Camino Teresiana at this point.
From the church, the Ruta Teresiana bends to the left and west to walk by the castle, in another 1/2 kilometer. According to Wikipedia, the castle was first built in 1481, then sold to the Duke of Alba nine years later. You can read more about its architecture by clicking on the link.
This palace is on private property, and you can only view it from the road. There is a high fence and warnings to keep trespassers out. Apparently, these buildings and the estate lands surrounding it are still owned by the House of Alba, after all these centuries! Click on this link for more of the interesting history surrounding how this estate came to exist.
After gawking at the Castillo de Castronuevo for a while, we carried on towards the family farm of the House of Alba. You can see it just ahead as you leave the castle area.
As we got closer to the estate house, up on a bank to our left, we spotted a very large dog, looking down at us. I thought - uh oh - here we go! A guard dog! But the yellow giant was wagging his tail, and came tumbling down the bank to greet us. He was a gentle giant for sure and would have wished us to ruff his fur forever!
There is a giant pig pen and buildings behind Rich, above, so pigs are a large part of this estate.
Farther along the estate road, drop down to cross the familiar Arroyo de Molinillo and on the other side, encounter a large stand of the Spanish evergreen oaks. The oak's acorns are a staple in the diet of the pigs. I discussed this interesting fact on day one.
You walk through more grain fields for a short distance, before coming to the A-50 once again. It is about 2.5 kilometers from the castle to the A-50 on this side. Along this section, whenever the opportunity for a turn presents itself, stay to the right. It is well-waymarked.
Walk adjacent to the A-50 as the lane continues onward for 300 meters until the top of the overpass and the blue bridge, shown below.
At approximately 10 kilometers into day three on the Ruta Teresiano you reach the top of the flyover at the blue bridge. The sign says to "Salvadiós," if you were to turn right and over the A-50, or to "Narros del Castillo," if you were to continue straight on, which is our direction of travel.
Here is Rich, heading down the other side of the overpass, to continue straight on towards Narros del Castillo, about 3.3 kilometers from here. The road bends to the left and southward on its way there.
In about 670 meters, you cross the N-501, shown below.
Across the road, the Camino heads toward the clump of trees. (Don't you think it's interesting that landmarks in this country are trees?)
Reach the trees in about 600 meters, and by one kilometer, the Ruta Teresiana on day three, takes a westward bend to the right when it reaches these railroad tracks.
You follow the railroad tracks, past a grain elevator and this now-abandoned train station of Narros del Castillo.
You continue along the railroad tracks for a total of almost 300 meters, before the Camino climbs up to join the AV-P-627 at the overpass shown in the photo above. Take a left on the road and over the bridge towards Narros del Castillo. The town is less than one kilometer from here.
Enroute, pass by a high-walled cemetery on your right and a caravan campground on your left, just before you enter town, past the town sign at 13.15 kilometers into day three of the Camino Teresiano.
At the first Y-intersection in town, bear left to stay on the main road, the AV-P-627. At this intersection to the right is the bright yellow painted cafeteria, the El Gallo Kiriko, with a big chicken on it that you can't miss. It was closed when we walked by at 10:30ish.
On the corner to your left at the Y is the Bar Kike. Its drab facade was a bit harder to spot, but there was activity and music coming from the bar. Was this bar open? As it turns out, he was just opening up.
The gentlemen at the bar was a talker, and just yakked away at us! He called us "Yankees" when he found out we were from the USA, in a pronunciation that sounded more like "Johnkies" and it took a bit to figure out what he was saying!
Of course, the conversation was entirely in Spanish and we understood about 60% of what he was saying!
Because we were already halfway (we would continue on to Mancera de Abajo), we took a long break here and had three cups of café con leche, and two Aquarius between the two of us. The barman set out a bowl of mini-muffins, chocolate danishes, and carved off this Serrano ham and served it to us with bread. Now that was the most pinchos I have ever been served!
When we could finally break away and ask for the bill, the friendly man, we figured overcharged us by about 30%! Ha, ha, we didn't say anything and figured it was still a good deal by American standards.
Right next to the Bar Kike is the huge sign for the albergue in town, El Eco de su Paso, with 10 beds (+34 619 384 889 or +34 646 634 231, E-mail: email@example.com). We did not have a look inside, so I do not know what amenities it has.
In barely 100 meters onward, you come to the Church of St. John the Baptist. This is where I turned off my GPS for this stage.
This Romanesque-Mudejar style church, first built in the 13th century, is famous for the wooden carvings on the ceiling. I knew about this, but for some reason it did not register when I was here, that this was the church. Hence, I didn't look up and see the embellishments. I was so very disappointed, later in the day when I realized my mistake.
If you click here, the link takes you to a website with the best interior pictures of this church, plus a description of its history.
My photographs of the altar turned out blurry as well. However, I did get a great photo of the impressionist sculpture of Santa Teresa on the outside!
And thus ended our day three on the Camino Tresiano.
While we encountered few people on this stage, to kindle many acts of love, as Teresa advises in the opening quote, we did have one opportunity to smile and love, despite being taken advantage of.
Our communion with nature and history was perhaps as good as any encounter with living people. However, from the historical perspective, human relations have not been all that loving. Would we, perhaps, be more evolved now?
May we all strive to be as St Teresa councils, to "accustom ourselves continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul." If we all did this, perhaps world peace could be a possibility. Change begins in the hearts of individuals, doesn't it?
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