September 2017

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Between Boadilla del Camino and Frómista, the Camino follows the Canal de Castilla. This canal, like so many great canal projects, was built in the 18th and 19th centuries. It rained most of the walk, and if that wasn’t exciting enough, we were also buffeted by a strong, driving... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-canal-de-castilla/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
We pretty much walked straight through Boadilla del Camino, heading for our planned stopping point of Frómista, an hour and a half or so further on. My main memory of this village, which you can see behind Francine in the distance, is that it smelled pretty strongly of cattle. Shortly after I... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-boadilla-del-camino/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
At our parish of Holy Rosary, we sometimes celebrate Mass on the High Altar. This method, where for much of the Eucharistic prayer the Priest and the people are facing the same direction, is known as ad Orientem.
For many years, we have... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/ad-orientem-training/)



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File under: Cardinal Sarah, Francine my love, inside baseball, Moments in Time, Rev. Jacob Maurer, Rev. Michael Wagner, Save the Liturgy, Save the World
Just before arriving at the village of Boadilla del Camino, the unending flat farmland gave way briefly to a field of wildflowers, including these daisies. Even though today was a slog, it certainly had its moments. (For those keeping track, yes, there really is about two hours between the... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-daisies/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
The rain came and went, but the mud and puddles was a near-constant. This is a beautiful stretch of the Camino in the early spring. In the summer, I imagine the heat and the lack of any shade would be a problem for me. Ever since I left Arizona in 1991, I don’t do heat very well.

Date: 15... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-a-pleasant-if-soggy-walk/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
The Way stretches long on the Meseta. After Itero de la Vega, the next village is a conservative 8.4km on – more than two hours’ walk. And our destination for the day was another 5.4km beyond that. The terrain, as you will see in the photos of the coming days, is relatively flat.... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-a-long-slog-ahead/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Parts of the town of Itero de la Vega are a little run down. As you get toward the edge of town, you will note that graffiti artists have tried to make the best of a bad situation by covering these derelict buildings with a fresh coat of paint. These are nowhere near the quality of the murals in... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-psychedelic-gnomes/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Castilla y León (and, indeed, all of Spain) is divided into provinces. Here, we are leaving the Province of Burgos and entering the Province of Palencia. Why they felt the need to tell us three times, I’m not certain.

Date: 15 April 2016
Place: Border between the Provinces of Burgos and... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-thrice-welcome-to-palencia/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Just past San Nicolás de Puente Fitero is the Río Pisuerga, which forms the border between the provinces of Burgos and Palencia. This bridge contains construction work from the 12th, 16th, 17th, and 20th centuries. It’s a highway bridge, so we leave the muddy path to walk on asphalt among... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-puente-de-itero-del-castillo/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
We are approaching the Ermita de San Nicolás de Puente Fitero. This little 12th-century church once belonged to the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (a.k.a. the Knights of Malta). For awhile, it was a parish church for the nearby village of Itero del Castillo.... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-san-nicolas-de-puente-fitero/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Whither is thy Beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women? Whither is thy Beloved turned aside, and we will seek Him with thee?
We begin with the first antiphon of Lauds for today’s feast of The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Monastic Diurnal.
The Blessed Virgin... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/our-lady-of-sorrows-2017/)



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File under: Annual, Divine Office, Mary, Meditations
This was our afternoon. We descended from Alto de Mostalares into the wet and muddy plains. Then we trudged through mud. And then it rained some more. Huzzah!

Date: 15 April 2016
Place: Near Itero del Castillo (Castilla y León, Spain)
Today’s Map:

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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Tuesday was wacky. It included being made redundant and spending a lovely evening changing passwords.
Yesterday, on the other hand, has been a good day. Served Mass, went on a 5k hike with my beautiful bride, ran some errands, had lunch with my smart and funny daughter Raine, filed for... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/a-bit-of-a-personal-update/)



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File under: Family, Francine my love, Moments in Time
Today is celebrated in the western Church as the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Exaltatio Sanctæ Crucis). In the eastern Church, it is known as “the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-creating Cross”.
The feast commemorates a number of events: the finding of... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/exaltation-of-the-holy-cross-2017/)



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File under: Annual, Holy Days, Meditations
This is a heck of a view in better weather. What’s not so great is the concrete path down. It’s pretty steep, and in damp conditions seems particularly treacherous. The bikes just fly down, and everybody else takes tiny, tiny steps as slowly as they can. It’s no fun.

Date: 15... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-descent/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
As you can see, Francine is not thrilled with the upcoming walk down the Alto de Mostalares. Me neither.

Date: 15 April 2016
Place: Colina de Mostalares (Castilla y León, Spain)
Today’s Map:

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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Last Thursday, we celebrated a funeral in our parish of Holy Rosary. Nothing unusual in that. The one constant of life is the inevitability of death.
This particular funeral was that of a priest, Rev. Dominic Hahn. He was born in 1937, was baptized and grew up in our parish, graduated from our... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/in-praise-of-altar-servers/)



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File under: Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg, community, Rev. Jacob Maurer, Rev. Michael Wagner, Save the Liturgy, Save the World
Well, actually the edge of the Alto de Mostalares, complete with the sign warning of an 18-degree downslope. We’re still up in the clouds, here, so you can only see the barest hint of the world beyond. Unlike the climb up or the road across, the climb down is paved in concrete. This makes... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-edge-of-the-world/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Once you make it to the top of the Alto de Mostalares, there’s a lovely sheltered area where you can rest. I remember on my first Camino it was really warm the day I made this climb, and I spent a long, long time rehydrating here. Having made the climb on a cool, cloudy day was much... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-and-rest-2/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
We climbed the Alto de Mostalares with a passel of Evergreen students that we had been walking with on and off for several days: Brian, Tracy, Cooper, and Michelle. Brian and I climbed much of this side by side, discussing poetry and philosophy, both of which seemed to be demanded by the terrain... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-climbing-into-a-cloud/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
WEST: Giotto’s Birth of the Virgin
God is truly a poet to confound the mathematicians and a mathematician to confound the poets.
Nine months after the solemnity of her Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December, today we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a feast so... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/the-birth-of-the-virgin/)



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File under: Annual, Latin, Mary, Meditations, Prayer
This was taken from about halfway up the Colina de Mostalares. Click through to see the full size. That little red dot on the right is Francine. The hill just left of center is Castrojeriz. Needless to say, the photograph doesn’t do the remotest justice to the scene.

Date: 15 April... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-mostalares-panorama/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
As I mentioned yesterday, the Meseta sometimes has these wrinkles, sudden steep ridges that run for sometimes dozens of kilometers. Well, this is the bottom of one of them, the Colina de Mostalares. It’s a twelve-degree climb up, and then an eighteen-degree climb down. Here’s... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-meseta-has-steep-ridges/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Some obvious takeaways from this photo: it’s raining and there’s a heck of a ridge there ahead of us. Now, mostly the Meseta is flat as Nebraska, but it does have these wrinkles, sudden steep ridges that run for sometimes dozens of kilometers. They’re too long to go around, or... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-meseta-has-ridges/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
We left our albergue in Castrojeriz just after dawn on April 15, 2016. The waterfall of the night before had calmed down somewhat, as you can see from this photo. It was a grey, rainy morning, the start to a grey stormy day. Well, week, really. Our goal today is the town of Frómista, a distance... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-castrojeriz-waterfall/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
After our dinner at El Meson, Francine retired to our albergue and I took a walk around the town. When I started, it was sprinkling a little, but it was soon pouring rain. To get back to the albergue, I had to avoid one of the steep stair streets that had become a waterfall. This meant striking... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-streets-of-castrojeriz/)



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File under: Photo of the Day
A rare composite photo that sums up our evening in Castrojeriz. On the left is our albergue, the wonderfully comfortable and brand-spanking-new Albergue Rosalia. The proprietors are young and enthusiastic, and the entire place was built into several older connected buildings and designed with... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-a-rainy-night-in-castrojeriz/)



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File under: Photo of the Day
This street-level window in Castrojeriz is just down the way from our albergue. It’s an odd one, what with its relatively small size, peculiar shape, and the fact that it latches on the outside. And what’s with the knocker on the middle panel under the Tau cross of the Order of San... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-castrojeriz-window/)



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File under: Photo of the Day
This park and monument was built in 1974 to commemorate the thousandth anniversary of the proclamation of the Fuero, or Charter, of the town of Castrojeriz. The historical plaque is provided as a bonus picture below. We wandered through Castrojeriz, past a half-dozen or so churches, some... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-plaza-del-fuero/)



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File under: Photo of the Day
As we walked past the Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Castrojeriz, we couldn’t help but stop by these skulls in the walls. No, they’re not a warning against pirates. These are meant to remind you that you will die – memento mori – so that you will take stock of your life and... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-memento-mori/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
A closer look at the lovely, if somewhat run-down, Iglesia de Santa María del Manzano – which I feel might mean the Church of Saint Mary of the Apple Trees. Honestly, I’m not even entirely certain that it’s still in use as a church.

Date: 14 April 2016
Place: Castrojeriz... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-santa-maria-del-manzano-facade/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Today is one of the more interesting feasts on the liturgical calendar, for today is the feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.
OK, nowadays they’ve slightly sanitized the name; it’s now officially called the “Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist”,... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/the-beheading-of-saint-john-the-baptist/)



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File under: Annual, Meditations, Saints
In this very volatile moment in the history of the United States, where so much anger rises to the surface so quickly, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the meaning of our times. This anger and factionalism and the accompanying doom-saying is hardly unique to our age.
Charles... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/on-the-two-cities-2017/)



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File under: Annual, History, J.R.R. Tolkien, Meditations, Moments in Time, Prayer, Saints
As we approach Castrojeriz, the Camino passes in front of the famous Iglesia de Santa María del Manzano. The earliest records of this church are in the tenth century, but it was already an old and powerful establishment by that time. The current building dates 1214. You can also get a pretty... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-santa-maria-del-manzano/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
After leaving the ruins of San Antón, we follow the Camino through the intermittent rain towards the distinctive hill and town of Castrojeriz. There’s an old castle ruin on top of the hill, but the town itself wraps around the base. This is our planned stop for the evening, though we were... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-hill-of-castrojeriz/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Walking around the ruins a little bit brought me to what I think was the apse of the monastic church. Heck, it could be part of a bell tower for all I know – there really isn’t much left here. In any case, I thought it was beautiful.

Date: 14 April 2016
Place: San Antón (Castilla y... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-apse-of-san-anton/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
I‘m standing in the middle of the road, looking up through the ruins of San Antón. Three years before, I’d taken a very similar photo, but a dove flew through the window as I was taking the shot. You can see that here. This place really evokes for me the lonely centuries through... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-looking-up-through-san-anton/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
We ate our packed lunch in the ruins of San Antón. As you can see, the road goes right through the ruin. Apparently, in medieval times the bit on the left was the monastery and church, and the bit on the right was the pilgrim hostel. Since 2002, there has been a primitive albergue located within... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-lunch-at-san-anton/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Van is provided for scale. This is all that remains of the Monastery of San Antón, founded in 1146. Most of the current surviving structure was built in the 1400s. This was the main Preceptory of the Antonian Order of monks in Spain. This Order was dedicated to the care of pilgrims and the care... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-ruins-of-san-anton/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
The Camino turns into pleasant a tree-lined lane, and in the distance we see San Antón. This was once a great monastery and pilgrim hostal. Though it is now a ruin – and we’ll have some rather more spectacular photos of it in the coming days – in recent years a new albergue has... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-approaching-san-anton/)



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File under: Map, Pilgrim Reports
On the old calendar, today is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was moved in the calendar reform to the Saturday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost. For what reason, I’ve no idea.
On the new calendar, today is also a Marian feast, that of Our Lady... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/our-lady-queen-of-heaven/)



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File under: Annual, Chant, Mary
As we walk past the last of the San Miguel ruins, Francine turns around. I like to think to blow me a kiss, but it’s far more likely she’s trying to figure out why I’m so far behind.

Date: 14 April 2016
Place: Between Hontanas and San Antón (Castilla y León,... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-great-wide-open/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
This treeless stretch of the Meseta just past Hontanas is no fun in the heat. Then, as you round a hill, an eerie sight comes into view. This bare ruin to the left is known as San Miguel. I’ve been told that it’s the remains of a castle, or a convent, or even a mill. What seems... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-ruins-of-san-miguel/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
This is a view of the bell tower of the Iglesia de La Inmaculada Concepción in Hontanas. Here’s the thing that bugged me about this: the clock is off-center. Drives me bats. There’s a belfry joke in there somewhere, but you’ll have to assemble it yourself. And yes, I think the... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-but-the-clock/)



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File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Well, street, anyway. Like many of the old medieval villages on the Camino, the Camino itself is the main street. It winds past the church, any cafés or bars, shops, bakeries, you name it. And, of course, since it’s the Camino, basically everybody is going in the same direction. Note those... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-streets-of-hontanas/)



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http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-the-streets-of-hontanas/

File under: Map, Photo of the Day
We had breakfast in a brand-spanking new albergue / restaurant in Hontanas. With the explosion in pilgrim numbers over the past decades, we saw many new or refurbished places on the Camino. It still isn’t a candle to the number of hostels and inns of the High Middle Ages. Of course, in... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-breakfast-in-hontanas/)



Originally posted at Pilgrims on the Way. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-breakfast-in-hontanas/

File under: Planning
As I’ve mentioned before, many of the towns and villages of the Meseta are in river valleys. Here we are coming to the first town of the day, Hontanas, looking for some breakfast. It’s still pretty early – Hontanas is only an hour or so past San Bol. In other news, I think we... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-entering-hontanas/)



Originally posted at Pilgrims on the Way. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-entering-hontanas/

File under: Map, Photo of the Day
In the early dawn light, Francine and I cast long shadows across the Meseta. I really never get tired of taking this sort of picture. I suspect that I’ve already posted a similar image from earlier in the Camino, but darned if I can find it. You can just see some windmills off to the... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-long-shadows/)



Originally posted at Pilgrims on the Way. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-long-shadows/

File under: Map, Photo of the Day
Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising,
fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
terrible as an army set in array?
(Benedictus antiphon,
Monastic Office of Lauds for the Assumption)



Today’s great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which in the East is known... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/the-assumption-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/)



Originally posted at Mundus Tranquillare Hic. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

http://www.thomryng.com/amateurmonk/the-assumption-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/

File under: Annual, community, Francine my love, Holy Days, Mary, Moments in Time
We left San Bol about dawn on the 13th of April, 2016. One of the great things about the Camino is that it follows a route from the east to the west, so in the morning the sun is usually behind you. Just after we left, I turned around and snapped this photo. It’s not great, but hopefully... (more at http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-meseta-dawn/)



Originally posted at Pilgrims on the Way. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

http://www.thomryng.com/camino/camino-photo-of-the-day-meseta-dawn/

File under: Map, Photo of the Day

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