4Th Stage: Zegama - Agurain (Salvatierra).- 28 Novenber 2016
Now, after San Adrian, we are in the plains of Álava, a sharp contrast from the lush green valleeys of Guipizkoa.
Here, the landscape is dominated by rain-fed crops and villages resting lazily in the sun that it is hard to meet someone as one pass through.
Going down the path of Aldiko, the first thing we find is one of the oldest churches of the province from the 9th to the 12th century the hermitage of San Julián and Santa Basilissa
At the Baroque alterpiece at the Church of San Saturnino in Zalduondo we can see a high relief of Santiago peregrino.
The lovely walk amid the gentle outlines of the plains leads us to Ordoñana, where we can continue to trace the marks left by the Romanesque art at the parish church.
The chapel of Sa Millan bears a distinctly Baroque Castille & Leon coat of arms on its façade.
Agurain (Salvatierra) will be our resting town, visibly the most important in the region.
An important mediaeval borough with two churches that were both fortresseand a main street that the hikers will walk along, just as the pilgrims did seven centuries bedore till we get to the albergue almost at the exist. Basic place but good accomodations.
5th Stage : Agurain (Salvatierra) - Arkaia.- 29 November 2016
Alaiza, to visit the paintings of pilgrims of the church Our Lady of the Assumption in Alaiza, one has to move about 3 kilometers (South) of the Saint James trail, and after go to Gazeo
Gazeo, a modest enclave, has somehow managed to save some of its beautiful Gothic pictures in its Church of San Martin de Tours dated back in the 14th century.
Ezkerekotza, next, has the church of San Román, a collage of several mediaeval trends offering Romanesque (on the front), Gothic (most of the building), and a Renaissance stone altarpiece.
Although my way went around the town of Alegria the tower of its church San Blas can still be seen in the distance, because my goal was the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aiala from the 13th century and a lovely four-arched portico on the outside.
The chapel of San Juan de Arrarain go back to the 12th century at the entrance of Elburgo, although the village does not have any store, bar, but I was well attended at the town-hall.
On our way, up on a hillock I got to the Sanctuary of Virgen de Estibaliz, the patron of Alava with its Romanesque door 12th century and therest of the building, worth the visitor´s attention.
After, Argandoña, also associated with the historical " Roman Way " with its mediaeval Church of Santa Columba and its lovely capitals.
Just crossing by the village of Ascarza.
Later, the village of Otazu, that appears in the Codex of San Millán of the year 1025, with the St. Martin's Church, the , which entrance dates back to the 13th century, and it is of Romanesque style.
Detail of the facade of the Church.
And as the inn (mesón) was closed I carry on between fields of sugar beet.
To finish the trip of this day arriving to Arkaia´s Roman bathhouse to be able to take one of the most common daily activitie for the pilgrim and in the Roman culture "the Termas", a bath.
And being well welcomed at "Leku" or albergue, to whom I want to thank affectionately their welcoming.