Herrera de Pisuerga

As is often the case in Cantabria, it rains.  However, if you head south, you’re almost always guaranteed better weather.  So this weekend we headed down the A67 to Herrera de Pisuerga in Palencia, to check out its AC area, the town, the Canal de Castilla and do a walk near Peña Amaya in Burgos.

First we decided to stop off on at the little village of Olleros de Pisuerga, famous for its rock church.  We’d heard about this place before, and it is quite a little find.  A very impressive, functional church in the rock, complete with bell and bell tower, plus a lovely picnic area to boot.  Sadly the church itself was shut, but it does have opening hours, and “speak to the guy in the bar for the key” style opening too.  We just had a wander around, but will be back to check it out inside on another occasion.

After that we headed on south to Herrera, which is literally just off the A67 and very convenient.  First of all we headed to the AC area to check it out – looked good, easy services and right on the river.  We then had a little wander round Herrera, which is a weird place indeed, pretty dead, one shop and a couple of bars, bull ring, but not particularly inspiring – maybe we got it on an off day!  That said, down by the AC area, we discovered what must be its gem, the lovely chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Piedad, completely painted from head to toe, really very special.  And alongside the river, a great children’s playground, with very weird bird zoo and the eerily empty Crayfish Centre.  Sound a bit bizarre?  It was!

We decided to come back down to earth with an evening walk along the Canal de Castilla, which is such a lovely place to walk – although we really wished we had bikes!  Late evening light and the quiet canal were very peaceful and romantic, and easy van parking next to the train station of Herrera, just out of town.

Then we headed back to the AC area to sleep, with no problems.  The next morning, we decided to have breakfast near the canal, and headed down to the Canal de Castilla Interpretation Centre just outside Herrera.  Plenty of easy flat parking here, we had a nice breakfast, followed by another morning walk along a different section of the canal.  From here, there is a tourist boat, the Marques de la Ensenada, which takes you up the canal.  We’ve done this before, so passed this time, but did catch it up at the far end of our stroll going through the lock, which is always fun to see!

After that, we headed off for our “real” walk, Puentes De Amaya, from the village of Amaya.  Now, if you’re heading here, the real amazing walk to do here is Peña Amaya, which takes you up onto the flat-topped rock above the village, however we’d done this a few months before, so today was the more meagre of the two walks from the village.  It took us to the lovely derelict village of Puentes de Amaya, with a very interesting crumbling church, and a nice leg stretch.

We were keen to find somewhere with views for lunch after the walk, and were pretty hungry, so in the end ended up stopping on the side of a typical Castillian plateau road, with great views back over to Peña Amaya and the Montaña Palentina in the other direction, a decent enough place for lunch and siesta!