Las Herrerias, and the conjoined hamlet of Hospital, are at the base of the mountain that has been lurking on the horizon for a few days.
At the end of town, just past Casa Polin, is a small picnic area and the Fuente de Quiñones (named after the famous jouster of Hospital de Órbigo).
A local service offers to take you to the top of the mountain on horseback, an alternative to the 6km ascent and a taste of what luxury would have felt like 900 years ago.
The climb begins as a gradual ascent along the paved road. The camino will eventually leave this road in favor of a footpath which descends to your left. Arrows at the turn-off indicate that the camino for cyclists remains on the road and if you are on a bike this is the preferred route. When the trail begins to climb again the path is rocky and steep and slick with mud and horse shit. Tread carefully and think happy thoughts.