This stage may seem rather short, but after the long journey of the previous stage, it is good to take a short rest. Erosion has made this area of Spain into a “near desert”, that people have tried to save with irrigation. Great plains welcome us along the dry walk. We will not find trees or shade to help us. In the Hostel el Ciervo there is no accommodation but only a restaurant.
BUJARALOZ: Small population of about 1000 inhabitants. Its baroque church is dedicated to St. James, although the town’s patron is St. Augustine. It is said that at one time Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian were the patrons of Bujaraloz. But these holy patrons did nothing when a terrible plague of locusts came from Africa, so the people of Bujaraloz decided to find another patron saint who would defend them against the locusts. They put ballot papers into a box with the names of candidates for patron saints. They pulled out a ballot at random three times, and each time the name of St. Augustine came out. The odd thing is that the name of St. Augustine had not been written on any of the papers by the citizens. It is called the “capital” of the Monegros, which comprises 31 municipalities. Its services include a restaurant, supermarket, pharmacy and bank.
About 10 km south of Bujaraloz we find a peculiar landscape dotted with numerous salt ponds that in summer due to the effect of evaporation become wide stretches of salt. “Laguna de la Playa” (Beach Lake) is the largest lake (an area of 2 by 3 km), on the road to Sástago.