We say goodbye to Cervera and set off in search of the N-II. The yellow arrows indicating the Camino de Santiago point in one direction, along the main street, but that way is an additional 2.5 kilometres so we follow a different route. Therefore, from the entrance Paeria, go down the street of Santa Maria and later turn left by Muralla Street. We approach the exit gate of the city and then we go down to the left, following the wall.
We arrive at the drinking trough of Saint Francis and we turn right to follow the path of the river Ondara. We pass picnic areas and an old watermill. The sign posts show us the way to Vergós.
We arrive to Vergós centre; we turn right and we pass the old church of San Salvador. We follow the road out of town and we reach the N-II. To our left is a tunnel that we cross and we follow the road to our right, parallel to the A-2 highway. We always keep parallel to it. We find another tunnel, which we do not go through. We continue on this route for another 700 metres and then it turns left, taking us away from the A-2.
The road traces a wide curve to the right, taking us back to the A-2. We leave on our left a traditional cement factory. We cross under the highway A-2. We come to a roundabout which we go straight across and turn in the direction of the houses of Sant Pere dels Arquells. Entering the town, we are surprised to discover a few jets “parked” in the small field on our right. We keep going until we reach the fountain of Sant Pere. At this point we turn left at right angles.
At about 200m from the fountain, once out into open country, the road forks. Our route is to the left. We follow its winding course without diverging from the road. At 1.6 kilometres we come to the L203, at which we turn left. We approach the N-II. Just before we get to the road, we take the street that lies 90° to our right, and leads to Sant Antolí i Vilanova.
We cross through the town, exiting on the far side by the same road, heading for our next village, Pallerols. Once again, we follow our road straight through the village without diverting.
Pay attention on this point!: the road makes a 90 degree left turn and in 100 metres turns right again. We continue for 150 metres before taking another trail which starts 90 degrees to our left. On our right we pass a wooded area. We continue straight ahead, always keeping to our wide road. We pass through forested areas, maintaining the same route and disregarding the roads that join or split off from ours. At 1.7 kilometres we reach the service area of Panadella.
When approaching the N-II we pass the gas stations and restaurants in La Panadella, and we continue as far as the roundabout which we cross in order to take the descending N-II. After 5 kilometres on this road, we can partially see the town of Porquerises on our right.
We have no choice but to follow the N-II, the Camino Real de Ignacio de Loyola and of many other pilgrims who used this road in the past as we do today. By this route we arrive at Santa Maria del Camí.
We keep on the N-II and cross the bridge over the A-2 motorway. After 600 metres, we cross the A-2 once again, but this time underneath. We continue parallel to the A-2 and walk past a petrol station. Continuing on this road, we arrive at a roundabout at which we turn right, following the N-II.
We continue walking parallel the A-2, reaching a large roundabout. We enter the roundabout and once past the A-2 turn-off, we take the exit that connects to the N-II, going in the same direction. We reach Jorba by the N-II, crossing through the village on this road. As we leave the town we take an asphalt road on our right. This is an old road, fairly parallel to the N-II. A football field greets us on our right. Do not leave the road, which takes us to the houses in Sant Genis, on our right.
We enter the village and cross the main road. We follow the same road, towards Igualada crossing over the A-2 on the bridge. We continue straight and at the other side of the A-2 at the roundabout we go straight across towards Santa Margarida de Montbui and Ahead lays the city of Igualada.
We are on Sant Jaume Sesoliveres Road, C-241c. We press on, always on the road, down to Igualada. We pass a roundabout and come to the Avenida de Àngel Guimerà. The hermitage of Sant Jaume de Sesoliveres is on our left, on top. We leave Av Angel Guimerá to enter Felicia Matheu Street, and so we avoid the traffic. Go straight down the street of Sant Jaume Serras, and then we go Z turning, right and left, down on Les Alzines street.
We go straight on and just after the little bridge over the River Anoia, we reach a roundabout. We cross straight over and continue along the same Av de Àngel Guimerà, until we come across a petrol station on our right. We turn right on the la rue de Prat de la Riba, which curves to the left. (Note: the pilgrims’ shelter can be found by turning left about 200 m. The small hostal of pilgrims is inside an old factory on this same street). We go straight over the road junction and find ourselves in La Rue de Sant Ignasi. We go straight on, noting the name change to Rue de Sant Doménech. We arrive at the Plaza de la Creu. The Calle de l’Argent leads off from here, which takes us to the church of Santa Maria.
This option to do the stage from Cervera to Igualada passing through Sant Guim de Freixenet, is an alternative with less asphalt than the option of the Ondara River Valley. It has the disadvantage of finding fewer villages along the route, so you will have to carry a little more water. The advantage is spending more time in the forest. In Sant Guim there is a refuge for pilgrims, so the stage can be cut, as it could also be done in La Panadella, if that were necessary. Both options meet again before reaching Santa María del Camino, so from that moment on the two roads continue together to Igualada. Both options pose no problem for bicycles.
The reference of the path from Cervera to Sant Guim de Freixenet will always be the train track. From the Plaza Mayor, we go straight ahead towards the University Square and then towards the Train Station square and take Manresa Avenue to our right to leave the city. We leave the large building of the Cervera Union and the train track on our left. We see the Mossos police station also on the left. We cross the road, and we see an indicator where it says Collection Center. We continue along an asphalt track parallel to the train track without deviation. After a few meters we cross the A-2 motorway and continue straight for about 2 km on a dirt road. We continue straight and, further on, we cross the train track over the bridge. We continue on the other side of the train track, which is on our right. At about 3 km we find the ruins of Mas Suave, which we leave on the left. We take the path to the right and we see in front an isolated tower in the middle of a field. We cross below the train track and take the path on the left. We continue until we find a second bridge to cross above the train track. The path that goes straight leads to Montpalau, but we turn onto the first path that we find on the right, which goes towards the town of La Rabassa. We cross a bridge over the train track that passes in a trench. We continue along the main path and leave the path on the right. We see Sant Guim in the background and the landscape of wind generators. The path goes up to the first houses of La Rabassa. Upon reaching the town we leave a path to the right and cross the town. We pass a small church on the right. We continue along the LV1007 road that leaves the town, and we walk along it for 2 km towards Sant Guim de la Rabassa. Once we have reached the first houses in Sant Guim de la Rabassa, we turn left off the road and head towards the houses. We take the first path to the right and go down to the first fork, which we take to the left, to go under the train tracks, through a narrow tunnel. After the tunnel, we see some houses on our right: it is the old Jesuit school, built in the 17th century and which lasted until 1767 when the Jesuits were expelled from Spain. After that they could never come back here. From this side of the tunnel you can go up to the square to see more closely the building of the Convent-College of the Jesuits, the bell tower of the chapel and the arcades of what were the stables for horses and animals. Returning to the path, we continue straight and after about 150 meters we take the path to the right, which goes up until we reach a point where we go parallel to the train track that is on the right. We see the Pastoret factory on the left and the Yak factory on the right. We go straight ahead until we reach a bridge that is on our right, but we continue straight on without crossing it. We enter Sant Guim de Freixenet and on the left we see the emblematic Sindicato building, the work of César Martorell, a disciple of Gaudí. We continue along Calle Mayor and, inside, in a square to the left, we see the parish church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On the left side of the church is the Hospedería Casa y Colla, the pilgrims’ refuge.
Leaving Plaza Dr. Perelló we return to Calle Mayor, and we turn to our right to go back towards the entrance of the town, until the level crossing, where we can cross the train tracks (there is no other possible crossing point). We are on the B-100 road or Santa Coloma road. We continue until we reach a roundabout. We take the road to the right, in the direction of the Panadella. We go straight on until we reach the swimming pools of the town and we continue straight on the road to pass the entire industrial park. We passed by the sidewalk next to the polygon. We find another roundabout and cross it straight ahead. Once we have crossed, we take a path to the left that begins right there: it is the Camí de les Planes. After about 300 m we take the path to the right. About 500 m further on we find a crossroads: we take on the left and we go straight on, towards the electric wind generators. We have a yellow water tank ahead. We find another crossroads and take the path to the right. We passed near the first windmill and after the second, but we continued straight on our way. Continuing along this path, we see on our left a geodesic point and a very beautiful panorama in which the beautiful mountain of Montserrat stands out. There is a path to the left that leads to the wind farm mills that we do not take. We always continue on the same path without taking any other. We pass very close to a generator mill and at this point a path begins on our left, and that already shows that the descent begins, next to some trees. We take this path, and we go down for 1 km. The slope becomes steeper. We come to a confluence of paths and we see a cabin: we take the path to our right and leave the cabin to our left. After about 100 meters we come to a fork and we take the path to the left. We go down our quite wide path and we do not take another path to the right or left: always straight. The slope goes down steeply and making curves, and we can already see and feel the A-2 highway, where we are heading. We arrive at the Porquerisses Cemetery where you can also see the remains of a hermitage. We continue straight to reach the tunnel through which we cross the highway. On the other side of the tunnel, we find the N-II road. We take the N-II road to our left, with no traffic at all, and we go straight on until we reach Santa María del Camino and then Jorba and Igualada.
From this point on the N-II road we follow the same route as the other pilgrims who come from the Ondara River Valley, to Jorba and Igualada. From Cervera we have done 23 km and we have 9 km to go until we reach Jorba and another 6 km to Igualada. The final distance from Cervera in Igualada on one side or the other is the same. It is important that each pilgrim discerns what is best for her/him.
SANT GUIM DE FREIXENET
Casa y Colla, Enric Granados, 5. Tel: 660 912 105
Ayuntamiento, Pl. Dr. Perelló, 4. Tel: 973 556 035
Parrish Church and pilgrims welcome, Pl. Dr. Perelló.
Auto Taxi Sala 24h . Tel: 608 608 130Taxi Agramunt . Tel: 973 923 327
Ayuntamiento . Tel: 938 031 950.
Hotel América*** . Av. Mestre Montaner, 44-45. Tel: 938 031 000.
Pensión Canaletas . Av. Mestre Montaner, 60. Tel: 938 032 750
Pilgrim’s Hostel. Cal Maco, Albergue y Oficina de Turismo. Plaça de la Creu, 18, Igualada. https://albergcalmaco.com email@example.com Tel: 93 516 40 16.
Our Lady of Mercè hostel. c / Nuestra Señora de la Mercè, nº 1. Tel: 627429773. Open: from July to October.
Taxi Enric Subirana . 630 538 033
Taxi Marcial . 938 045 503
Taxiradio Igualada . Tel: 938 070 308
Taxis Igualada . 609 478 219
Pilgrim’s Hostel . Meals available. Plaza de la Fuente, 3, tel. 93 809 41 01
Hostal Bayona (if you ask for, they have special price for pilgrims). Tel: 938 092 011
SANTA MARIA DEL CAMÍ
Hostal Can Llobet. Restaurant. Tel: 722 753 994
SANT GUIM DE FREIXENET
The town belongs to the region of La Segarra, on the high slopes of the Central Catalan Altiplano. It is a population that was originated at the end of the 19th century next to the train station. The population is estimated at about 1000 inhabitants. Before reaching the town we have passed the Old Jesuit convent, which now has the name of Sant Guim de la Rabassa closed since the end of the 18th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the town did not have a church, so one was built in 1934, dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Although small, the town offers bar-restaurants, pharmacy, supermarket and bank.
Servei de Taxi (Ayuntamiento). Tel: 973 551 671 / 666 417 371
Tonicars. Tel: 610 550 881
Mariano Puig Alsinella. Tel: 659 264 080
A very long stage, once again with accommodation difficulties along the route.
VERGÓS: We can imagine that, like many other pilgrims, Ignatius visited the small church of San Salvador s.XII, which was on the Camino Real. There is a bar in the town.
SANT PERE DELS ARQUELLS: A very unusual picture: planes “parked” in a field at the village entrance. Also the detail that each house has its name labelled on tiles and drawn on them the office which each house was dedicated. No offer services for pilgrims.
SANT ANTOLÍ I VILANOVA: It has a restaurant, supermarket and pharmacy.
PALLEROLS: Here, pilgrims to Santiago can find a beautiful church dedicated to Saint James dating from the XII century, the “jacobeas shells” are observed at different points. A testimony to the Jacobean tradition of the Camino Real. There are no facilities for pilgrims.
LA PANADELLA: A well-known service area of the old national road. It has a restaurant and a supermarket.
SANTA MARIA DEL CAMÍ: Here you will discover a XII century Romanesque church that probably once served as a refuge for pilgrims and travellers. There are no facilities for modern-day pilgrims.
JORBA: The castle (demolished but visible from above) dates from the tenth century. It has a restaurant and a supermarket.
SANT GENÍS: No services.
IGUALADA: A major city in the area, in which it is believed that Ignacio bought the “sturdy cloth robes” that he intended to wear. Here Ignacio had already decided on the prayer vigil that he would make in Montserrat. The church of Santa Maria dates from XI century but it was last renovated in XVII century. The city has restaurants, supermarkets, pharmacies, health centres, banks, a bike shop and a Tourist Information Office (Tel: 938 051 585).
Note: We maintain the same positive spirit as we continue in our “fourth week,” since we feel more and more united with Jesus Christ in His mission. Indeed nothing can hinder our progress towards freedom and eternal happiness in the love of God. Remember the “introductory prayer” and the final colloquy – at the end of the prayer as well as during the day. Rejoice in Christ’s Resurrection! Songs, light, flowers, water, and friends are welcome!
Grace: I beg God to rejoice deeply with the Risen Christ since I have been sent into the world to serve His mission. I pray to recognize His transfigured presence in my life, accompanying Him on his mission to reconcile and give life to all people.
Reflections: Jesus needs our hands to welcome those men and women who need care, reconciliation, Love and Life. Jesus needs our wills, our desires to move forward and build, to continue creating the Kingdom among us. The Risen Jesus calls us to follow Him and to participate with Him in the [gospel] transformation that has already begun in the World. In the gospels, Jesus explicitly calls several people by name. As we contemplate the mysteries proposed today, we hear our own name and discover that our hearts are also stirred. How do I feel as I am called by name today, just as Zacchaeus was? How do I feel invited to climb the mountain of Tabor with Jesus? What does it mean for me to feel close to Jesus?
The story of Jesus’ transfiguration on Mount Tabor proclaims the truth hidden deep within our own humanity, unclear as this may be. The Light is certainly within us. The Divine Essence inhabits us and is noticeable from the first moment of our conception. Our human condition is sometimes a “dark filter” to the Divine Light. But nonetheless we must turn “black holes” into “bright stars.” The suffering, the injustice, and the absurdity that surround us in so many situations … these create the “filter” that can switch off the smallest spark of light. But in the Risen Jesus we discover that, despite all the turmoil in which we live, the Light of Jesus still burns within us – and this experience transforms us. Nothing indeed can separate us from God’s Love. Everything can be transfigured in His Love.
The Risen Jesus is God alive within us. Whoever communicates this message with their time and talents will not fail. What needs to be transformed in my life? What prevents the divine light from shining through me?
Luke 19:1-10. Jesus calls out to Zacchaeus and invites him to “descend” from his concerns and lifestyle. If you want to see Jesus, leave behind the fabrications you have made. If you want to meet Jesus in your life, return to your home. He awaits you there. Open your heart to Him, that this reunion will be generous and transforming.
Romans 8:31-39. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Matthew 17:1-13. Jesus calls his disciples and invites them to accompany him on his journey of transfiguration. I also need to go up the mountain with Him. So much pain and so many difficulties can undermine our faith and determination. But if we believe in the Resurrection, we also believe that Life has no ending. Nothing can hide the Light within us. Nothing can silence the Word [of God] within us?
Matthew 17:14-21. Called to serve Jesus Christ and to share together in mission, our faith cannot be weak. If we believe in Jesus we will not fail. If we believe only in ourselves and our possibilities, we will achieve nothing – even if we bear His name.
Final colloquy: At this point in our interior pilgrimage, we are accustomed to walk with Jesus Christ, our friend and Lord, speaking freely with Him as one friend does with another. If you are personally able to find the strength and grace within you, beg Jesus to be accepted under His banner and thus to build the Kingdom of God at His side. Conclude with the “Our Father.”
It appears that the town of Igualada is the place where Ignatius decided to buy his pilgrim garb, as described several years later:
«Arriving at a large village not far from Montserrat, he decided to purchase a garment to wear on his journey to Jerusalem. He therefore bought a poorly-woven piece of sackcloth, filled with prickly wooden fibers. Out of this me made a garment that reached his feet. He also bought a pair shoes of coarse material often used to make brooms. He never wore but one shoe, not for the sake of the comfort he derived, but because this leg would be quite swollen from riding on horseback all day since for mortification he wore a cord tied tightly just below the knee. For this reason he felt he ought to wear a shoe on that foot. He also bought a pilgrim’s staff and a gourd to drink from. These he tied to his saddle.»
Let us pay close attention at this point. It may be helpful to reflect on all that we “carry with us” and anything else that is burdensome. What are my “good-looking clothes” and other “valuables” that I could “leave” at the feet of the Virgin of Montserrat? Is it possible for me to adopt a lifestyle more in keeping with the pilgrimage that we are making? For me, what would be the equivalent of a pilgrim’s sack cloth and sandals? What can I leave behind, and what do I not want to let go of? This journey has surely helped us to put many things into perspective and to question other realities. What do I leave permanently before the Virgin? Certainly not mere accessories, but rather anything that prevents me from following Jesus more closely — right?
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