At Espinoza

We walked 18 km today without too much discomfort. It was very cloudy and cool in the morning ..gloomy I might even say. The road ran along a busy highway with many trucks roaring past. The day only opened up after noon and then it became brilliant and sunny. We came to the town where a St Dominique who built many bridges was born … over a thousand years ago.

The good St Dominique who helped pilgrims

There was a lot of agriculture going on and here I show what was going on

We start
Hello farmer!
Here is the bale
This far to go!

To Castodelgado

A long walk on mostly flat terrain (17 km) that led to a wonderful albergue out in the middle of nowhere. The landscape was stunning with lovely clouds. We are at about 800 meters high. Is that why the clouds seem so low?

Let your eye take it all in

We have a new and interesting companion on our walk. She is Anna, a resident of Oregon who had a career as an opera singer. The three of us, Christiana, Anna and I had deep conversations in the pretty garden of the albergue. It is called Bideluze. More pictures below

This is what happens to sunflowers in the fall
At start of day

From Najera to Ciruena

We had a nice

Short day today only 14.2 km and that mostly on flat terrain. The first village where we could get coffee however was 6 km from the start so the place was jumping from 8:30 and on. Granny from the balcony was interested!

Who are all these strangers in my village?

The sky was quite grey but rain held off. I walked with a nice French couple who had many questions about Quebec. Five kilometres just flew by. We are still walking through vineyards and ploughed fields. The application of liquid manure by a large sort of tanker spray truck was perhaps an informal Covid test. I was one of the first to arrive at the albergue after a long slow climb up a hiss. Many are the blessings heaped on whomever set up the park at the top.

Rest Pilgrim after the hill.

Now ensconced in a nice albergue in this decidedly odd town of brand new and seemingly empty houses ……,we will see what surprises await us at dinner

Foot care

No series of posts about the Camino would be complete without a bite in foot care. Peligrinos walk many miles per day and their poor feet protest. Blisters, hot spots, uncomfortable shoes and all part of the game. I have large ugly feet but they serve me well. I just have one spot that has always been a little sore. Today in the middle of nowhere I felt I simply had to “doctor” it a little. There was nowhere to sit for a long time. At last a wamarker appeared. These are everywhere to guide the pilgrims. They are narrow blocks with a flat top about 9 inches square. It sat in a patch of brambles. Gingerly I stepped into the briars. I sat on the column. I opened my backpack and removed a very sharp knife. I removed shoe and sock. I cut a strip of bandage and carefully closed the knife. I wrapped the bandage around my toe and gingerly put sock and shoe back on. It was very uncomfortable and precarious but I managed . I walked another 6 k and my friend gave me this very neat bandage in the albergue.

Much better today

We left the very nice municipal albergue and started the long walk through miles of vineyards in the cool air of the country. At some points the trail hugged the highway and I wondered what the drivers of cars and trucks whizzing by thought of the many pilgrims slowly making their way along the Camino

Ripe grapes ready for harvest

The road was quite long and flat and we had an easy walk into the pretty town of Najera. I was a little ahead of my companion, Christina. She is a German who has been living in Greece for many years so we chat away in Greek and English. As so often in 6 I feel very stupid not to know German. I send a few. Pictures do you can have an idea of The Trail.

Under the cliff in Najera
The door of the cemetery taken from a XI century church

I freak out when I think of the 11 th century. What would they think of our nonsense?

A bit of a tough one

We left the charming town of Los Arcos headed for Navarette. We had to go through the pretty big town of Lorgronos which seemed incredibly lively compared to any other place I’ve ever seen here in Spain. I later found out the place was in the throes of the festival of St Martin.

My genius walking partner suggested taking the bus through the long and boring modern part and then rejoining the trail. Good thinking!

We were rewarded by a sign to make the heart of any pilgrim sing…Road works ahead …detour if 2km two kilometres extra at the end of a 17 km hike! anyway the albergue is lovely and clean and I just had a nice veggie dinner. My bag transfer fell through but…I’ll figure it out in the morning

The gate out of Los Arcos
Surreal mural on the way
Oh no!

In Viana

Today I walked 18 k. Hmm you say. Not bad for an old bird. The terrain was very up and but there was a lot of beautiful open countryside too. The grapes seem to have been harvested and it is too early for olives yet. I am staying in a wonderful albergue next to the church and will go to evening service st 8 pm Just going to retrieve mmowashing! A machine and dryer. Luxury!

From te bedroom
Olives
Someone got discouraged
In the middle of nowhere

You wanted flat ?

Somehow it was almost as tiring as hills. We are at Los Arcos in a quirky albergue that boasts a mangle to squeeze out water from out washed clothes. The walk through undulating farm land was mesmerizing.

A long road that somehow passed under my feet
A fountain that dispenses wine!

I ran out of water and was glad of this wine from Irache .that and a gooey remains of a chocolate bar in the bottom of my bag got me through.

In the albergue garden

Los Arcos is a nice town named for the archers who defeated an enemy. Forgive me but I can’t find the reference

Estrella today, los Argos tomorrow

What is this doing in the sky?

A lost rainbow

Just as I lay down on a picnic bench this appeared above me. I don’t think I have ever seen a rainbow stuck up in the sky like that. We walked about 15 km and I came to the albuerge about an hour before my companions. I can’t walk slowly because I have to much energy…and anxiety about getting a bunk! This is a lovely albergue with showers and a big airy room! The walk today was mostly through lovely farm land. I love this way of slowly traversing the landscape.

In the morning
Someone got discouraged