Camino de Santiago Day Six: Puente de Reina to Estella

5 04 2018

Today seemed like a much more manageable day. We still had some long steep climbs but the difference may have been we had a huge breakfast at Hotel Jakue, meats, cheeses, fruits and juice, more than we’ve been having. It was cool but I opted for just a tshirt and puffy jacket and quickly warmed up. I felt really strong for the first few legs.

There was a leisurely warmup walk out of the town and I loved the retro look of this old car wash.

We followed a stretch of ancient Roman road that meandered across the countryside on a slow incline in most spots. There were also many more pilgrims around. Groups we knew and some we didn’t took turns leap-frogging past one another or dropping back. At a certain junction we came across a bell to ring for good vibes and some creative artwork.

Turns out that there’s a guy out there turning this small strip of land under a grove of olive trees into a pilgrim rest stop! I found that today I was able to manifest the beer I’d been craving because he had a selection of beer, red wine and snacks just there to take and offer whatever donation you thought fair. We loved sitting there to catch our breath, checked out the book library where you could take or leave a book, and listened to the peal of the bell to signify another set of pilgrims was arriving.

We hated to leave but we have places to go so we said goodbye and headed onward.

The route was mostly flat winding through more towns a bit more Roman road and almond orchards in bloom a-buzz with bees. I’m not going to lie the last hour or so of the walk were long, during the “Are we there yet” part my heel bones felt like they were going to pierce through my heels. It was hot and I got a sunburn on my arm, not terrible but itchy enough later in the day! But we made it into Estella up and over a very steep bridge and to the Hostel Agora.

Hostel Agora is super hipster and chic, established in 2016 it was impeccably clean and had little bunks like the hostel in Pamplona but the showers were really nice with huge shower heads and it was very comfortable. Despite my aching feet, not blistered but more from the constant footfalls, I headed into town to find a beer and a bite and ran into Heino and Claudia two German pilgrims traveling separately but pilgrim buddies at Bar El Che. I grabbed a big plate of boquerones and soaked up the garlicky oil with bread. There were a whole lot of pilgrims in town from our initial group and another few groups so we opted to go to a little fusion place called Mundo where we got the pilgrim menu, mine was chicken with fried rice, good food. We went back to El Che for another glass of wine and then hit the bed and although I thought I’d do a little reading, gather my things and organize I was asleep almost immediately. The physical effort of this is intense. Today we are going to make an easier trip of it and only go to the top of a big peak and stay up there to break up the trip a bit and give our bodies a little rest.

I’m sad to report that this morning I got the news about my friend Jane’s niece Laura. I was walking with her photo and sadly she passed away. I’ll still be walking with her photo and sending a lot of love and prayers to her son Nico and her family.

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