Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 6 & 7 Camino de Santiago July 11 & 12 Estella & Los Arcos

Day 5 was a difficult day.  Not so much because of the day itself but because of the 5 total days of walking and lack of sleep. Kevin's idea was to take a day off and heal a bit for day 6.  Sounded good to me.  We also realized how difficult it would be to get a decent night's sleep in the Auberge, so we got a hotel for one night.  I'm not complaining, the Auberge is only 5 to 10 Euros a night!!   We got up and had breakfast and said goodbye to our great friends, Luis, Noela, Carmen and Rebecca.  I've traveled a fair bit and know how rare it is to meet three quality people like these guys.

We got our laundry done and the maid, made us a bowl of hot water with vinegar and salt to soak our feet.  Then... she saw my arm and went inside the hotel and returned with a tube of a Ben-Gay like product.  She spewed it all over my arm and gave me a twenty minute massage!  Arm feels better today than in a long time!  Kevin had a few errands to run so I walked about town.  From a bridge overlooking the river, I saw two kids fishing down below.  For you Photo buffs, yes that's my shadow made to look like I was holding the fishing pole.  Enter THAT in you photo contest!

Speaking of photo contest, right across the bar from where we had our dinners, was an art photo exhibition.  The bridge in the picture is the bridge I was on when I took the previously mentioned picture.  By the way, guess who the artist is?????  It's someone named Pikabco.

The hydrangeas are in this blog because well, they are pretty and because they remind me of my grandmother Mimi.  She taught me a lot and what I think would be a great way to teach school - teach great adages and have kids discuss them, write about them, debate them.  Back to Mimi - she would always say, "Stop to smell the flowers!"  and I'd like to think that I have.  She use to also say, "Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow is promised to no one."  Bang - right on the nose with that one!   Mimi is a great example of how there are great people are all about you- you just have to be able to recognize greatness.


The trail was steep from the get-go.  It was like we walked out of the hotel and started straight up hill.  The first stop was /2 hour away in a small suburb to the town of Estella that had a winery.

   The small winery is called Bodegas Irache (a bodegas is a winery).  I'm sure it was a great promotional activity to have a fountain that gives out wine and water.  I know that it wasn't there for the original pilgrims because it has only been there since the 1890's.


Beautiful hike today.  Through a white oak forest with a nice leaf padded trail.  Just enough shade that kept us cool for  awhile.

    That didn't last for too long and soon we hit the uncovered trail which was still beautiful.  Fields of hay alternated with grape vineyards.  Felt like I was in northern Italy.


  Here's something you don't see everyday on the Camino - a swimming pool!  We stopped off after about 9 k of walking without a tree in sight and BAM we turn a corner and there's a small town with life.  A swimming pool serving, iced mugs of Mahou beer.  Don't worry about how to pronounce it, just enjoy it!

There is something incredibly romantic/soothing/inspiring about seeing a town in a valley off in the distance and walking to it.  When Luis was with us, he wore a cowboy hat and loved movies, and especially cowboy movies. Kevin, Luis, and I would walk into towns like this one, and see not one person. They are like ghost towns and as we'd walk the dusty streets, Luis would whistle the theme from a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti western and I'd chime in with a Wah wah wah!

        Finally, we did find a tree!  there is always... a tree.

It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.
Sir Winston Churchill


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