Thursday, September 29, 2022

 Day 8  Los Arcos to Viana, Spain  September 29, 2022

Today was a great day!  I can’t believe I am saying that but I think my body has become used to the torture and I’m going to be okay!  My intention was again to just walk without trying to figure out how much further.  The first village was 6.9 km and we were there before I knew it.  I’ll work on that again tomorrow.

I bought some kinesiology tape to strengthen my knee.  Marjanne, Helle and I are all taped up-

Today’s walk was only, yes I’m saying only 18.1 km.  It was too far to go to Logroño which is the full stage so we went to Viana-

The walk was up and down with beautiful views-

A typical cemetery is walled and locked-

IOne of many ways to announce the camino-

More great views-

Some people have a lot of time on their hands-

This prayer/wishing tree reminds me of Tibet-

We came upon a small chapel for we pelegrinos-

More views-

Then, out of the blue there will be a rest area-

Or a snack bar in the middle of nowhere.  He had a generator to run the fridge and he sold pastries, fruit, beer, hard boiled eggs and other drinks-

We came upon an almond tree.  They were so good.  I saved some for tomorrow-

The bark of the tree is black and the leaves are long and skinny-

Not yet ripe olives that tasted disgusting-

More views, coming and going-

I’m dressed for the rain, which didn’t really come.  It drizzled a bit but my suit kept me warm-

Once in Vania and checked in at the Albergue Izar, which is close to the old town, has great beds, breakfast included and excellent showers, it was time to go exploring.  My first stop was Iglesia Santa Maria which was closed until 7 pm.  Wandering around I found the ruins of San Pedro-

We had the pilgrims meal at a bar across from Santa Maria.  In included mixt ensalada-

a great main course - I had meatballs and then flan for dessert.  For $16 it also included unlimited baguettes and a glass of wine.  We kept drinking wine for 1 euro/ glass until Santa Maria opened at 7.

I didn’t find it as impressive as the church last night in Los Arcos but it was still pretty grand-

A side altar-

Looking at the front altar-


A weird decorative thing above a pulpit-

Jesus himself-

The vaults are incredible-

A weird thing above a pulpit-

The uneven, bumpy floor-

Tomorrow I have a reservation in Navarette which is 22.3 km.  There is only one place in between, the city of Logroño.  Trip advisor says there are 12 things to do there and 5 of them are bodegas or wineries.  Sounds like my kind of town!  I’m hoping the walk will be as good or better as today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

 Day 7 Estella to Los Arcos, Spain, September 28, 2022

Some annoying Spaniard set their alarm for 6 o’clock this morning, snoozed it, it went off again at 6:15 and then she didn’t get up until about 6:40. That drives me insane because I woke up at the alarm and then lay there until seven when I was ready to get up. It was very interesting because there were four or five Koreans who snuck out without a sound and then three Italians who decided they should speak at their normal volume of voice even though the rest of us were still lying in bed in the dark. Some people!

I was on the road at 7:45-

but soon stopped at a small restaurant for a chocolate croissant, called a Napolitanas in Spain and a cup of the best coffee I’ve had since I’ve been here. I kept walking and came across a little grocery store and bought another Napolitanas, then I felt ready to face the walk!

My intention today is to forget about the kilometres that are ahead and just walk. I need to look around and take it all in, which I do but what I’m seeing needs to be my focus. I am no good at guessing distance anyway so rather than think that I may only have a few k left, I need to just let that go and walk. The last town will show up no matter what.

I walked from Estella to Los Arcos which was 21.3 km.  It seems that most days it’s taking about six hours to reach my destination but that includes a lunch stop and usually time to put tape on my feet or change my socks too-

Not too far along I came to the Bodega Irache who offers free wine to pilgrims!  Awesome!  There weren’t any cups and I didn’t have one so I just pulled one out of the garbage, washed it then helped myself-

I passed the 100 km point-

Only 700 km to go.  OMG!

Workers were trimming plane trees-


Along the way-

It looked like we were going to get wet but we didn’t, thank goodness-

I walked all the way past this mountain and ruin-

Where I’m going-

For a lot of the late morning I could smell manure and finally came to the reason why.  Once past, because I was walking into a 40 km northwest wind, the smell was gone.  Thank goodness-

Kind of reminds me of the Prongua hills-

I found my hostel easily. The steps are cool looking but a lot of the tiles are broken so you have to hold the handrail so you don’t trip and fall –

I love the narrow streets –

We found a small bar for tapas- pollock, olive, shrimp and devilled egg-

And later I had a brioche. It’s a pastry with raisins and apples between the rings-

I also tried Pacharán, a bright red digestif flavoured with sloe fruit. It was pretty good but also very sweet-

The Parroquia de Santa Maria de Los Arcos is beautiful-

The front door-

A side altar-

The front altar-

Part of the ceiling-

A confession booth-

A pulpit-

A not so well preserved book-

The pipe organ-

and the courtyard-

I’m still seeing familiar faces - Michèle from Sherbrooke, Helle from Norway, me and Marjanne from the Netherlands.  The front row is Gary and Jane from Iowa, and Bernadette from Switzerland-

Los Arcos is a nice place and the Albergue de La Abuela is good except the wifi is weak, although I think someone was probably streaming a movie, forgetting there are another 25 people also trying to use it.  I hope to make it to Viana tomorrow, which is 10 km short of the next “stage” but I am pretty sure I can’t walk 27 km in one day.  Not yet anyway.

 Day 8  Los Arcos to Viana, Spain  September 29, 2022 Today was a great day!  I can’t believe I am saying that but I think my body has becom...