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Published: September 25th 2016
We were ready by 6am for our walk to Los Arcos and walked out of the sleeping town of Estella towards the Monestario de Irache, where there is wine for free on tap at a decorative barrel on the wall. On learning that the hole in the wall was empty we ventured into the dark towards Los Arcos and about 400 meters from the monastery, Arena asked me where were my sticks. Great! I ran the distance back by torch light and recovered the sticks and recommenced the walk.
In the dark we somehow missed a turn and ended up off course. This deviation added about 2 kilometres to the day so it was OK. The climb to Luquín was quite steep as this was the alternative route over the mountain, rather than around it to Monjardín. We walked through dense forests that periodically opened up to revel stunning views over the valley below dotted with villages and ancient churches.
We ate a breakfast of tortilla and white coffee ( cafe con leche ) at Luquín , before continuing down the mountain to meet up with the easier , busier path. Unfortunately, Masa realised he had left his camera
at the meal stop and had to go back about 2 kilometres to retrieve it. It added another 4 kilometres to his day, and as he is not well at the minute, it really affected his stamina. I last saw him about 6 kilometres from Los Arcos and he looked exhausted . He wouldn't accept help with his pack so he arrived in Los Arcos looking for a private accommodation so he can rest. Hopefully a night of rest will see him on the Camino again tomorrow.
I have developed my first blister on my large right toe and potentially another on the ball of my left foot. Hopefully carefull preparation will minimize the effects of them tomorrow . I will walk in the sandals and stop if any problems develop or get worse. You just have to keep going. I've seen people with a lot worse, in fact I'm married to one. It takes a very deep effort to walk these tracks with bad feet but very few people stop; they just don't want to and will themselves on.
At one point of the day, about 9 kms from Los Arcos, we approached a corner to the
sounds of French music being played by a couple who had set themselves up to entertain pilgrims. She played an accordion and he a violin. It was a great surprise on the Way and well deserving of a tip.
Today was the first day I noticed Spain's version of vultures flying overhead. They must have a wingspan of 2meters and hover high overhead in groups of 5 or more birds. Don't lie down, don't look weak ! Another strange thing happened to me today. As I was walking up a hill, l swallowed a fly as I was taking a deep breath. Now, I've heard a bit about the consumption of a Spanish Fly and am aware of the possible effects, but mine just made me gag, cough, and spit, so it must have been a dud.
On arrival in Los Arcos we booked into the Alburgue Casa de la Abuela ( grandma's house ), had a shower, and went to the square for a drink and something to eat. We ordered hamburgers that came out raw after 40 minutes. John and I ate ours but Arena took out the meat and just ate the bun, bacon and
egg. She thought, except for the hamburger, it was a very tasty hamburger . While sitting there, the Polish nun we saw yesterday walked into town but couldn't stop as she was hoping to go another 17 kms to Viana; a big effort considering she was dressed in a full habit, but she told me God was looking out for her. Oh, and she also said she had strong legs. I remarked that Polish women are strong people. She laughed as she disappeared through the Gothic arch on her way to Viana.
Dinner tonight will be in the plaza but not at the Raw Hamburger Slow Service Bar. It will be an early start to Logrono tomorrow for the 28km walk but breakfast in this alburgue is great and starts at 5 am so we'll decide later when to start. 6am for breakfast should be good. See you in Logrono !
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