Vineyards and Olive Trees

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Europe » Spain
September 13th 2016
Published: October 22nd 2017
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Geo: 42.6703, -2.03326

Puente la Reina to Estella

We both slept quite well despite the loud snoring. Sometimes dorm rooms get up in the middle of the night, but no one in this room stirred until 6:45 and guess who got up first?! Yes, we got everyone going and since there was no breakfast, we went a couple of blocks away and had great coffee, yogurt, and a couple of bars. We did not want to cross over the beautiful pilgrim bridge in the dark. We got to the bridge around 8:00 am. This bridge is depicted on our credencial and what a beautiful bridge it is!

There were very picturesque villages along the way. There was a big climb out of Puente la Reina and we stopped again for coffee and a nectarine at the first town, Maneru, where Dave learned how to drink out of the clay jars lining the Camino. This town was impressive with most houses having coats of arms.

Leaving town we saw many vineyards and some olive tree groves surrounded by stone walls. It was an amazingly beautiful area. The next town, Cirauqui, was, at this point, the most photogenic yet. It is a quaint medieval town on a hill where you pass through many arched gates. Again, we met our Toronto friends who were nursing some blisters and rashes.

Beautiful countryside brought us to another hamlet, Lorca, where we went to the only market in town. We had to ring the doorbell for them to open. The very friendly proprietress offered to cut a baguette in half for our sandwich. We also bought sliced chorizo and Gouda cheese. Our wonderful lunch consisted of the chorizo sandwich, a nectarine and two beers -- it was after 12:00! The total cost 4.50 euro. We sat outside the market watching other pilgrims pass by and at the next table there was a Frenchman who was cycling. He had the other half of our baguette and also had a beer. We found out he was doing about 110 kms a day and would make it to Santiago in 11 days! We enjoyed his company and he made the comment that with the weight of our packs, we would arrive at Santiago all hunched over with a tin cup asking for tips! Great idea!

We met a really wonderful Irish woman who was so positive. The weather today was perfect hiking temps, her interpretation, "It's like a beautiful Irish summer day".

Villatuerta was a pretty village with an incredible medieval church where we went in for a quick prayer and a stamp for our credencial. Dave took off his hat on entering, then misplaced it. After a minute of panic, it was found right where he left it. Fifteen minutes later, back out on the Camino, a pilgrim reminded him to not lose that hat.

Pilgrims and non pilgrims have been super friendly. Almost everyone greets you with Buen Camino, hola, buenos dias, etc. Despite sore feet and muscles, there are more smiles than frowns.

The Camino was up and down most of the day with some pretty rocky stretches. The beautiful scenery and great weather brought us quickly to our overnight town of Estella. We had emailed Albergue Capochino and thought we had reserved some beds, but when we arrived he told us he had not confirmed our request. The line of pilgrims was out the door so when he said he had the last 2 beds in a quad room, we took them! It was a large place with many rooms, dormitories, kitchen, sitting rooms, etc.

Not long after settling in to our room and with Dave in the shower, along comes a Spaniard who barged in and overtook the room. He was the Alpha dog and played loud music, whistled and, of course, ran around in his skivies!

After showering, we headed out under dark skies and got caught in a downpour but luckily were close to the old Estella Train Depot. We spent the next several hours there catching up on a couple of days blogs.

We returned to the Albergue to get rain jackets and bring our laundry in from the clothesline before searching for a dinner spot. We ended up at a fun little place called Il Colosseo where we had a pilgrim meal of mixed salad, pork tenderloin and frites and a ham and artichoke pizza. It was interesting to find out that the pilgrim meal's red wine was served in a small, cheap wine glass from a tap and the wine ordered from the menu was served in a nice, large wine glass from a bottle!

Il Colosseo had a mix of pilgrims and tourists and everyone was enthusiastically watching a soccer game.

We returned to the Albergue about 9:45; the four of us (Spaniard, a very nice young German woman named Charlotte and the two of us) decided on a time that we could begin stirring in the morning; and it was bedtime.

Amazingly, the room was quiet with NO snoring and we slept well. We were up around 7:00 and on the Camino by 7:30!

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