A Travellerspoint blog

March 2018

Day 7, Viana


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

I had a good sleep but woke up cold. After a couple of days where I only needed the silk liner, I didn't take the sleeping bag out last night, but wish I had. Lesson learned.

We left this morning at 6:15 am from Los Arcos and have walked about 8km to Torres del Rio. Lasse and I ate eggs and toast for breakfast at the albergue, while Esther is having a bocadillo (sandwich) here. And of course, Fresh OJ. This is a very pleasant location for a break with our shoes off. We are just joined by David from North Dakota, he is a priest.

About 7 am, en route to Viana, we stopped to capture the sunrise behind us.

There are lots of memorials along the way. Of course, with no details, but this one included a Canadian flag, so I snapped a photo. We passed a large array of rock memorials, mostly hand-printed inspirational messages held down by rocks, sometimes written on bar receipts, I noted.

About 3 km from Viana, we came across two buskers who were playing for tips and we stopped to listen for a moment.

It was quite a way (10k) between Torres del Rio and Viana, so there were a few food trucks and such as well. I bought a few cookies by donation and shared with Lasse.

Just a little before Viana, I snapped Lasse with this way marker. Esther and I had been commenting on something odd that Lasse hadn't noticed. No matter which direction the arrow was pointing the way, the walking pilgrim image is always facing the opposite direction. I cannot understand it.

Until today, the paths were often empty. Today was a totally different story with many more Peregrinos. And there were a wider variety of nationalities today as well.

It was hazy / cloudy all day, making it much cooler than yesterday. In fact it was only 24 by the time we arrived in Viana at 11:30 am.

As expected, Esther and Lasse continued on to Logrono this afternoon, not wanting to stop for a short day. Esther needs to arrive in Santiago about 5 days earlier than me. And Lasse is flying home the day after tomorrow. So I am alone in Viana.

I've made plans to meet with Lasse for breakfast in Logrono at 9. We exchanged phone & email details, so I will enjoy seeing him again before he returns to Denmark. I told Esther we would see her in Budapest and keep in touch via email. They are both following my blog and they will send me emails & pictures.

I am checked into a very nice albergue with lockers! nice showers and comfy-looking bunk beds. Happily I have a bottom bunk on the same floor as the bathroom.

I've just eaten some bread and sausage and an orange, but it won't be enough, so I am off to explore Viana (pop 4000) on my own. This is a relatively large town for today, having passed through Sansol (pop 10) and Terros del Rio (pop 150).

Beautiful pink sky

Beautiful pink sky

Camino buskers

Camino buskers

Esther, Lasse, and David

Esther, Lasse, and David

Shoes off at the break

Shoes off at the break

Canadian memorial

Canadian memorial

Stone memorial

Stone memorial

Hiker points the wrong way

Hiker points the wrong way

David showing his Camino skills

David showing his Camino skills

View from the park behind Viana albergue

View from the park behind Viana albergue

Posted by Deb Godley 15:11 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 6, Los Arcos


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

I slept well for the first time last night, getting almost 7 hours, which is good for me.

We're going to leave in a few minutes. There is a flurry of activity this morning a bit earlier than usual because we have all been talking about how hot it will be today and the need to beat the heat. A piece of fruit and we are away.

We left Estella at 6:15 am in the darkness again to finish ahead of the heat. About an hour later we arrived at the Fuente de Vino. There are two faucets, one for water and the other for red wine. It is traditional to drink from the shell we each carry, which I did. I'm not a big fan of red wine, but this was pretty good.

About 9:15 we stopped for breakfast in Luquin at the only bar/restaurant, which was adjacent to the Piscine Municipale. There was a shallow pool with cool water, so we ate our frita and pickles with our feet in the water. Lovely.

Rhina can correct my spelling, but we have very much enjoyed the fresh orange juice (Zumos de naranja natural) whenever available.

At noonish, it was starting to heat up on the last few kms with no shade in sight. About an hour later, we arrived in Los Arcos and checked into a very nice albergue - Casa de la Abuela. For 1 Euro the albergue is washing all our clothes (returned in 30 minutes!)

OK, while I was just hanging the washed clothes on the line (very nicely right outside our 2nd floor room), Lasse called up to me from the street. We are going out to eat and see the church that is reported to look like it was built by mad scientists. We put our names down for a massage at the other albergue, but there is uncertainty as to whether the masseur will be working today. We have to check back at 6.

Lasse, Esther & I went to lunch in the main square in front of the cathedral in Los Arcos and ordered two Paella to split between the three of us. Very yummy.

Today was a shorter day than yesterday. I enjoyed the shorter walk and am perfectly on pace. The temp was up to 35 today as forecast, so it was great to be done walking by 1pm.

We walked through some really beautiful countryside today, but it is difficult to give a sense of the variety and vastness of the views with the phone camera. I am sure my pictures are not doing justice to it at all.

Esther and I walk, sometimes side by side and often single file at our own pace (with Esther waiting for me at the next bit of shade), sometimes chatting and often lost in our own thoughts, and sometimes just pointing out interesting landmarks - a monastery on a hill, a way marker, or a colourful field in the distance. Esther is a very good companion.

My shoulder was very sore today, but I was able to make a few adjustments to my pack straps and that seemed to alleviate the problem.

I noticed my waist pouch is starting to rip at the bottom and the duct tape I brought does not appear to be sticking well. I will keep my eyes open for an alternative - either better tape or a new bag.

Otherwise, things are going well, pretty much as expected. Rumour has it that after 7 days the body is used to the walking and the various aches and pains will lessen. I'll be looking forward to that, as I am alternating between sore feet, sore shoulders/neck and a sore right knee. Not too bad, but aching by the end of the day. Cold water really helps the feet so the river and pools have been great. I started my shower this afternoon with several minutes of cold water directed at the feet.

That's all for now. Esther has been sleeping and I'm going to read for an hour before we head over to see inside the church and check on the massage situation.

Red wine on tap at Fuente-de-vVno

Red wine on tap at Fuente-de-vVno

The story behind Fuente de Vino

The story behind Fuente de Vino

Frita and pickles and cool water

Frita and pickles and cool water

Los Arcos cathedral

Los Arcos cathedral

Esther, Lasse by carved cathedral doors

Esther, Lasse by carved cathedral doors

No shade

No shade

Window boxes and interesting streets in Los Arcos

Window boxes and interesting streets in Los Arcos

Interesting carving in front of the Albe

Interesting carving in front of the Albe

Posted by Deb Godley 14:50 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 5, Onwards to Estella


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

We left Uterga at 6:15 am in the semi-darkness and walked an alternative route to Eunate church for the sunrise. Very nice and cool in the morning, although it would be over 30 degrees by the time we were done for the day.

It started out cool and Esther was bundled up with multiple layers, while I just had my sleeves rolled down. The path was very difficult at times and we marveled at the cyclists. At one spot in particular - I should have taken a picture - the way was so steep that it was actually more or less stone steps, but a couple of feet high, so it was tough to haul yourself up from one spot to the next.

We watched a cyclist lifting his fully-loaded bike up over his head and at the same time scrambling himself up the stones. When we got to the top, there was a busy road and another group of cyclists whizzed by, calling out to the ones we were following. I expect they said something like: "Are you crazy? The cyclist route is this way!" Anyway, our cyclists laughed and raced after them on the road foregoing (wisely, I think) the difficult path.

As we followed the path the day grew hotter and, as you can see from the photos, we found ways to cool off. Esther and I sat on stones in a river cooling our sore feet. The water was SO cold, I could only keep my feet in for a few minutes at a time. It felt great and my feet were still feeling the cold for a little as we walked (not long, with the temp over 30, though).

It's now 8:30pm and I am sitting next to my bunk beds in a spot that reaches the plug to recharge the phone.

Esther appears to have turned a bit badly and her shin was sore most of today. It is good that she is using the poles as they helped a lot.

We've run into the friends we met in Orisson from time to time. At dinner today we met up with Lasse from Denmark and we invited him to the expected concert at the albergue (having noted that Samuel is staying here tonight).

It was fun catching up with Lasse, who walked with Claudio yesterday. He said Claudio spoke of the nice Canadian woman who taught him some English (me, of course). Not that he needed a lot of help - his English is much better than my Italian. We are hoping to meet up with Lasse again tomorrow as we have the same albergue in mind for Los Arcos.

So, my feet are sore, but blister-free and only occasional twinges in my knee and back. I hope to sleep better tonight, having had a much earlier dinner today. It was nice to finish eating by 6pm although the mandarin ice cream came after.

Tomorrow the temperature is forecast to be 35 so we plan an early start and a shorter walk. I am about 5k ahead of my plan and the shorter day will not put me behind.

I think Esther will soon want to move at a faster pace; she is not planning a rest day in Burgos in a few days time. I will very much enjoy her company for as long as possible.

Hope all is well with everyone.
Santa Maria de Eunate

Santa Maria de Eunate

Cooling our feet

Cooling our feet

Cirauqui direction marker. Here's an example of the small direction markers. The apex of the shell is meant to be Santiago and showing that all roads lead there.

Cirauqui direction marker. Here's an example of the small direction markers. The apex of the shell is meant to be Santiago and showing that all roads lead there.

Birds nests at top of Arch Cathedral at Obanos

Birds nests at top of Arch Cathedral at Obanos

Birds in Villatruerta or was it Lorka. Trying to show the 50 or so birds diving and flying between the building.

Birds in Villatruerta or was it Lorka. Trying to show the 50 or so birds diving and flying between the building.


Lasse, Esther and I

Lasse, Esther and I

Posted by Deb Godley 14:41 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 4, Uterga


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

First, a couple of notes - Marc & Rhina - the fold-back clips are perfect for laundry and I've used them for every other clipping duty. Great idea - thanks.

Mom - I was thinking about you yesterday, missing our scrabble games. Love you.

I had a horrible night last night despite having been so relaxed and tired. I think I just dozed on and off all night.

Claudio is heading out and we said our goodbyes and Buen Camino last night. He is very sweet and I hope he enjoys the rest of his travels.

This morning we tarried in the albergue and did laundry before walking to Pamplona. We visited the marcado (bought some lovely fruit) cathedral and the caminoteca, which sells all manner of practical items for the pilgrim. I bought two small zipper wallets to replace the wallet with a broken zipper - I had been holding it closed with a fold-back clip for the last two days.

After leaving Pamplona, Esther & I ate our fruit in a park and then carried on. About 45 minutes later, a couple of cyclists stopped us to take pictures and Esther discovered her glasses were gone. So we backtracked to a shady spot and I rested with my shoes off in the shade with the packs while she rushed back to the park and, happily found them.

As a result of the late start and backtracking, we arrived in Uterga at about 5:30 and happily find ourselves with beds in a room for four, but so far are the only occupants.

It was quite relaxing for me with the rest stop, but less so for Esther (Eszter in Hungarian, but she likes the "th" spelling). We were very thankful she successfully retrieved her glasses.

Apparently, Esther was asked: "I just have to ask - you are Hungarian, so why do you speak to your mother in English?" Esther, of course explained that I am not her mother and that we'd just met a few days ago. Our age difference is about right and she says I look a bit like her Mom.

We had a great dinner of roast chicken and fries with chocolate cake. Planning to get up early and head to Estella tomorrow.

No glasses hanging from Esther's t-shirt

No glasses hanging from Esther's t-shirt

Sunflowers almost as far as you can see

Sunflowers almost as far as you can see

Finally at the top

Finally at the top

A very happy sunflower

A very happy sunflower

Hungarian and more for Buen Camino

Hungarian and more for Buen Camino

Posted by Deb Godley 14:27 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 3, Espinal to Villava


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

We walked more than 30 k today. Claudio and I started in the dark at 6:15 with two other Italians, but I they quickly pulled ahead and we walked more than 3 hrs before seeing another person.

After a couple of short breaks, we met up with Esther near Larrasoana. We were so happy to find each other again and we've made plans to see a bit of Pamplona tomorrow. Claudio hasn't decided if he will push on without us. He's torn between the fun we've had and his desire to get to Finesterre (an extra few days after Santiago) in the limited time he has.

I have to say that so far, each day has been better than the last. Today after the long walk (and the reason it was longer) we went to the swimming pool next to our albergue. We were talking about the pool for the last 2 hours of the walk. I'm glad it didn't disappoint.

They had both wet & dry saunas! It was fantastic. Esther and I rotated between the saunas, the jacuzzi and the lap pool for about two hours. Heaven! Also, the jacuzzi had two waterfalls with the water hard enough for it to feel like a massage for the neck and shoulders. So great - I am all warm and sleepy, but have to stay awake until 8 for dinner.

I wasn't able to get the headlamp to work this morning do I need to look into that.

Esther and I are going to share a washer/dryer and wash everything we can either tonight or tomorrow.

The walking today was tiring but we were completely rejuvenated by the pool and saunas, although I may be stiff when I get up from writing this.Bridge at Trinidad de Arre

Bridge at Trinidad de Arre

Trying to capture the gold of the sun on the hay

Trying to capture the gold of the sun on the hay

Posted by Deb Godley 14:22 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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