I am collapsing these stages because I am so behind in my daily blog entries. I will note events in subsequent blog posts, and I will add photos sporadically.
Stage 3 from Zubiri to Pamplona: September 30th. Last night at the Aubergue in Zubiri I met Chou from Tawain, Rapoo from India and Vincent de la Roses, a Spanish artist from Spain. Rapoo is a vegatarian and he made rice with spices for me; Maria, the host at the Albergue, picked some fresh cukecumbers and cherry tomatoes from her garden and made a dish of sliced cukes and tomatoes sprinkled with salt and homemade olive oil. It was delicious.
We left the Albergue and started off to Pamplona, the city noted for the ¨running with the bulls¨. The weather was cool and rainy, but as we walked into the day, the rain ended and the skies cleared. A typical outfit as I began each morning would be my convertible pants, my silk undershirt with a t-shirt over it, my rain jacket and my Buff and scarf. Usually I needed the rain jacket at the beginning of the day to protect myself from the rain and to keep warm. By midday, the temperature increased, and I zipped off the bottom part of my pants, shed my jacket and tied it around my waist. I little further on in the day, I would wrap my scarf around my waist, take off my Buff and remove my silk undershirt. So now I´d be walking with shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt, and of course my baseball cap to protect me from the sun. The walk was not steep. We passed small villages, walking through Larrasoana via Puente de los Banditos where Medieval bandits attached pilgrims. We arrived in Pomplona about 4:30pm; the weather was hot and humid. Pamplona is a very beautiful city with some buildings dating back to the 12th century.
The city is surrounded by a wall;
we entered through an old drawbridge gate.
Tonight Ellie from England made dinner for 12 people – gratefully I was one of them.
The walk today was 21.5 kilometers.
Stage 4: Pamplona to Puente la Reina: October 1st. We left the Albergue at 8:00am and the weather was clear. Today´s walk would be 23. 5 kilometers. We climbed a very steep mountain from 450 meters to 760 meters to Alto de Perdon. As we walked the trail, we passed many stone sculptures of rocks piled upon other rocks and stones to form what looked small totems. When we reached the top lined with modern shiny silver windmills, I couldn´t help but think of Don Quiote – what he would have thought about these windmills. Soon after we began a steep descent on slippery loose stones of various sizes into the village of Uterga, then through Obano to Puente la Reina. We walked a total of 23.5 kilometers and arrived at our albergue at 4:15pm.
Stage 5: Puente la Reina to Estella. October 2nd. I left at 7:30am; it was raining lightly. The route was very slippery and muddy. I climbed to Maneru and then walked through the best preserved stretch of Roman road on the Camino between Ciraugui and Lorce, and I passed a beautifully restored medieval bridge.
I passed through Villatuerta and arrived in Estrella 4 kilometers later. The total walk today was 23 kilometers. It was on this stretch that I had walked over 100 kilometers.
Stage 6: Estrella to Los Arcos. October 3rd. I started again before 8am and walked to Irache about 7 kilometers from Estrella. There I reached the famous Bodegas de Irache where I drank wine from the fountain in my Camino shell. The wine is made from the grapes in the region (Rioja).
I climbed from 425 meters to 675 meters to Villamayor de Monjardin and passed the Fuente de Moros, a cistern thought to date back to Islamic Spain. From there I walked the long stretch of 12 kilometers with no villages along the way.
At 4:55pm I reached Los Arcos and the Ermita de San Sebastiano. Today´s walk totaled 21 kilometers.
Stage 7: Los Arcos to Viana. October 4th. Today took me through Sansol, and past the beautiful Templar Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro, built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century for pilgrims on the Camino. The Knights Templar were the protectors of pilgrims to Santiago.
I passed through Torres del Rio and Ermita de la Virgen del Poyo. The views of Logrono and the Sierra de la Demanda were breathtaking.
I reached Viana at 3:00pm
Today´s walked totaled 19.5 kilometers.
Stage 8: Viana to Navarrete. October 5th. Before I left the aubergue, I met Kim and his wife. Kim is 77 years old and a retired distributor who lived in New City, New York and owned his own business. He arrive in the USA in the 1970´s. He and his wife now live in North Carolina, after 30 years in business in NYC. I instantly fell in love with them. Here they are with another couple from North Caroline. Kim and his wife are in the middle.
They started in St. Jean in France and are taking 60 days to walk to Santiago. Today´s walk was relatively flat with a few climbs and one descent. I passed through Ventosa where piles of stones line the route to Alto de San Anton.