September 10, 2016: Belorado to Ages ~ 28 kilometersOver-achievers today as we go a few kilometers past the elevation map above.
We find beds in the Ages Municipal Albergue and wander the streets exploring the village.While exploring Ages we stumble upon a small museum of miniatures that Marcial Palacios creates of regional sites, as well as historical methods of labor in the village and on the farm. The passion that Marcial puts into his works and animated explanation of each miniature is interesting as I try to comprehend with my limited Spanish skills along with gestures. Best salesman ever as we purchase a small, lightweight toy.Junk sculptures line stone fences and fill the yards of this unique street in Ages. I couldn’t find info about these displays so your guess is as good as mine.Shout out and buen camino to Jim and MaryAnne Leas of leascomadventures.com.
September 7, 2016: Scroll down for a short video of the day.
We stock up on water and food because for the next few hours of the journey we will not have much for shops until the town of Navarrete 13 km away. This will be a thirty kilometer day, so we get an early start to beat some of the heat.Randy finds a little store in Navarette with everything under the sun crammed inside and he needs a bandana to protect his ears and neck from the scorching sun. Hanging around the counter, he takes forever to make a decision… could it be the posters below the counter that distract him? (Click on the image for a larger viewing window.) Plump grapes are plentiful and tempting as we pass through numerous vineyards and hear recordings of birds in distress and canon explosions to keep birds away from the ripened fruit. We have seen many small tractors with spray tanks behind heading out to the vineyards. No wonder there are no flies or bugs of any kind on the grapes. It’s not very healthy to be eating unwashed grapes that have been in contact with a pesticide besides the fact that it would be stealing. Enough said.Interesting “bee hive” hut along the trail would provide shelter, if necessary. It appears to be of modern construction and quite messy inside from garbage left by people. The mom in me wants to lecture… Pick up after yourselves!Randy and Joan are strategizing in the cute little Vino y Camino apartment that Joan found in Najera. We are in heaven with kitchen facilities, washer/dryer provided, our own bathroom/shower and they even provided us with a bottle of delicious red wine. (Hence, the name.) All in all a good value.
September 6, 2016: Scroll down for a short video with some Creedence Clearwater Revival plus proof that Joan can still stop traffic!
As you can see by the elevation map, we start the day with a hill work-out while the rest of the day appears to level out a little. However, the heat continues to sap our energy as we plod down the path.
We meet a friendly, interesting young man named Julio from California sitting by the side of the road switching out socks due to blisters. Conversations flow throughout the day about observations and plans while on the Camino, as well as life, taking our minds off the heat. We often wonder about the rest of his journey to Santiago as we lose track due to a different pace as we do with many people we meet. A good lesson learned: Live in the moment and make the best of it while you can.
We also meet a new friend, Julius, today and have been in touch with this talented photographer/animation artist from Poland living in Dublin. It was great to talk about photography with someone who understands me. Graffiti in the tunnels plus the shade provide a little respite from the heat.
We find beds tonight in the Apostol Hostel in Logrono with a familiar scene on the wall of our room. I don’t think this means I can cross the Statue of Liberty off of my Bucket List.
We leave at the crack of dawn to beat the heat today and find the path surrounded by tall plants that look and smell like dill. As we proceed down our path we hear the hum of paragliders as they entertain us with dips and swerves making the moment seem surreal. (Included in the video at the bottom of this post.)Delicious wild black raspberries are a treat along the trail.
The Romanesque 11th century bridge at Puenta la Reina (The Queen’s Bridge) owes its foundation to Queen Doña Mayor who had the bridge built over the river Arga.This old Roman road is said to be the most important stretch of Roman road left on the French Way. My mind wanders imagining centuries of use and here I am in this moment, right here, right now. Mind boggling… We take a lunch break next to a water fountain and enjoy the entertaining company of a group from Italy as we communicate using charades and the English skills of the young woman on the right. Why are Italians always so much fun? I may need to go to Italy some day to discover this phenomenon.The final leg of the day proves to be challenging as the high temps and lack of shade takes its toll. Our survival strategy is shade hopping as we slog our way under the hot sun and take short breaks under the shade of the occasional small tree.
Aa-a-a-r-r-r-g-g-g-h-h-h… So hot!
We are too slow today and there are no beds for us in Lorca, but an outgoing character from Amsterdam is at the bar highly recommending Oceana Youth Hostel in Estella. Better pick up the pace so we can find nice cozy beds. At this point, cozy isn’t even necessary… just a bed will do.
September 1, 2016: Unfinished business awaits us as we begin our 2016 Camino de Santiago trek across northern Spain. We previously completed Astorga to Santiago and St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Zubiri, Spain, so it appears we have a little over 300 miles remaining. Click on the short “kick off” video as we begin our journey…
We stumble upon the Parish Church of Santa Lucia which has lived through the invasion of the Moors, the Spanish Inquisition, Napoleon’s crossing of the Pyrenees, two world wars and the Spanish Civil War.
It is rumored to be a Templar church and symbols contained in and around the building seem to confirm this. Few records exist so piecing the building’s story together is quite a challenge ~the abbey.es
The intent was to stay in Arre tonight but we seemed to have bypassed the path through that particular town and, before you know it, we’ve gone 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) and find ourselves in downtown Pamplona. Oh, well… plan B will be just fine and we have a head start on our hike tomorrow. We settle into our little room above a small bar and rest our weary bones.