Day 4 - in Estella and Los Arcos
posted October 4, 2019
We spent the morning exploring Estella and found a delightful woodworking shop as we walked the marble-lined streets. We flew over the mountain between Estella and Los Arcos on a bus, resting our weary legs. Sweet ride.
We spent the afternoon in Los Arcos. It was a delightful rest day, full of art and blogging, a visit to the church and its Black Madonna, the main square and the village portal.
Day 5 - Los Arcos to Viana
walked this section October 5, 2019
On Day 5, Saturday, we walked 11.7 miles from Los Arcos to Viana. It was an awesome weather day. The first 6 miles or so were quite level and lovely. The second half had lots of climbs and downhills. The sky was blue and clear. We are tired and happy. Russ and I have now walked every step of the Camino Francés, from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago, at least once.
Day 6 - Viana to Logroño
walked this section on October 6, 2019
We gave ourselves a shorter walk today, about 6 miles, mostly level. Logroño is a lovely city and we wanted to soak it in. We arrived to find a marathon ongoing and most of the streets closed. People were cheering the runners from every intersection. I saw several runners stop to hug their fans. That was special :)
We spent most of our time wandering on the squares, stopping for coffee, washing clothes at our hotel, and enjoying the ambiance. Having found our pension last night to be a bit lacking in anything except ambiance, we opted for a hotel in Logroño and did not regret it.
Tomorrow, we are on our way to Navarette.
Day 7 - Logroño to Navarette
walked this section October 7, 2019
We walked out of the Hotel Calle Mayor in Logroño this morning at 8:00. The sun was bright. The temperature was 50. A stiff breeze was blowing.
We walked all through the old city and the newer sections. Kids were walking and biking to school. The sidewalks were full of life. A group of about 25 buff, young runners went by. I tried to get a photo. Yikes, they were Guardia Civil. Can’t photograph the military. Thank goodness they did not take my iphone.
For 4 miles, we were in the heart if the city, then a city park and a linear park. Many folks, mostly not young, were exercise-walking out the trail and back.
The second half of our 8-mile distance today was less scenic and had more challenging hills. Nevertheless, it was a great day on the Camino.
We arrived in Navarrete, had some refreshments, checked in to the Villa de Navarrete, washed clothes, and now are sitting in the town square enjoying village-wide free Wifi.
Day 8 -- Navarette to Nájera
walked this section on October 8, 2019
Our 10-mile day was filled with sunshine and vineyards. The trail was not too rocky nor too hilly. Nevertheless, we were happy to arrive at our lodging in this pretty city on a river, Nájera.
Day 9 -- Nájera to Santo Domingo
walked this section on October 9, 2019
Rain was forecast, however the morning was dry, overcast, and in the upper 50s. We walked up and through the red clay cliffs behind Nájera. The scenery was special all day. First we had vineyards and red clay. Then we had harvest fields and long views of the trail and the pilgrims ahead of us.
We arrived in Santo Domingo in a cloudy drizzle, colder than most of our days, uninviting for exploring. However, we had opted to stay in the Parador, so luxury awaited us!
walked this section on October 10, 2019
Our 10-mile walk today began with a full buffet breakfast at the Parador in Santo Domingo. The first half of the walk was wonderfully scenic. We went, in a blink, from vineyards and harvesting yesterday to fields of grain and tilling today. Near Grañon, we wished we could take 360 degree photos of the fields and mountains.
The energy from the sky above lifted us up. The energy from the earth below buoyed our feet and legs. What a morning!
The second half of the walk continued with rolling hills covered by harvested fields. Unfortunately, the trail paralleled a major road, with abundant truck traffic. The road noise swept away the sky-energy and overrode the earth-energy.
It was hard to hold onto the morning’s glory. We got tired and sore.
Finally, we arrived in Belorado. We recovered quickly in a nice albergue and this beautiful, mural-filled city.
We had a wonderful albergue, with a great chef, and the city is full of beautiful murals!
walked this section on October 11, 2019
We started the morning, very briefly, along the road again. The truckers redeemed themselves for sweeping away our energy yesterday. Today they honked, waved, and gave us a thumbs up to encourage us onward. Yay, Truckers.
The trail soon moved away from the road. The vistas were expansive. The villages were welcoming.
Pam and James are also keeping a blog. The URL is https://jplavidaesunsueno.home.blog
We completed our 7+ miles by 1:00. We stayed at San Anton Abad in Villafranca. We took private rooms in the albergue. Luxury rooms were available, but we were feeling more pligrim-like this day. We washed clothes and hung them. Spent the rest of the afternoon painting and blogging.
Day 12 -- Villafranca to Atapuerca
walked this section October 12, 2019
The morning was a foggy swirl of mountain mist at Villafranca Montes de Oca where we spent the night. When we went to the coffee-bar for breakfast, we found a huge group of hunters from a Boar Hunting Club arrived simultaneously with us. Talk about local color!
We finally got coffee and headed out to taxi over the mountain. Because we wanted more time at the archeological site in Atapuerca, we jumped ahead up the mountain by taxi and saved several walking hours.
We walked from San Juan de Ortega into Atapuerca, a world heritage site. We dropped our backpacks at our pension, which was not yet open for checkin, and walk almost a mile out to the site. Unfortunately, being Saturday and a national holiday (the same reason we had all those boar hunters at the breakfast bar), all the tours were “completo”. Bummer! We walked back to town.
We checked in and hated the place. One bath shared with at least four rooms. Electrical wires hanging out of the walls. Sloshy beds. And a cost that was higher than much nicer places we had stayed.
I went hunting and found good accommodations at an albergue with some small private rooms. We swallowed the non-refundable reservation and moved happily across the street. Spent the rest of the day on art and chatting with other pilgrims at a Paneria with a lovely gazebo.
In the evening, we had a picnic of cheese, bread, olives, and meats in the common area of the casa where our rooms were. The restaurants were packed with locals celebrating the national holiday, and we were much happier in our albergue's common room. A couple from Australia and two young American women who met as high schoolers in Hong Kong, joined us.
There was no wifi. We did not care. We slept well!
Day 13 - Atapuerca to Burgos
walked this section October 13, 2019
Our final long walking day covered almost 14 Camino miles. The first third were up and over a magnificent, sometimes rocky hill and along its ridge before down through fields.
The middle was flat, dusty, and boring — past the Burgos airport. We did not even see any planes.
The final section brought us into Burgos via el parque fluvial. It was lovely and flat …. and too darn long.
We were very happy to arrive at our hotel, rest, and go to a very, very, very nearby bar for a cerveza grande.
Peg and Russ Hall
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