15 Sep 2019
The guide books say this is a stage of “primarily rolling ups and downs”, but I beg to differ. I think the authors need to review! There are a few steep ascents and descents. They also use the phrase “stretches of authentic Roman road” as if its romantic or special; the truth is the Romans who built and maintained those roads are long, long dead and there’s nothing romantic or even smooth about these parts of the path. Perhaps if we all wore steel-shod Roman Legion boots?
At any rate, it’s a very pleasant day, mostly sunny with moderately warm temperatures. I continue my trek westward, sharing the universal greeting “Buen Camino” with other pilgrims. We are a mix of so many origins and languages and this Spanish greeting becomes our lingua franca.
We’re also in wine country and acres of vines surround us. The vines are heavy with grapes and harvest time is coming soon.
The Camino also takes us through “hill towns”, up and down their incredibly steep streets. Pity the poor bicyclists and I saw one lady struggling with a regular piece of airline luggage on wheels! I have no idea how she negotiated the path.
After 22Kms, I reached Estella and I was pretty weary. Worse yet, I have to trudge all the way through town to get to my albergue, The Capuchinos Rocamador. No, it’s not a place that specializes in coffee drinks – it’s a “parochial” albergue, run by the church or a monastery. I wanted to try one out, to see what they’re like. This one was spare but clean and had everything (lounge, laundry, food) that a typical albergue has. They usually have a “pilgrim service” available too, a mass or blessing of some sort.
Their three-course Pilgrim Menu induced a wonderful beef stew, which I very much enjoyed.
Tomorrow, feet willing, I’m off to Los Arcos.