Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Leaving Puente La Reina

Originally uploaded by johnpigott0820
We rose early and Robin, Daniel, our new Canadian friend, and I walked out of the albergue into freezing temperatures and a frost covered landscape. We walked briskly towards the bridge to build up some heat in our bodies. We were all wearing t shirts, mid layers and vests (also light gloves). No jackets. We stopped for a quick photo of the bridge and then headed off on the camino for Cirauqui where we planned to stop for coffee. Shortly after leaving town we encountered a pretty steep ascent that proved to be an early morning heat generator and calorie burner. But we survived and continued with the usual ups and downs of hill walking. The day warmed nicelyb and by the time we reached Cirauqui the frosts had retreated and we enjoyed spring like weather under partly cloudy skies. The day passed uneventfully as we kept a decent pace and simply enjoyed the walk. We found ourselves walking into Estella, our destination for the day, at about 1:30. We found lodging in the albergue run by the catholic church. It was fantastic. The hospitellera (Alma) provided a very nice dinner and a simple breakfast. We provided the bread and wine (very catholic). We have teamed up with a spaniard from Valencia and a young Korean girl traveling on her own (courage?). We attended the 7:00 mass at the church across the street. The priest gives a very special blessing to all pilgrims walking the camino. Our communal meal was a big success and three bottles of wine later sleep finally captured us. A very special day made even more so by the incredible hospitality we found at the albergue. Off to Los Arcos in the morning.

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