Friday, January 30, 2015

Jan 30, 2015: Zaragoza to Fuentes de Ebro 26.0 K

Early in the day

We awoke from a truly sound sleep (no aching feet and legs to keep us stirring) and set about getting ready to resume our Camino. Our rest day in Zaragoza was a wonderful break, but now it was time to get back to work. The streets below our hotel window were dry, but rain was definitely on its way. We arranged a taxi to get us out of the city and settled on a ride to the small village of Cartuja Baja. This shortened our walk today by about 5 kms which was just fine with us. We left Cartuja in a steady light rain that did not let up all day. It wasn't much of a walk. We spent a good portion of the day walking alongside a freeway to Burgo de Ebro, but then separated onto a gravel path that led us through some cultivated fields for awhile. Despite our well needed rest in Zaragoza we never quite hit a brisk pace today. Perhaps it was the rain, and the rain softened gravel that kept us moving ahead a stately 4 kph. We arrived at the Hostal Elena at 2:00, after a five hour walk from Cartuja. Robin and I were both happy to call it a day. Our host, Elena, spoke quite good English, and that helped to get all the usual post walk stuff sorted out. We were able to slip next door to the restaurant before it closed at 3:00 and had an early dinner. So now we are in a small room with a clothesline full of wet gear strung across the width of it. Robin has become quite adept finding places to string our clothesline. The rain should continue through the night but we are hopeful it will start drying out in the morning.

Loving our umbrellas

For the past several days we have been walking through the Ebro River valley, that has allowed a significant agricultural enterprise to thrive by virtue of irrigation. We have seen an extensive system of small canals that bring water, presumably from the Rio Ebro, to the fields. The canals are dry now but appear to be ready with small gates to channel crop saving water when needed. Tomorrow we will be moving off this green cultivated area and out onto the (desert like) Monegros Plateau. It is curious to see just how abruptly the green area turns to brown on the gps satellite map. I am not sure what this means to us other than a truly solitary walk across an apparently empty landscape (no services). In fact our stage break for tomorrow (Venta de Santa Lucia) is a restaurant (only open Mon-Fri) out in the middle of nowhere, but along a road. No other buildings (for many kilometers) just the restaurant from what I can see when I zoom in on the map. So we have made arrangements with a taxi driver in Bujaraloz, a town 20 K up the road where we have a room booked in a hostal, to be ready for our call to come get us tomorrow afternoon in Venta. For now I am Dozing off listening to our wall heater huff and puff trying to take the chill off our room and dry our clothes. Better call it a day. Good night from Fuentes.

At one point every poke we saw had a stork's nest
The clouds thickened
It was funny how they all stared at us
Today's oath
Looking back as we arrived in Fuentes de Ebro
Fuentes ahead




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