Day 5: Puenta la Reina to Estella
I saw a green arrow and felt lost today. Now normally a green arrow indicates going forward in the arrow’s direction but you see, on the Camino, I’ve been following yellow arrows. They govern my life telling me where to go everyday… and then today there was a green arrow and I felt lost. Order was soon restored upon spotting a cairn of stones set up by an earlier pelegrino who’d clearly felt similarly lost.
Sleeping on the Camino is a challenge. It comes in bits and pieces and while you’re physically exhausted the noisy dorms and muscle aches and pains mean you sleep in hourly increments. Not that it has a great effect because we all get up early to walk. As I did this morning. A five am wakeup and on the road by 5:30. Today I wanted to see how long it would take me to walk the planned 23km. This’ll give me an idea of how many extra km’s my body can do later on in the month. Took me five hours this morning which included a little climb. Not too bad as I got to my destination without having to forgo my morning cafe con leche and breakfast in a village on the way. No point being here if I don’t take in the sights, no?
This morning’s route took me over a steepish hill and through some delightful old towns. The path was mostly through fields that contained scores of ant’s crossing from left to right (south to north) – why I don’t know but I’ll think of today’s route as Ant Way.
From Ant Way I passed through fields of vineyards and climbed my way into the town of Ciraqui where sonorous bells echoed through the narrow streets and birds twittedred above as they flew in Hitchcockian patterns. Coffee with fellow pelegrinos, comparison of personal ailments, broken English, Spanish and French conversations and then I was on my way.
I arrived in the beautiful old town of Estella and snoozed awhile outside the yet to open Albergue. Soon enough fellow pelegrino’s arrived and we waited patiently outside massaging feet and thighs as we waited (first blister appearing on my feet). One of the trip’s highlights is getting to know this group of fellow pelegrino’s.
That evening I spent a pleasant few hours with the elderly American bloke I’d met earlier visting a few bars, trying out the tapas and canas. A nice way to spend an evening in such a delightful town. At the last pub I caught the last of the epic Wimbledon final between Roddick & Federer amongst a group of Spanish sports fans. Pubs are, tapas aside, pretty similar the world over 😉