Estella to Los Arcos
This part of the trail is memorable since one passes La Fuenta de Vino (The fountain of wine) at Bodegas Irache - just a few kilometers outside Estella. Like all pilgrims, Pat and I were drinking vino tinto at 8:00 in the morning. The route is lovely along here - a bit of a hill to begin the day, but the wine, cooler morning and shade of the oak and pine forest made the climb easier. In the distance we could see huge cliffs and rolling green fields with small villages dotting the countryside.
Los Arcos to Logrono
Yesterday we walked 30Kms+ yesterday in 27C heat. The first 20Kms went relatively quickly. We left before the sun rose and the view back to Los Arcos was all pink and blue in the sunrise.
Much of the surrounding ground was covered in dense fog, but as the sun rose, the fog dissipated. Once we climbed over the Alto Nuestra Señora del Poyo, suddenly we could see both Viana and Logroño far in the distance. It seems easier to walk towards a town one can see in the distance - even if it was 20Kms away.
It was a hot day. To cool off, I often looked into the distance, saw snow capped mountains and pictured myself lying in the snow.
In the morning we met a pair of Brazilian men our age. We had seen them in the days earlier on our Camino - Edweiss is a chubby cheerful fellow who greeted everyone by name and Arnold has a smile which lit up a room. Retired bankers with far too much money to spend.
Yesterday we met them on and off during the day as we stopped for a coffee. Just past Viana, in the early afternoon, we found we were the only pilgrims walking the trail in the heat of the day. We joined up and walked the rest of the way to Logrono. It would have been a difficult last 10 kms without some respite from the heat and lack of shade - but our lively conversation helped pass the time and distance during that walk.
Edweiss (Eddy) told the story about his best friend Arnold calling him one day saying that he was going to walk the Camino and Eddy had to come with him. There was no excuses. Eddy had to come. Arnold planned the trip and arranged the gear for their walk. According to Eddy, Arnold flew to New York to purchase the lightest weight rain gear for the pair and flew to Oslo to buy some other apparel.
They thought about staying in Albergues and quickly gave that idea up when they saw what they were facing. They, like us, were staying in hotels. Arnold carried a telephone with a GPS monitor which would suddenly speak to him as we were walking along, telling him to turn right or left.
They suggested we meet up last night on a street dedicated to tapas. After watching a rather interesting fight between a couple at a bar along the street, we found the Brazilians and we four proceeded to work our way down the street stopping for various tapas and far too many bottles of vinto tinto. By the end of the street I was not walking a straight line. I stagger off to my hotel bed.
This morning I regretted killing so many brain cells last night. But I didn't regret the good food, fantastic wine and fine company.
Like many pilgrims we meet along the way, the Brazilians have moved on while we rested today in Logrono.
Only 625Kms to Santiago. Already I am regretting the fact that this walk is going far too quickly. I could quite happily be doing this for months at a time. Just losing myself in the moment of the walk.
Short days of about 15kms each for the next two days. We won't be rising early tomorrow.