Friday, May 15, 2015

Camino de Santiago Friday 15th May: Day 3

Estella to Navarrette
60km, total time on the way 9:45 hrs

Dramatic change in weather. After two very humid, sunny days with temperatures in mid 20's, today was much cooler (11-15C), and overcast. There were intermittent light showers throughout  the day and I was running straight into a strong headwind most of the day. Not that my spirits were dampened at all. There is something inexplicable about the Camino. 

I left a bit earlier at 07:00 and grabbed some breakfast at a bakery. Reaching Irache monastery, I sampled the red from the famous wine fountain; it was only 07:30 but it would have been rude not to. I promptly missed a turning - perhaps a bit too early to be drinking!!

The way then wandered through woodland, past tiny hamlets. Fields of corn, interlaced with red and yellow flowers. And always the birdsong. 

I met some pleasant German ladies who were impressed by my running. They had started their Camino 10 years ago from Germany, walking sections every year, through Germany, Switzerland, France and now Spain. They plan to reach Santiago de Compostela next year. I was equally impressed. 

I reached Los Arcos at 10am, had a quick snack and visited the church. 

I then overtook Mandy the runner who had left Estella before me. 

Just before Vianna I was getting hungry and stopped at one of the stalls that appear from time to time in the most unexpected places. I spotted a doughnut with my name on it but unfortunately the lady couldn't change my 20€ note. However, she was insistent that I take the doughnut as I was a 'peregrino'. Lovely.

Paused briefly in Vianna and made myself a superb baguette with local bread, chorizo and cheese...and proceeded to leave my poles behind. Fortunately, I realised after a few minutes!!

Next stop was Logrono, a large city (pop 144,000). Visited the church, and said a prayer with a tear in my eye. Leaving the church, the sun was out. 

I had half-planned to stop here for the day but it was only 14:30 so I decided to press on to the next town, Navarrette, getting there at just after 16:30 which seems to be my standard finishing time. 

I thought about finding a Casa Rural (local guesthouse) and having a room with a bath - my quads were feeling a bit battered from the constant hard trail. However, the thought of being in a room on my own seemed strange. So much of this experience is the people you meet along the way and every evening. 

Booking in at the municipal albergue for 7€, I had a bed on the 3rd floor - could have done with a lift!! I was in a 4-bedded partition with Nilton (Brazil), Tomas (Germany), who were walking together and Johann (Belgium) who was walking with a Dutch lady he had met in St Jean Pied de Port.  We had a great laugh and thought we might try and find a gym!! We had a good 'Pilgrim's menu' at the cafe next door. A really fun evening and another great day. 

Phrase of the day: "May the rains fall soft upon your fields"....:from an old Celtic prayer and said at my blessing last Sunday. 

Comment of the day: Johann announcing just before bedtime "I think I am falling in love with a Dutch woman. That is unexpected"

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