Distance: 20.9km, Steps: 31,184, Time taken: 6.5 hours
We both had a real good sleep, for me I didn’t cough much & my throat was feeling heaps better. I was pleased the new medicine had done its trick. My skin on my right leg where the socks sit was covered in angry red hot rashes with a mild case on my left leg. This first part of The Camino is really the physical part & it’s testing me alright!
We were one of the first up as everyone else slept in to 6.30am. Mr D was packing in the eating area & gave the volunteer lady whom we had the pleasure of meeting yesterday, a fright. She had emerged from her room stark naked thinking Mr D was the other Vollie lady – (the nicer one) – saw it wasn’t & quickly had to cover herself up with a robe! We enjoyed toast & I had cornflakes as it was the first time I had seen cereal available since Madrid. Then I had to pry Mr D away from that same volunteer lady that was giving him yet another lecture about how we should socialise with everyone, meet new friends, it’s the Camino way….. I think she failed to see how tired we were yesterday. We also learnt that the dinner meal they put on last night for the other Pilgrims there was for us too – only they forgot to invite us!
The early morning was cool as we made our way out of Estella, I hadn’t realised how big the town was until this morning. My muscular pain had gone away overnight & I was feeling much stronger. We found “the fountain of youth” as Mr D calls it. The famous & maybe only fountain that gives you free red wine at the Bodegas Irache. So we took our customary photos of pouring free red wine into our water bottles, but only a little amount so as to leave enough for the Pilgrims behind us.
It warmed up pretty quickly & soon the temperature was too warm. We had a short stop in a little village for morning tea before the onslaught of walking over 12kms along a dirt gravel road in openness with hardly any shade. It was a taste tester of the Meseta with open vineyards & farming lands, no change in scenery, just a long hard slog in the sun as we follow the road that went on and on and on…….
There on that isolated dirt track was a couple, sitting under a tree, playing beautiful music for us hoping for our loose change. Then there was meant to be a pop up cafe. There was a bar/cafe sign on the halfway point pointing to an empty shelter – they took the day off! I felt cheated as a cold can of coke would of gone down nicely right then. Onwards we plodded, Mr D hiding under his umbrella, me hoping to see the next town over a hill & being disappointed to see more flat long road going to nowhere. Many other Pilgrims suffered as well & would stop & rest then continue. Mr D wanted to just keep walking until he got to town. He didn’t make it. I caught up to him laying in grass in some small shade, spent. I encouraged him back up with the alluring vision of a cold beer awaiting him in the next town.
We arrived in Los Arcos early around 1.30pm. We found ourselves a nice Albergue & share a room with 2 other couples. For lunch I downed a pizza all by myself, Mr D had two cold beers & chicken wings with chips. Not sure what it is here, but the chicken wings are tiny compared to the size we get at home. Then there was the bread rolls of course……
It is cheap to drink in Spain – one glass each of red & white wine cost 3€ total which is about $4.50 Aussie dollar. At home this will cost between $14 & $16 easily! We had a 3 course Pilgrims dinner at our Albergue, the first since Roncesvalles. The people at our table had already formed their little group and we didn’t fit in as well. Being tired again, it’ll be another early night for us.