I leave a bit late -- about 8:30 am. I first have a coffee and cream pastry, then start my walk. It is drizzling again, that continuous light unending rain -- the tsirimiri. It continues on up the gradual uphill to Irache where the wine fountain is. Although sadly, since I get there about 10 am, not a drop is left.
The uphill continues on to Villamayor de Monjardin where I have another cafe con leche and a media bocadillo franceza (scrambled eggs on a half baguette) for lunch at 12 noon. The Tres Amigos from South Korea are also there and we chat a bit. From there, the rains continue on through country roads and lush green fields and hills, vineyards and olive tree groves under grey and cloudy skies. Achingly beautiful scenery.
My feet are getting very sore and a pressure point on my right ankle is bothering me. I am in a trance-like state. I hear and feel the rain pitter-pattering on my raincoat. I see the drops falling down my cap hood. I feel my solitariness yet my belonging to the whole scheme of things. My thoughts are wandering all over the place. Endless hills are on sight, as well as the unending trail. The phrase der Weg ist die Ziel in German, or roughly, "the way is the goal," keeps on playing in my mind, like a mantra.
Finally at 4 pm, a city appears. It is Los Arcos, my goal for the day. I check in at a private pilgrim house, Casa de la Abuela -- the owner and hospitalero is very kind and welcoming as is the place.
I go with a group of pilgrims to mass at the church where a pilgrim blessing is given at the end. Later we have dinner at Restaurant Mavi recommended by the hostel owner. I have a great sopa cocido, stewed chicken, and flan plus red wine, the pilgrim menu all for 11 euros. As we walk back to the hostel, it starts raining again.
|Wine fountain at Irache. Tip: get there early. Tip for the early: leave some for the latecomers. :-)|
|Grimacing cat, not so happy with the rain...|
|Grey clouds on the Way|
|Villamayor de Monjardin|
|Church at Los Arcos|
|Leaving Los Arcos|