17 May: Estella to Los Arcos

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Simply stunning. Priceless panoramas. Picture perfect.

Grandpa A has mentioned that he’s a pale shade of green. He might prefer not to look at today’s post!

It was not even 8am when we got to the wine fountain….yes, a fountain that pours out red wine. We did not let the early hour deter, us, nor the sign prohibiting under-18s from drinking!
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The first (and only) drama of the day occurred at this point. Right next to the fountain is a fence made of metal rods. Below the fence is a drop of about a metre. One of the pilgrims we have been meeting on and off over the last few days leaned her poles against the fence and they promptly disappeared down the drop. It would be entirely accurate (even if irrelevant) to mention that she had already had her turn at the fountain! We had not, and with quickness of thought, Micaiah grabbed his own walking pole and used it to perform a rescue mission. Only a few minutes later a second retrieval was effected when a Korean lady did exactly the same thing! An entrepreneur could find worse places to set up a one euro service!

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The rest of the day proceeded without adventure. The sun came out, the sky was clear blue, each little rise in terrain produced a view more magnificent than the one preceding it. Words just cannot do justice.

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We have found a rhythm that works well for us. Some people like to stop at a bar and have a nice long break partway through the morning. Others stop for a long lunch break. Some walk on nothing other than a coffee and cigarette. Others nibble on salami sticks and muesli bars all day. Still others carry a bocadillo wrapped in tinfoil. As for us, we try to have a substantial breakfast, then stop after an hour and a half or so for a snack. Another hour and a half later we stop for first lunch. Then later for second lunch….for each lunch we share one loaf of bread with cheese, salami, and maybe olives. If we were going further there would be time for more snack breaks! We don’t stop for long, but taking weight off the feet for even a few minutes seems to stop them getting sore. And the food appears to work wonderful psychological magic.
Upon arrival everyone makes beds, takes a shower, washes clothes (and honestly we have not had to tell the kids to do this yet – they just know it is the routine and get on with it – today I even saw Ella-Rose cleaning her shoes!)……then all that is left to do is find wifi and food, and make tentative plans for the morrow. It’s no wonder we are so relaxed!

Destination: Los Arcos
Distance: 25km
Cumulative Distance: 382km
Distance to go: 618km
Weather: brilliant – clear blue skies, cooling breeze
Dinner: a pilgrim meal to celebrate Ella-Rose’s birthday coz it’s already her birthday in New Zealand!

20140517-191904.jpg first plate – veges for adults, 4x spaghetti for kids…..second plate fish or cutlet and fries all round……icecream cake for dessert

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A post-dinner peek into the church turned into a lengthy visit. One of the most ornate churches we have ever seen, it was quite overwhelming and not in an entirely positive way. But at the same time, it was incredible to think that some of what we were looking at was almost a thousand years old. That is still hard for our NZ minds to comprehend!

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8 thoughts on “17 May: Estella to Los Arcos

  1. Happy birthday Ella Rose. Geoff and I are positively jealous and are loving all the photos of the magnificent scenery. Everything looks so much more straightforward now that you are in Spain.

  2. Wow, loving the scenery. Path seems well laid out! No more remote goat tracks 😀 Happy Birthday to ER glad you got to celebrate 🙂 xx

  3. I think the landscapes on that part of the Camino Frances are some of the most magnificent on the whole trek, and I think they are really under-rated. I found them stunning also!

  4. The pale shade of green could well turn a lot darker, but is tempered by the prospect of (happily) walking 25-30

    km each day. Not for these ancient feet I think. But who knows,? A combination of beautiful countryside, good company and a fountain flowing with red wine – anything might be possible! Looks glorious.

  5. Well the views are absolutely beautiful and a fountain of flowing red wine as well! What a shame such largesse would be wasted on Rach – good thing Rob was there to balance the deal! 🙂 We’ve been painting Joe and Micah’s house the last two weekends and have had almost as lovely blue skies here for that. Luckily. Take care and look after those feet.

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