Camino Day 7: Uterga to Estella 29km

And I will walk 500 miles… And I can walk 500 more. I aimed for a longer distance today just to see how I kept up. Too easy 😉

Except that I did get my first blister today. On my left hand. From the hiking pole. I half expected that may happen. I did bring gloves, but it was way too hot today to wear them.

I was on my way at 7.30am as no included breakfast in last night’s albergue deal. A mandarin and plenty of water would do and the remaining breakfast later.

More of the ever-present politics or nationalism at this autopista underpass. The graffiti was a bit more direct this time.

A cute pilgrim monument in the town of Obanos (I think).

Cultural significant artwork within the European Union appear to get sponsored. This looked like one of them.

I had to walk through that pilgrim portal. Mission accomplished and completed with a selfie.

Another beautiful day gave itself the opportunity to some interesting photography along the way. Looooong shadows.

Olive groves. Don’t they look great?

Watering of corn plants.

Puente La Reina was the town for my breakfast. Morning cuppa, juice and pan with cured ham went down well. In a busy cafe with both pilgrims and locals.

This is the bridge that gives the town of Puente La Reina its name. The Camino continues on the other side.

Here is one of the peregrinos

…standing by that other bridge for… peregrinos.

Today was the day for Spanish walking companions.

First, this is Berta from Madrid. Yes, she had a German name but she didn’t want to elaborate on why that was the case.

Berta used to be an air hostess for Iberia so her English was excellent. It was a great opportunity for me to practice my limited Spanish as I now had a “private” interpreter.

The name of the town behind Berta above is Cirauqui. Also below. Another cute place.

A planted world map just beyond Cirauqui almost brought a tear to my eye. The first thing you see is Austraya!! The best country in the world to live in!! No debate!!

After a while walking alongside my companion Berta, I left her behind to cover some distance.

Are we marveling at another Roman aqueduct here? Not quite. Segovia it ain’t. Concrete it looked like.

Fuentes / fountains. Most towns or villages (all?) seem to have at least one of them in a Plaza Mayor or similar. Relief for the thirsty pilgrims.

Today’s “The Way” movie setting was these hay bales. This is where the gang encountered “Jack from Ireland” the first time.

There was a donkey mask hanging outside of a church in Villatuerta. Was there a background story to it being there? Or was it just for a laugh?

The end of Villatuerta civilisation was approaching. But the Camino, it rolls on and on and on…

Approaching today’s destination Estella I chatted to the second Spaniard today David. He was also from Madrid.

David had lived at Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia for 3 years.  His English was also good. We talked football and we talked Australia (he liked it a lot).

Tonight’s albergue in Estella was Anfas. ANFAS is a society for mentally handicapped persons. Hence staying there would support a good cause.

I got the 34th bed out of 35 at Anfas. It is a popular albergue but perhaps it is because of the price. 7€ per bed. No food included or none offered on premises.

This was the first time that I had a top bunk bed on the Camino but in a corner tucked away from it all so not so bad. I am surrounded by young Spanish people all around me.

I hand washed some clothes and they dried up in no time given the dry Spanish heat of the day.

I include a couple of final photos from Estella. A nice enough town although I didn’t explore much. Many towns and villages, where the Camino cross, have some lovely old stone bridges.

A quiet evening with snacks, cold meat, cheese and fruit for dinner. No alcohol today. That would be the first night since arriving in Europe that I have been without alcohol for the whole day. I needed a break after last night’s somewhat excessive drinking.

Tomorrow, of course, is another day.

115km walked, 670km left to walk after Day 7

Final thoughts:

There were lots of sunburnt people on the Camino today. The sun was ferocious but many pilgrims still exposed lots of lily white skin. Many of them are likely to have problems getting to sleep tonight.

I managed myself to get a little bit burnt on my left hand from holding the hiking poles. Right hand, away from the sun as we are walking westwards, was OK. More sunscreen on hands tomorrow.

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