Los Arcos

A Very Pleasant Day

We made it to today’s destination very early today, by 1:30, so we have been enjoying the sun and a beer on the patio of the alburgue and waiting for our turn with the washing machine.

Last night in Estella we visited a church/fortress for some spiritual time. Then we browsed through some grocers and bought a few snacks for today’s picnic lunch (olives, chocolate cookies and fruit).

Estella reminded me of some of the Italian cities we’ve visited. We crossed over the river into narrow streets filled with all sorts of fascination shops until we got to a public square lined with restaurants with cafe tables. There we enjoyed a “pilgrim meal” for dinner.

The pilgrim meal is akin to the tourist menu that you find in Europe. It usually includes a main dish, bread, water, wine, and often dessert too. Last night was scrumptious veal steak, French fries, small salty roasted green peppers, a fried egg and spaghetti with tomato sauce. The wine was extra but is so good and so cheap. 3 euros for a bottle of delicious vino tinto.

We hadn’t lunched prior to arriving in Estella yesterday so after registering at the albergue we went to the bar across the street and had 2 glasses each of beer with lemonade, a huge salada mixta and “nuggets de pollo”. The beer/lemonade combo is very refreshing.

Today’s walk began with breakfast at a cafe in a gas station where we also purchased a baguette, Spanish chorizo and some sliced cheese for a picnic lunch. The first attraction on the way was a stop at a monastery where there is a wine fountain that literally dispensed wine from a spigot.

After the wine fount the trail split and we took the more elevated trail that wound through woodlands and provided beautiful vistas. It was nice to get a bit more solitude in this stretch.

We picnicked at the ruins of a pilgrim hostel built in 950. We could also see edifices perched on top of distant peaks. I don’t know if they were castles or monasteries but looked to be something of that sort.

The countryside continues to be fallow grain fields, vineyards and olive groves. I am extremely envious of some of the vegetable gardens we pass.

BTW, my hip behaved itself, but this albergue offers massages so I signed up for one. Our walk to Longrono tomorrow is very long, over 29 km.

We are encountering new pilgrims everyday. Today at breakfast (awesome espresso coffee and chocolate pastry in the gas station) we met a young lady from Cardiff, Wales. We are also meeting up with some of the same pilgrims again and again, getting to know them better. The Brazilians seem to be multiplying. 😉

I have some video of a violin and accordion duo that were performing along the trail junction today. So much fun. A couple of pilgrims started dancing. Unfortunately I can’t get it to upload yet.


  1. Bill Woods | 12th Sep 17

    Very exciting and extremely interesting. I enjoy reading your posts, so keep ’em coming as you are able. I don’t envy your long walks/hikes, but certain do the wine stops along the way.

  2. Tracy Chugani | 12th Sep 17

    Oh this sounds majical! The stops are sounding pretty unusual. I love the picnic food choices you are making and would be very at home at your table (spot). Glad you are feeling better, the massage is a great idea, I would have recommended it even without the injury!
    I imagine a certain higher quality of air the higher up you go..it sounds really strenuous..what day are you at the half way mark?

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