Having enjoyed a perfect night nestled together, we both woke late with a warm furnace burning in our hearts. It also helped that we enjoyed having a night without a chorus of snorers to keep us awake constantly too. Although in fairness to the Magician… I might be one of the snorers. The walk for the day would be a short flat route, so we took an opportunity for a long slow breakfast in a café in Puente la Reina.
The breakfast in Puente la Reina was AMAZING! And to be honest this would be average compared to the food in France. As you can see from my earlier post. Food in Spain had become especially bad, meals were filled with processed breads, Tortilla (which is a Spanish Omelette and potatoe) and bad coffee. This became increasingly difficult for us as we were trying to eat a more vegetarian diet. Although we’d been given the Vegetarian guide from a friend, I have to be honest, we weren’t that good at remembering to use it!
Leaving Puente la Reina we crossed a beautiful old bridge, where we met an American on the bridge. Due to illness he was doing the Camino by bus, but his friends and wife were walking the Camino most days. He was so excited to see us, he asked for a photo with us. He couldn’t believe that he’d met actual pilgrims. I couldn’t help but think the man was exceptionally sweet, and surprised by his excitement, as its fairly difficult not to spot Pilgrims walking on the Camino Frances. For him, evidently Pilgrims represented something unique and special. The Magician and I were so blaze about it now for us this was an every day occurrence. Our brief conversation brought back a childhood level of excitement. It gave me the chance to remember that the adventure we were embarking on was unique, and something a lot of people don’t either have the luxury to do (either from time or funds), or are limited by their health.
The route took us along a lot of roads and small towns. Generally it was a fairly bland route in the day, but we passed some of the typical vending machines on the streets. To capitalize on the number of Pilgrims walking the Camino, its really common to find vending machines on the streets selling blister plasters, water, sun cream etc. But we passed one today which had me in hysterics. Mainly due to the wrong use of English, but the vending machine was selling sex.
Through the end of the day we reached Estella city. It was at this time we met my French Camino mummy. We had a brief conversation, as she was staying in an Albergue again, and we were making our way to the municipal to catch up with new friends. It was at this moment, we causally said ‘See you later, maybe for a beer?’. But that was it. It was in that casual moment, it was the last time I saw her on the Camino. She’d been such a strong influence on my Camino up until that date. And I didn’t get to say goodbye properly, to thank her for the advice, love and support. But this is always a common occurrence on the Camino. You never know when you’ll say goodbye, and that’s actually the last time you see someone. Or if you’ll see them again in a few days.
Estella itself is a beautiful city, which only became really significant town in 1090, when King Sancho Ramírez diverted the Camino through here. At the same time he summoned French settlers to the area, where it then quickly flourished. As a city, its similar to Burgos (but slightly smaller). It was one of the nicer places I been in Spain on the Camino so far. The Cathedral is risen high up in the city, but covered with beautiful stone work. The roads surrounding it are connected through to old beautiful stone bridges, giving it a medieval relaxed atmosphere.
It was here in a small shop the Magician bought me a present. Ironically, and unbeknownst to either of us at the time, but the ring is a typical Greek wedding ring. The ring has been nestled on my finger from then on, never leaving my left hand since that day.