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Hebridean Imaging
Hebridean Imaging

20th September, Camino de Santiago, Villatuerta to Los Arcos, 24.7km

Sadly we had to leave Casa Mágica. Near Estella it was cloudy and beginning to sprinkle so I broke out my waterproof jacket for the first time. The light shower lasted all of 5 minutes!

I reached the wine fountain at Irache to find that it was empty! 🙁 Thankfully last night Simone had given us pilgrims a bottle to share so we had, at least, tasted it.

At Irache the path splits – the choices are (i) a longer, flatter route to Los Arcos or (ii) a shorter, more scenic route. I decided on the scenic route. Sarah decided on the longer route as her feet were still painful and she didn’t fancy the up and down of the scenic route. It would also give her the choice of stopping short and staying in Villamayor de Monjardín if she was in too much pain to carry on.

The scenic route took me up through the woods and I enjoyed walking on my own for ages. The path followed farm tracks through lovely fields with views to the hills. Not for the first time I found myself wandering along with a rather silly smile on my face, feeling happy and light, enjoying each moment, each sight, sound and smell as it came along. Once again the wayside flowers and butterflies were beautiful.

I found a bar in the middle of nowhere, a place called Luquín, the couple of pilgrims at the bar easily outnumbered by locals 🙂 A good sit down, coffee and water and I felt much refreshed and continued on my way. The day warmed considerably as it went on. The farm tracks wound through the fields and it’s really great to be away from the roads and traffic. I sat by a sign that said Los Arcos 5.7km, had a drink and took my shoes off to give my feet some fresh air. Bliss 🙂 After a while I trudged onwards. A praying mantis stepped out in front of me and we stared at each other for a while.

Rather worryingly I could see no sign of Los Arcos in the distance but I seemed to be on the right path. By the time I saw the Los Arcos town sign my feet were hot and aching but thankfully there were chairs and tables outside a vending machine stop. Enjoyed an ice cold Coke Zero. I texted Sarah to tell her I had arrived. She replied to say that she had taken the scenic route after all and wasn’t far behind me. After a while I gathered all my energy and put my pack back on and headed into town. I stopped at the first albergue, an Austrian run establishment to see if they had two beds. Yes. Thank goodness. I must have looked knackered, the kind hospitalera removed the pack from my back and showed me to the room.

Later on in the evening after Sarah and I had rested and done some washing we walked the short distance to the town square. There were lots of pilgrims and it was lovely to meet up with some of our first night, Orisson buddies. Brent and Sylvie, Steve and Elena, and the three older American guys. Glasses of wine, coffee and a long chat.

Camino de Santiago, wine fountain, Irache

The (empty) wine fountain at Irache.

Camino de Santiago

Definitely the scenic route!

Camino de Santiago

Looking towards Monjardín

Camino de Santiago

Walking through the farmland

Camino de Santiago

Just keep following the yellow arrows…