…but sunny this time!
For the first half of today’s walk I had a companion , an Italian woman who had stayed at the same Alburgue last night. Marianna and I walked together as far as Puente la Reina (Queen’s Bridge) a very pleasant, mostly flat walk. We passed through two small villages – Muruzábal and Óbanos. The path has gentle ups and downs and it was fun to see the villages rising in the distance. It was a pretty easy 4 miles.
When we reached Puente de la Reina, we bid each other “Buen Camino”. Marianna was making a short day and I was heading on to Cirauqui. I stopped at a local cafe for lunch (which included French fries) and then headed on.
I crossed the iconic bridge and continued along what was still a mostly flat dirt path. This apparently was one of the most beautiful stages of Navarra in the past, but in 2005, was unfortunately altered by the construction of the A-12 motorway, whose layout was designed completely ignoring the ancient route.
But I knew what was coming. The mile before the village of Mañeru is basically straight uphill. With no turns or flat areas to give you a break. Combined with yesterday’s hills, I was pretty pooped. (No snow this time, though, so when I needed to stop and rest, it was not so bad. And I needed to stop and rest quite a bit.)
But such a lovely hostel! Brand new and just opened. I met up with Astrid and Christopher, who are from Germany had also been at the hostel in Urtega (they left after I did and arrived much sooner…but then, I’m a Tortoise to the core!) The place has a nice beer selection and in a bit, we’ll have the “Pilgrims Meal” which includes wine, of course.
Tomorrow is supposed to be another sunny day, with temperatures in the mid-40s. Perfect weather for walking. And while there are some ups and downs, it doesn’t look like there are any long, steep climbs. About 9 miles to Estrella. Then, I’ll see if I’m ready for a 13 mile day!