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Earlier on my Camino in Spain I bumped into a Dutch pilgrim (Albert) who had walked from his house in the Netherlands. A great guy and I soon found out that he likes to take photos of other people taking photos. I managed to snap this sneaky one of him taking a photo, yesterday evening in Puente la Reina:
I slept very well last night and this morning I headed off early towards the town of Estella/Lizarra. The path ascends and descends for a while, but it isn’t anything too strenuous. The way is generally pleasant and passes through a handful of villages along the way. Coming up to the first village on the route I smelled what I thought was fresh bread being taken out of an oven and followed my nose to what I thought would be a bakery. Instead it was a couple of German guys making toast and if you have the space in your rucksack then a portable cooker can be the perfect way to start the day:
In this case you could also take advantage of the many plants on the sides of the way which can be used for example as a calming or energising tea. This plant (Hypericum perforatum) is a natural antidepressant and is commonly known as Saint John’s wort:
The climate since crossing the hills up and over into Puente la Reina has become much warmer and this is most notable in the change in landscape and vegetation now. I took the following photos of the way this morning:
I was also unpleasantly reminded how annoying for the walkers, the people biking the Camino can be:
The last village you walk through before reaching Estella is Villatuerta. After the north of Spain has warmed up – which should be in the next few weeks – there is an outdoor swimming pool in this village and if you ask they have a special discount for pilgrims:
I arrived in Estella (Estella/Lizarra) about an hour ago and I remembered that the libraries offer free internet wifi, so I came here to the library and the speed is great and it is generally very comfortable working in this environment. Plus, it is open all day and without a siesta.
Estella seemed more beautiful last year, when I walked the Camino Frances in July/August. Still though, the attraction is here and I will shortly head off and walk around the town for a bit and then continue onwards along the way. Each day on the Camino has an official stage – most pilgrims keep to the stages and walk the entire Camino as one sort of traveling family of pilgrims – and today’s from Puente la Reina to Estella was barely 20km, so I am walking onwards and I intend to sleep outside tonight and sleep in the clear air.
One last note for this post today is that the food has been getting better and better and so have the Tortilla (Spanish Omelette). The Bocadillos (Spanish sandwich) have also been improving a lot since first arriving on Spanish soil a few days ago: