Camino Day 9

May 9–

We left Casa Magica around 8 after a magical breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice and boiled eggs. I have a knee that is a bit tender and we had a 15 mile walk ahead so I arranged to have my bag transported. We put some of Alexandra’s heavier items in my bag to lighten her load for the day. I had a bottle of water but other than that felt light as a feather. Funny that 15 miles without a pack is like a rest day. All perspectives change on the trail.

The morning light on the ancient church and all the land was breath taking.

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After the busy town of Estella was one of the greatly anticipated treats for the pilgrims—- wine flowing freely from a tap and blessed by Saint James.

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A short time later I took the trail through the woods not realizing it was an alternate route. Alexandra continued on the main route to town. My route went through a dappled forest and climbed higher for beautiful views. But I saw the town below and no other pilgrims and was a bit worried. I caught up with a couple of pilgrims since I could move faster without a pack and they confirmed my suspensions so I texted Alexandra and told her I’d meet her in Los Arcos and my temporary anxiety was gone and I was back to enjoying the scenery.

There was no food on my route but help came when two paths crossed and I met a friend with some chocolate to share. Another two miles down the road was a food truck in the field and I had a cheese sandwich, a beer and a rest.

The next few miles were open fields with alternating wheat and vineyards, like natures version of the Eucharist and I found it very holy.

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I bought my daily orange reward for a job well done and found the Albergue, my bag and a friend from 4 days ago. The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting in the shadow of the magnificent cathedral of Los Arcos, eating and drinking with friends, interrupted occasionally by cathedral bells.

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The cathedral was pure gold with a beautiful cloister. I followed a new friend to the Mass and although I didn’t understand the words I knew the meaning.

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“Blessed are you pilgrim, if your knapsack is empty of things and your heart does not know where to hang up so many feelings and emotions.”

 

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