More photos from yesterdaySeptember 6, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C
Well that was a success so will send 3 more, and then write up today.
Well that was a success so will send 3 more, and then write up today.
We walked through Puente la Reina this morning and spent a few minutes admiring the 13th century bridge leading out of town. Then a BIG climb through chilly winds and intermittent sunshine — the temperature suddenly drops or goes up 10 degrees every few minutes.
We meet the same folks over and over again — Bill and Treva from Orlando, sisters from MA and NC, “Jack” from Ireland and his wife, Kim from S. Korea... we always meet up at the next bar or Albergue.
We are tired campers, but we’re very comfortable in an Albergue perched on the river in Estella. It’s a renovated tannery with the best shower on the Camino!Read more
It's the top of my second week, and I turned it up a bit. Got out the door early, and notched almost 30km by evening. (In all of week one I did 90km)
I walked under threatening skies much of the day, and through a few brief showers. Crossed the famous bridge at Puente la Reina, met some interesting cats, and drank from a clown fountain.
Though my feet are a bit sore, I can tell I'm getting stronger. The next few days are fairly flat, so I should be able to cover a good bit of ground toward Santiago.Read more
Had a pretty good dinner last night and a typical Spanish breakfast. The day started out cloudy, but turned sunny as the day progressed. Beautiful scenery and I especially like the arched bridges. Romanesq I would say, but do not depend on my spelling.
Walking was not easy given the terrain. Someone must have placed rocks sharp side up just to keep the podiatrists in business. Walked up hill into one village only to walk down hill to leave and at the very top of the walk, through an arch was a doctors office. Probably specialized in the heart and available for pilgrims having a heart attack.
The first albergue I went to in Estella was closed for the season, so wondered around and found this one (not exactly sure of the name, but there are plenty of tired pilgrims here).
Laundry in the dryer and hopefully it will be dry in 40 minutes. If not, back on the line.
Tomorrow is a 13 to 14 miler so I need a good pilgrims dinner tonightRead more
We have been told that you walk the Camino with your head not your feet. Lofty sentiments but there is no convincing my two blistered toes and wonky knees that this is true. All manner of pilgrims are limping along the Way, ankles or knees taped and braced. Pain relief is in high demand. And wine therapy is enthusiastically embraced by the pilgrims in the evenings.Read more
Monday, 4/30: A big climb up out of Pamplona to Alto de Perdón, “where the path of the wind meets that of the stars.” The ridges here are lined with wind turbines. Today we made ourselves take several 30-minute breaks, which we haven’t been doing — we have to rest and get something to eat/drink, every 2-3 hours to keep our energy levels up. Papaw even drank a beer when we stopped in the afternoon!
Spent the night at a beautiful rural house just short of Puente la Reina, where we shared a meal with about a dozen fellow pilgrims and the red wine flowed freely. The place is run by Alicia and her husband Carlos (who also cooked and served our dinner).
Ah, 8 hours of sleep — priceless!Read more
At the end of a day I shower and sit on my bunk, slowly assessing my legs and feet. I don't have any blisters and for this I am so so grateful. I have a slight red lump on the front of my shin where my shoe top pushes into my leg. This is hard to fix as it's a pressure sore rather than from friction, however I have learnt that doing my boots up looser doesn't cause blisters and avoids the pressure sores a little. My shins also hurt from having my feet at right angles for 20-30km a day, and I am concerned about shin splints. I walked around the first 7km today in my flat day-shoes and that fixed this problem - perhaps I'll buy walking sandals and throw out my flats. My left knee aches badly on the inner tendon when I walk without a brace, but seems reasonably fine if I wear the beace from the beginning of the day. My kneecaps ache but are getting better - probably because we had less downhill today. The balls of my feet are so sensitive. This is just from walking so much and carrying extra weight. There is nothing I can do for this but elevate my feet every night and hope that they will callous.
On day one I felt a twang in my groin muscle when I stepped badly up the mountain. I was so worried this would become an ongoing issue, but by morning it was perfectly fine. My calves ached after the Pyrenees, but now they only burn a little on the inclines, but recover during the walk. After day one I spent 20 minutes massaging them, but this isn't needed now. Day one strangely my hands were the biggest problem. The cold of the mountain top made them freeze. I couldn't feel my fingers from second knuckle down. I couldn't open my pack and could barely write to sign in to the albergue. When I walk now by the end of the day my fingers are swollen from all the blood pooling there during the day. Apparently walking sticks help this since your arms are pendicular with your body, but cause their own problems such as palm blisters and dry skin. Hands aren't as strong as feet.
In the evening you go to bed thinking if you will manage it tomorrow, and wonder if you should have a sleep in or a rest day. By morning you feel recovered, besides a dull ache in your feet and knees, but fine to walk. We are like salamanders who can regrow their tails - at night our bodies heal more than we realise.
We met a 66 year old South African man today who is riding the French Way in 15 days. He had a knee reconstruction 6 months ago. He is doing this to show his body that he can, and had the most genuinely open and friendly demeanour. I can barely walk the camino, riding in this terrain would be near impossible in my mind. But that's just it, it really is mind over matter.
At dinner with a seasoned pilgrim in Pamplona he told me that the French way can be split roughly into 3 sections. The first five days to a week is about recognising your body. You cross the Pyrenees, you shed weight because your pack is too heavy, and your body is tender and blistered as it adjusts to walking. The second section across the plateaus is for your mind as it is boring with most people choosing to do 30-40km walking per day to get it over with. The flat fields and hot sun make you close into yourself and reflect. The last section is for the spirit, as you get giddy with the thought of being close to Compostela and the Ways converge so you meet with so many pilgrims with different stories of their own journies.
I'm five days into my walk and although my feet ache and my knees still burn, I feel stronger. Hills aren't as tiring anymore. My back isn't as pained carrying my pack. I have more energy at the end of the day. When I walk I notice the pain and am able to often pass over it - if I can't it is time to rest. Today on my walk I wanted to spend more of it in silence. I got to the top of a hill and was inspired to write a stupid limerick or had a line from a book in my head. Beyond the pain there is inspiration. I wish I was walking the full 35 days to experience the whole French Way of the Camino. After the first week, your body is the vessel to get you there, you just have to listen to and take care of her.Read more
14 miles of not so gentle rolling ups and downs brought us to "Estella la Bella" with a Roman bridge and roads. We opted to stay in the municipal for 6 euro, it has 96 beds and was full by 3:30pm. Tom and I did partner Yoga stretches on the back patio as our socks dried out on the line. We chatted with other pilgrims and swapped travel stories and shared injury updates. Yesterday, my left shoulder was a fiery ball of pain but a few adjustments a la Tom those morning seemed to (mostly) alleviate the issue. He'll get a calf massage this evening as a thank you. In the morning, I departed with the brick of a book I bought at a train station in France and have been lugging around with me. I'll finish reading it when I return home, for now, I hope some other pilgrim enjoys it.Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Estella-Lizarra, Естела, Lizarra, Estella, エステーリャ, Stella, Estela, 31200, Эстелья, Естелья, Estella - Lizarra, 埃斯特利亚