Day 6

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Day 6. August 31, 2014. Estella to Logrono.
Both of us had been dealing with some physical issues over the last few days… Jim has blisters on his feet making the way difficult and Tom a worsening rash he feared could be from bedbugs. Sunday morning found us at the Health Center getting diagnosed. The rash was just a rash but it was clear Jim needed to stay off his feet. It was a good experience as the staff was patient with our Spanglish, but you could see they had dealt with pilgrim issues before. Since we are not on European healthcare they will send an invoice to our homes. We don’t know the cost but the surprisingly low cost of our prescriptions has us optimistic.
The visit lead to great talk with the two who run the alberque. ANFAS employs and advocates for persons with intellectual disabilities throughout Europe.
Because of Jim’s diagnosis and the lateness we decided we had to take the bus. Also, fearful that we will be short on time we decided to advance one stage to Longrono. Logrono is in the Rioja region and we had the opportunity to not only see the Old Town and its great architecture and ancient churches, but to treat ourselves to their famous wine and famous tapas with locals and touristsin the bustling St Augustine district. The advancement of the trip means, sadly, being one day ahead of those we have formed relationships over the past days.

Day 5

Day 5. August 30,2014. Left Puente la Reina before dawn to get a jump on the day. Initially a couple of challenging climbs that worked up a sweat, but it was cloudy and cool. We passed through lovely old villages on hills separated by, first vineyards then harvested fields. We stopped on a rock bridge led to by the remains of an ancient Roman road. We passed the first villagers too early on a Saturday morning to encounter people, but could see evidence of a prior night’s fiesta, presumably for the feast of St. John the Baptist who seems to be celebrated throughout the region. The sun came out the last hour making the final leg a work of sheer determination. We ran in to a pilgrim we had spent some time with two days before, and attended the Saturday night Mass at San Miguel. He was able to tend to J’s foot blisters. Then to get provisions for the next day fearing nothing will be open, and searching for the last store still open in town. Then shared a pizza.
Something we find in almost every pilgrim is each is nursing some physical affliction. It spurts greater resolve.10645035_526850480779011_453367494043282859_n[1] 10644802_526850670778992_8106664174028987530_n[2] 10511098_526850590779000_8785438945028383870_n[2] 10580214_526850607445665_2856228125370533761_n[1] 10616481_526850567445669_5053674274788496742_n[2] 10653494_526850624112330_6328213027518009554_n[1]10632783_526850687445657_349612257868252700_n[2] 10641152_526850514112341_5152045178643289178_n[1] 10641229_526850540779005_3653478714184315357_n[1]

Day 4

Day 4. August 29, 2014. Passion of St. John the Baptist. Left Pamplona before sunrise, passing through city and suburbs. Got off course and was lead back by a very kind gentleman. Breakfast in Cizur Menor. Morning prayer at St. Andres i Zariquiegui… as well as a pilgrim’s prayer we found in a pew. We passed through a windswept valley to Alto de Perdon with pilgrim figures overlooking the deep valley. Continued through orchards and crop fields, also passing through towns with no activity because of siesta. Happy to happen on a religious procession at the parish of San Juan Batista in Obanos on the feast of his martyrdom. The procession included a band, muneca figures and many faithful dressed in white and red. A memorable experience. Arrived at Puenta LA Reina Our albergue here has a pool!

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Day 3

Day 3. August 28, 2014. Feast of St. Augustine. Set out early from Zubiri to Pamplona. Our walk took us through lovely villages and farmland. We were able to stop for prayer in village churches and a medieval bridge in Larrasonana. We were grateful that the rises and falls of The Way were not nearly as severe today. We continue to bond with pilgrims who no longer seem like strangers. Had to say good bye to a French couple we were quite fond of who ended their Camino here. We are staying at the Algergue of Jesus and Mary near the cathedral. Will attend the rosary at the cathedral this evening. Please note the selffie three days and fifty miles into the journey… in case you want to mark the physical effects

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Day 2

Day 2. Lights on at 6am. Immediate start… Breakfast along the Camino in Burgete. Today we passed through some lovely Basque villages, and through farms and lush forests with beautiful ferns and wildflowers. Both challenging ascents and descents. We paused at a shrine to Mary to sing a Salve Regina. Fr K bore up despite horrible blisters. Cut the stage a little short, stopping in a lovely village, Zubiri. We are surprised not to have encountered more Americans. About 14 miles today. Tomorrow we proceed to Pamplona.d descents. We paused at a shrine to Mary to sing a Salve Regina. Fr K bore up despite horrible blisters. Cut the stage a little short, stopping in a lovely village, Zubiri. We are surprised not to have encountered more Americans. About 14 miles today. Tomorrow we proceed to Pamplona.

6 A 6 B 6 C 6 D 6 E 6 F 6 G 6 H 6 I 6 J

Addendum to day one.

Feasted on the reduced price pilgrims meal… Soup, wine, and choice of duck or trout. What… no dessert!?! Plus our first pilgrims Mass at Santa Maria de Roncesvalles… and pilgrims blessing. This is great!

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The first day. The first day was the hardest day, the only word the Camino seemed to know was up! We struggled valiantly and made the 19 miles…most of them severely uphill… from 200 meters to 1400 meters. The views were incredible. Fr. K spent much time musing over the Song of Roland (see fountain photo). What they say about comraderie among pilgrims is true. We are over the Pyrenees. Another 19 miles tomorrow. (6 photos)

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