Camino de Santiago Day 5:
Puente la Reina to Estella
We started early out of Puente la Reina to get ahead of the heat, and we were proud of ourselves for leaving in the dark.
But then a coffee shop was open and the chocolate croissants were calling out name so we stopped even though we had not yet walked even ten minutes.
We sat outside at the tables and watched many pilgrims pass by. It’s amazing how early folks get up and get going.
We had no idea how many people were starting the day in the dark until we sat and watched folks leave the city early.
We drank our coffees fairly quickly, ate our treats and joined the flow of folks passing by.
It was light by the time we reached the ‘puente,’ and the river was reflecting the morning sky.
We were on our way.
And also it was my 48th birthday.
I was feeling super fortunate to be doing exactly what I love doing on my birthday, and also to have my sister alongside me.
We walked and talked about other memorable birthdays and the learning of the last year or so.
Plus we visited with other folks that came by throughout the day.
We started to see more and more vineyards. We were not yet in the actual La Rioja región but we were getting close.
The clouds covered the sun for the better part of the morning, a great relief to everyone.
We stopped in a little garden where a man was selling fruit and snacks. We had some sliced watermelon and a couple of bananas.
Then we pushed on to the hilltop town of Cirauqui.
It was a lovely wee place, but besides a quick bathroom stop and refilling our water bottles at the fountain, we pushed on ahead.
The landscape has been a bit different each day on the Camino, but so far it’s all been just gorgeous.
The vineyards were all fall colors the last time I was in Spain, so it is fun to see them bright green and laden with grapes.
We also saw lots of olive trees and fig trees and some other fruit trees we didn’t recognize.
We met a few new folks and talked with some we have already met.
We moved slower in the afternoon and even stopped at some water to soak our feet. But then we struggled to put our boots back on and walk the two more miles to Estella.
When we got to Estella, I was super tired so the hostel owner told me not to hurry. I was digging in my pack for my passport and he said, just sit and take time. Take time. No hurry.
In addition to checking folks in, he was pouring pints from a beer tap that was built into his desk.
Later in Estella, we had a fun vegetarian lunch. The owner of the restaurant brought out a little cake with a candle and sang happy birthday to me in Spanish. Then another gal sang to me in Swedish.
It was all super sweet.
Then we went to rest by the river and Anna did our laundry…such a happy birthday present!
We met up with some folks for dinner, two hikers from Scotland, a guy from Ireland and another American gal we’ve met a few times. Such a fun end to a super fun day.
We fell into bed feeling happy tired from the day and ready to rest up for the next.