The Way…Suffering…or Joy

Day 6

Puente la Reina to Estella – Lizarra….supposed to be a flat walk today so decided to wear my Keen sandals as had a big blister on my right foot. The track was up and down. Passed through some very lovely ancient towns…really liked Cirauqui.A quaint medieval town set on top of a hill.Walked through a lot of fields that had been ploughed for  replanting. Along dirt roads of gravel.My first stop was in Maneru, for coffee and toilet as there are no toilets along The Way, so buying a coffee you also buy toilet.Met two lovely Irish women in there 60s. And a group Irish Men who were retired, certainly a lot over 60 walking the Camino. The Day got hot again….intrigued in every  town by the ancient stone buildings and bridges along The Way.Had lunch with the Aussie couple and said goodbye as they weren’t walking as far.Carried on walking on my own.

The last 4 km go on and on, started to wonder if I had taken the wrong path. My calves were sore as was my Achilles on my right foot, limbed into Estella finally, then had to find where my bag was, they wanted to charge me 20 Euro for the night with a breakfast I couldn’t eat. It was public holiday in Spain. I said no thanks and grabbed my backpack and booked into the biggest pilgrims hostel in town..6 Euro and room of 30 people.Not ideal but a bottom bunk. I lay on the bed and couldn’t move, wondering what tomorrow would bring, feeling very removed from it all. I floated into a meditative state, started to get cold and wondered if I would get up again.I felt like I was in as another life as a pilgrim here in a hospital sick.Aching all over….Once I did clearing of that life I got up and went for a walk.

Later read that the Black Plague had halved the population of Estella in 1400s. .The town had started to be built in 1100s hard to comprehend.. The town has a significant number of historical churches and buildings once again with amazing glass and stone work.I found an amazing crystal shop and brought a bracelet of the Camino with silver shells. After exploring, I found somewhere to eat. While sitting on my own a Spanish man asked if he could join me, I said ” I only speak English”. He told me his life story in broken English, he was an expert in the field of Tanning skins. Mostly sheep skin from the Barsque country, he was born in the French part of Barsque country and was successful there as a tanner but some Sect came and took everything of his and he was put in prison. He said there no separation between police and justice in France but in Spain it’s different. He now has to stay in Spain. He said his son died at 21 of something to do with his liver. Sad life but he enjoyed chatting. I headed off to bed early and slept well in the room with 30 others. I put acutouch patch on my Achilles over night. 

Day 7

I awoke and got out bed to find I wasn’t that sore after all, but would just walk 10 kms today to Villamayor de Monjardin so I could give body a rest..after all this is 7 days of walking. Boots were the plan today, even with blister and bag sent on.

Humans innately resist change because we feel safe with what is familiar and fear the insecurity that comes with something new.We tend to live a familiar fixed routine and try to avoid what is beyond the known.So often we are not ready to accept the flow of life. We seek freedom but cling onto bondage. We do not allow life “to happen”and take its own shape. My thoughts as I set off this morning that there is no familiarity for me, just the occasional same people that cross your path on The Way.Feeling some sadness but also freedom in that I am allowing my life to flow moment by moment.Thoughts come and go, your mind is like a bottom less pit so stop trying to fill it.Go beyond the bottom less pit and realize the soul.

My first stop was the wine fountain and it’s just that, put your mouth under it,fill a bottle from’s free all of 100 litres a day for pilgrims or whoever.930 am wine ..yummy.I then visited the museum attached to it, full of wine and equipment dating back to early 1900s. Quite something….Walked the dirt roads and ended up in Azqueta where I decided to have brunch…ran into the two beautiful kind Irish ladies Mary and Ann..who were wondering how my leg was,bless them. We sat and shared our life story, like they said everyone has a story. Everyone has had suffering in their life.For me this is what makes my day..sharing and caring.I said Goodbye as I was stopping short of them today. At Villamayor the accommodation time check in was 2 pm and I arrived just after 12. A small bar nearby I brought cider and used WiFi…thinking about the other Irish group who I wanted to say goodbye to as they too would be staying at next town and they turned up. No co incidences…so lovely to have chance to say Farewell and hope to catch them in northern Ireland.

Accommodation is run by Dutch Christian volunteers and old buildings but very nice.Welcomed by some very helpful and friendly young ladies, felt instantly at home.We shared the pilgrims dinner cooked by the volunteers, which is generally a three course dinner with wine for 10Euro. Was a lovely meal and then a meditation, in the most peaceful room. A very lovely chilled experience.

Angel xx


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