Thursday, June 30, 2016

Burgos to Hontanas

We saw more people out and about leaving Burgos at 6 a.m. than we've ever seen on a Spanish morning before. Yesterday's festival apparently went all night and was only just winding down. The streets weren't crowded by any means but it was a very noticeable change from out usual quiet morning walk. We began talking with another couple on the way out of town and walked with them for the 8 miles to breakfast. After breakfast it quickly became hot as we walked the remainer of the 21 miles to Hontanas.

We stopped briefly at the cathedral in Burgos. It wasn't open, but the outside is still impressive. 

New friends from the morning walk. 

Maybe we should have stopped here for lunch, but we decided to press on before it got any hotter. The apples came in very handy a few miles later. 

We apparently signed up to walk across the Texas panhandle this afternoon...

The last leg to Hontanas. The app warned us that the town wasn't visible from a distance which was somewhat encouraging the last mile or so. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ages to Burgos

We're being fancy and staying at a hotel tonight in Burgos. Most of the albergues we've stayed in have been really nice, but it's great to have a quiet place of our own occasionally. One unexpected advantage of leaving the Camino is experiencing another aspect of Spain. Today is a holiday here and almost everything is closed but we managed to find an open restaurant a few blocks away and a small store a few blocks the other direction. Tomorrow should be our longest day yet so we're heading out early again and the apples I found could come in handy. 

We made some new friends last night and probably stayed up to late talking but it made dinner a lot of fun. 

Walking down the road this morning. It looked like there might be some breakfast here but I'm glad we pushed on. The place we eventually stopped served the best Spanish tortillas we've has yet and a excellent pastry too.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Belorado to Ages

With an early start and less weight in our packs we made our destination shortly after noon and decided to go on to the next village. I'm not totally sold on waking up at 5 am yet, but hiking through the predawn day listening to the birds is pretty great and we had half our planned walk behind us by breakfast. Twenty-eight km still feels like a good walk, but it was easier today.

Just after sunrise. You can see the first two villages where we hoped to find breakfast in the distance. Neither of them had anything open though. Turns out walking 7.5 miles before breakfast works up a good appetite. 

We were happy to be climbing this hill after breakfast. Walking gives a very different perspective on distance. Those hills in the distance are days away...

The second half of the day included a 12 km gap between towns and this little stop was a welcome discovery. Fresh fruit and drinks with a shady bench! 

We saw this couple several times today. It is apparently possible to do the Camino with toddler! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Granon to Belorado

I We lost eleven pounds today! We found a post office in Belorado and mailed a box home and one to Portugal. 
The smaller bag on the left is the stuff we decided we didn't need at all and the red bag is the stuff we won't need until we're done with the Camino. We definitely over packed a bit (I'm used to rougher accommodations) so here's a breakdown of what I mailed from my pack.

Sent home:
Solar panel - there hasn't been any need for the solar panel though the batteries have come in handy so we'll keep those. 
Headlamp - again just no need.
Hat and gloves - they are thin, but it's summer in Spain and even the first day, which was described as "the coldest I've ever been" by a Californian we met I didn't want a hat. 
Spare socks - I discovered I packed an extra pair by accident. 
Steripen - it's still light, but we really don't need it at all. 

Sent to Portugal:
Nicer pants and shirt - I debated bringing these at all but they are handy in Paris an may be again for the last 1/3 of the trip. 
Fleece - seems more likely to be useful in the Alps or in Iceland than on the remainer of the trail.
Water proof camera - I've been happy using my iPhone on the Camino but I figure there is a chance I'll want to water proof option later. 

I probably shed 4 pounds bringing my pack down around 15 before water. Corrie's pack shed the other 7 pounds but I don't keep an itemized list of her gear in my head... Hopefully our feet will thank us at the end of the day tomorrow. 

Today's trail was really well marked. In this town we just followed the yellow bricks in the middle of the road. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Azofra to Granon

We were planning to take another short day today but we were feeling pretty good and went on to the next town for a unique albergue in a quiet patch of forest.   It's not exactly what we expected but it is a really nice place.

Looking back to Azofra about 20 minutes down the trail. 

Rolling hills of wheat were the most prominent feature of the day but we also saw fields of potatos, peas, and a few things I haven't identified. 

This bridge was apparently originaly built by Saint Dominic in the 11th century. It's been destroyed by flash floods a rebuilt several times since then. 

Heading into the forest on the way to the albergue. It feels a little more adventurous off the main path without every turn marked. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ventosa to Azofra

We decided to split our rest day into two short days this weekend and only walked 10 miles today. Most of them were vineyards but we walked through a small forest area and a few wheat fields as well.  The shorter day was nice and 10 miles felt pretty reasonable. I saw a mile post earlier and realized we've already walked more than 1/4 the way to Santiago. 

Ventosa through one of the many vinyards. 

Walking along the forest road. 

Heading down out of the forest.

Heading into Azofra. Spending the last two nights in small towns has me questioning the guide's recommended stops in larger communities. I like these quite places and the albergues have been really nice. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Logrona to Ventosa

We took a bit of a detour yesterday to stay in the nice hotel with AC. Today started with an hour of cutting through Logrona's industrial area to get back to the Camino. Halfway across Corrie pointed out, "if we ever want to build a house in Logrona we know where to buy the bricks." Leaving Logrona the trail was very well defined and mostly paved. I find myself thinking about the construction of the trail/road a lot more walking or biking that I do when driving. I'm sure it's partly because I have a lot more time to think when walking. The app says it would only take 22 minutes to drive back to the hotel... I highly recommend the app for anyone traveling or without continuous internet access. It has made it much easier to navigate when we wander of the primary trail. 

The lake outside Logrona. I think this might be the largest body of water we've seen on the trail. 

Approaching the city of Navarrete.

I had no idea grapes could grow well in such rocky soil. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Los Arcos to Logrona

Technically were staying in Viana tonight but were closer to the center of Logrona and we found a nice hotel with air conditioning! I didn't take many photos today. We were on the trail by 5:40 and done before 1:00 this afternoon. It worked pretty well and I think we'll do It again tomorrow.

Corrie walking into sunrise and breakfast at the city of Torres del Rio about 6 km into our morning. It was hard to get moving at 5 am but it was nice walking in the early morning. 

Eliminating that extra step of putting it in bottle... I really appreciate all the founta s along the Camino.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Estella to Los Arcos.

We did about 22 kilometers today. We were planning to go on a bit further but opted out of the heat after lunch. Even the couple from Phoenix said it was to hot to keep going.
The church across from our room in Estella last night. 

Another church in Estella. 

The cliffs in the background reminded both Corrie and I of NM.

A single photo summary of the day. Olives, wheat, a gravel path, and cloudless skies...

The church next to tonight's albergue. It's like we're walking between churches or something...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Puente la Reina to Estella

I know it must be getting hot out when Corrie suggests we wake up at 5:30 instead of 6:00 to make more progress before the sun is up... It was a beautiful day for a walk though and I'm really thankful it was cooler when we arrived and has been warming up slowly.

Sunrise in Puente la Reina. We've been walking before 7 most days but maybe we'll start sooner tomorrow. 

We did stop for a few moments to take photos of this bridge. Corrie's came out a little better so I'm using it.

Were in wine country now walking by lots of vineyards. 

Also lots of wheat fields and another grain I haven't identified yet. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pamplona to Puente la Reina

We had a great visit with Eva and Rodrigo in Pamplona and started down the trail this morning feeling nicely efreshed. Today's walk was almost exactly like I imagined the Camino and tonight's albergue is much nicer than I imagined while researching the Camino. We spent the day walking through fields and past wind turbines under mostly clear skies. 

Rodrigo and I discovered we have a similar appreciation for the mountains and spend some time sharing photos from Alaska and Patagonia. 

Rodrigo also taught me how to shave slices of jamon off for lunch. The closest American comparison I can think of is somewhere between bacon and jerky. It was delicious! 

Parting ways with Eva as we 
returned to the trail. 

Hiking up El Perdón under wind turbines. These were apparently the first turbines installed in the area.

I walked right up the the base of this one. It was a little smaller than the biggest I've seen but still 
impressive to see and to hear. 

This girl has a brilliant business model selling cold lemonade on a dry hot hiking trail with lots of traffic.

All of the albergues have been nice but we had a pool tonight 
which was awesome after hiking all morning in the sun... 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Larrasoaña to Pamplona.

We made it to Pamplona today. We're a couple weeks early for the running of the bulls. Corrie has a family friend here though so we're going to take tomorrow off and visit her family. My phone says we've taken about 130k steps in the past 3 days and walked 53 miles... The distance seems a bit higher than what's on the map, but that does quantify why my feet are a bit sore. A rest day will be really nice. 

Early morning mist on our walk to breakfast. 

One of the streams we walked over today. 

My Spanish isn't great, but I'm pretty sure this dam and mill started operation in the 12th century. 

Corrie crossing the bridge into Pamplona. Also originally built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th it's still solid today. 

A statue for the running of the bulls. I think it's interesting the statue shows the fallen as well as those outrunning the bulls. 

One of our hosts slicing jamon for lunch. We've had some good meals along the Camino, but today's lunch was definitely the best yet. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Roncesvalles to Larrasoaña

Today's route was mostly flat and rolling hills. It would have been much easier than yesterday's trek if we had started fresh, but felt it just as difficult since we started a bit sore. The food was excellent though, and it was a good day of walking. 

Leaving the albergue in Roncesvalles

We started walking before the sun was really up with the intention of finding breakfast on the trail. 

Breakfast found! The Spanish tortillas were excellent. 

Walking through a small town after breakfast we got the sense that not many people were up yet. 

I'm pretty sure this is how we were intended to cross the stream. 

I don't know what kind of flower this is, but the colors were really cool. 

Dinner was also excellent at tonight's albergue in Larrasoaña and we shared a table with interesting people from three countries.