(Day 6 – 26 KM)
La Reina – Estella
Todays plan is once again to divide and conquer. Yesterday’s trek took a lot out of Sue and Jerry, and frankly we were pretty surprised and proud of them for hanging in there and doing so well. As we were a bit bushed, they had to be seriously whipped. We drop our “heavy” stuff (extra clothes) with them into the “bus bag” and head out. We cross the river Arga via the modern bridge so as to see the puente del Reina in full (actually morning) daylight. It’s reflection off the lazy water flowing under the bridge creates a mirror effect and if you didn’t know any better, you have a hard time figuring which was which. As with every morning we start with an eventual uphill or our morning “vitamin” as we have taken to calling it.
Up we traverse atop old Roman highways whose rocks still lie permanently wedged in the earth. Giant slabs of stone show divots and troughs of wear from innumerable travelers. We climb up to a hilltop town and there I find, for me, the first signs of true civilization… Chocolate Milk! at a small shop.
As I am easily distracted, I notice that some of the vineyards are meticulously manicured into unique shapes.
As we descend, and of course climb, into the outskirts of Estella, we are greeted by great buildings boasting of times filled with the Knights Templar and are in awe at the artistry and history. We feel small and somewhat insignificant. We assume Sue and Jerry must already have checked into our albergue (Oncineda), and we assume correctly, but have a hard time finding the place. Once we locate it (on a major hill) all thoughts of wandering the city and viewing the additional Knights Templar and other historic sites goes out the window. We are trashed. Sue and Jerry are out and about, and not at the albergue so fresh clothes are out of the question, so we nap and wake up a little before a massive pilgrim’s dinner, and then retreat to our room for a good nights sleep via food coma.