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On the Camino, on this date in January...

trecile

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Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Here's the thread to post pictures, musings, etc. for any dates in January from any year, and for any Camino route.

When you respond, please mention the year, route you were on and where you walked (or rested) that day. Thanks!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (1974 + others)
2010 Camino Francés: first photo at Leboreiro 8 January; second photo Monte de Gozo 10 January; third photo, Santiago 12 January on our way to Muxía (note light in steeple to guide pilgrims, lit only in Holy Years). It was an unusual Camino.
 

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roving_rufus

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
6th January 2020 -Epiphany
Via Francigena - Vercelli to Nicorvo
One of the lovely things is the local touches that individuals and associations and businesses that I found on this section - from hand-painted signs, hand made benches for pilgrims, interesting little signs like this one on a bridge just after Palestro.
20200106_124330 (3).jpg
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
7th January 2019 Camino Portugues - Povoa de Varzim to Marinhas
Having previously walked from Lisbon to Povoa de Varzim, I picked up the route again after flying in that morning- for a glorious winter's day of blue skies and sunshine while walking along the coast. Marinhas albergue was open, lots of hot water and social distancing was no issue as I was the only pilgrim there.
IMG_20190107_114910.jpg IMG_20190107_121524.jpg IMG_20190107_183539.jpg

7th January 2020 - Via Francigena
Nicorvo to Garlasco
Woke to find a foggy morning which was not great for the first 1.5km of a road walk. Most of the day was on tracks through fields beside irrigation channels, and it was eerie as I could hear farm machinery but with the fog couldn't see the tractors working in the fields. Glad of stops in Mortara, Tromello and Garlasco for coffee and lunch today to get out of the cold and fog. My accomodation for the night is just beyond Garlasco in a centre called Exodus, it works with young men with drug addictions. They have developed pilgrim accomodation which was decent (it was better when they switched the heat) and meals are taken with those resident
20200107_084720.jpg 20200107_150435.jpg 20200108_075435.jpg
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the first week of January 2010 on the Camino Frances.

Leaving was a crazy; Bill and I were up well before dawn to drive to Paris and my TGV to Bayonne. After our goodbyes and a cold delay, it was minus 7 Celsius, the train eventually left. All went well through the frosty French countryside until an unscheduled stop near Poitiers!

Ice was frozen on the tracks so the train waited for 1 1/2 hours until all was cleared. Needless to write many connections were missed including mine! The rolling hills between Bayonne and St Jean Pied de Port could not be glimpsed in the winter night.

Arriving at 10pm I stayed at 39 rue de la Citadelle with the Amis du Chemin de Saint-Jacques; luckily their office stayed open for late arrivals. Unfortunately their regular Albergue is undergoing renovation for this new Holy Year 2010 so Mme Jeannine, the famous hospitalera of the past years was not on the scene. St Jean Pied de Port just wasn't the same without her.

Four other pilgrims were there; all guys from Austria, England, France and South Korea. We five shared an ad hoc "common dorm" in the office plus breakfast offered by the Amis.

Last night, January 7, I stayed at the very comfortable municipal albergue in Valcarlos. New and well designed it is a great improvement from the old spot which was tucked between two public loos! I was the only pilgrim and slept for 12 hours!

Valcarlos, a Spanish village close to the border and within the Pyrenees, is named after a legendary battle. When Charlemagne (Carlos) fought the Moors and lost he retreated to a valley near here. Hopefully I will NOT need to retreat!

January 8, 2010

Today was a 6 hour slow trek to arrive at Roncesvalles monastery. Wind, ice and snow made the climb up the Ibaneta pass along the road extremely tiring. I am pooped; it was quite a slog at 70 !

A young guy from Hungary and 4 Spanish are also in this small unheated winter albergue entered through the monastery passage which leads to the church. We six attended the traditional evening vespers service.

Now on my bunk I worry not only how deep is the snow and what is tomorrow's forecast? But, as always, I wonder how this new Camino, shall go?
.....

Outside is this winter wonderland.

Winter Wonderland.jpg
 
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mspath

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Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
To Trinidad de Arre on the Camino Frances
January 11, 2010

Frozen%20path%20Trinidad%20de%20Arre.jpg



Yesterday was 20 cold, lonely kilometers across the mountain along the road in light snow. Hidden under ice and snow the Camino was far too dangerous to even consider. All I saw were a few horses and snowplows. Arrived at Zubiri by one pm which was great time considering the weather! Stayed in the very comfortable Pension Usoa where I have been twice earlier. The kind owner hugged me tightly before she showed me a warm, comfortable room.

Tonight the monastery at Trinidad de Arre is another story. It is freezing! The monk hospitalero who met me at the door was wearing a quilted ski parka and knitted cap with ear flaps resembling a wintery Michelin man.

I am the only pilgrim and not in the summer albergue barn but have a tiny cell behind the altar with blankets but NO heat. Arriving here was difficult for the path was slick with ice. Hopefully I will be able to sleep since the monks have brought me a tiny electric heater. ...Bingo the electricity has just blown! It will be a frigid night so I'll wear my wooly hat, leggings and 2 shirts. Looking forward to the relative warmth of dawn tomorrow.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
To Cizur Menor on the Camino Frances
January 12, 2010

Last night in Trinidad de Arre five minutes after the monk plugged in the heater all the electricity blew! It was a frigid black night.

This morning ice covered Pamplona.
After a brief cathedral visit I slipped and slid across the city. Many local people were falling and so did I!

Following the CF west parallel to route N7027 on a foot bridge over railroad tracks I fell. Luckily I landed on my backpack but slid on the hard ice. After grabbing a bush to pull myself up I slowly/cautiously continued to the Roncal albergue in Cizur Menor.

Cizur Menor 12.10.2010.jpg

A few Spanish guys and I shared this chilly dorm.

Cizur Menor.jpg

We all ate together at the nearby Asador El Tremendo. As always the friendly welcome, blazing fireplace and copious/delicious inexpensive menu del dia were great!
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
To Tiebas on the Camino Aragonés
January 13-15, 2010

Due to the icy conditions I left the CF at Cizur Menor following route NA 6000 SE to Campanas, then NA 121/calle Ozelaia to Tiebas. Located on the Aragonés Camino this small hill-top town has a huge quarry.

After walking 14 km along slick roadsides I entered Tiebas shaking. On the calle Mayor a helpful fellow offered to carry my backpack, pointed out the municipal albergue located in the town building at # 42 and suggested that we quickly go to the nearby bar in the Centro Social de Tiebas, at # 34.

Tiebas.jpg

The cheerful lady barista explained that in winter I could stay at the albergue as long as I wished. She quickly prepared a hot meal while telephoning the town engineer to come turn on the heat. Both she and he were most surprised to meet/greet a grey haired American peregrina walking alone in winter!

When we three went to the albergue they explained the layout, how the heater worked, how to lock the door, and lent me a key. After a hot shower cosy in the nicely warming space I took a siesta which lasted until dawn!

January 14 mid-morning the engineer returned to check the heat which then felt almost tropical compared with glacial Trinidad de Arre or chilly Cizur Menor! However I did not complain. He stressed that later in 2010 the municipal albergue would move to a new installation at # 18 calle Mayor.

Tiebas .jpg

During lunchtime in the cafe/Centro these two French pilgrims entered; they had begun the Camino Aragonés at Somport. We three happily shared snowstorm stories while enjoying hot Arroz Cubano and local vino tinto. They left in a hurry hoping to sleep 17 km further west in Puente la Reina/Gares.

I spent two more nights here; writing, reading, and resting in the albergue plus enjoying copious meals at the Centro Social. ..The gentle kindnesses of those in Tiebas is another unforgettable example of authentic camino caritas.
 
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mspath

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Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
To Eunate on the Camino Aragonés
January 16, 2010

Relatively revived after two full days of rest in Tiebas I planned to continue on the Aragonés to Eunate and then rejoin the CF at Puente La Reina/Gares.

Walking west on the CA through Muruarte de Reta and Olcoz to Enériz I stopped for a welcome hot chocolate at the tiny Meson El Camino on calle Mayor. Filled with sportsmen this hyper macho spot was a warm oasis in the January cold.

I followed calle San Juan/Camino Aragonés across frozen fields paralleling route NA-601

hidden path to Eunate.jpg

to a tight right turn into the almost hidden back path towards the splendid circular Eunate church.

Eunate, 16.01.2010.jpg

My first glimpse of this wonderful place "lost" in the ocher countryside was as always a thrill. However I was shaking with pain from the simple act of walking.

Unfortunately the church and albergue were closed for winter. Beneath a chill drizzle I gave thanks for seeing this beloved spot once more. Weeping I slowly hobbled on to the Padres Reparadores albergue in Puente la Reina/Gares.

By taxi next morning I returned to Hendaye, France, and then to Paris on the afternoon TGV wondering when I might be able to continue. ...
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Avila railway station. 12 January 2018. A short visit to the town on my way to Bejar where I spent the night in a small hostal. The next morning I restarted my VdlP walk which had been cut short in October by osteoarthritis in my knees :( That's what finally pushed me into using twin trekking poles - something I had resisted for years!

IMG_20180112_091430.jpg
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the second week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 16, 2008
to Saint Jean Pied de Port

This morning I set off on my 4th camino walking in winter for the 2nd time.
Bill drove me to the Paris/Gare Montparnasse where he took this photo before we said our goodbyes.

Gare Montparnasse 16.01.2008.jpg

I rode the morning TGV train to Bayonne. After a few minutes of emotional shock and slight depression at being alone the five-hour trip went quickly. At Bayonne I changed to the tiny two-car TER train for Saint Jean Pied de Port.

Only 2 other passengers were on that local train; both were men. Each sat separately facing me with a huge backpack, wearing new hiking boots and looking slightly apprehensive. Of course I asked them if they were going to Santiago.

Thus began a happy easy chat in French, Italian and English. Polo, was French, 61 years old and only spoke French. Mario, was Italian but understood English. I speak French but understand simple Italian. Thus the 45 minute ride passed quickly/rapidement/rapidamente !

Upon arrival in SJPdP I realized that these guys were not very camino savy so I quickly explained the importance of finding/following yellow arrows as we made our way up the hill to rue de La Citadelle.

Since it was winter the offices of the Amis du Chemin were closed but a sign directed us to #55 , their municipal albergue.

Saint Jean Pied de Port, 2008.jpg

Openng that albergue door, as always, began for me a new camino adventure. Mme Jeannine, the tireless hospitalera greeted us and kindly as ever made us supper. Serendipity prevailed. Such shared serendipity is a precious gift; this extraordinary flourishing of human spirit helps make the camino incomparable

We 3 were the only pilgrims and would sleep in the same co-ed dorm. The two guys repacked their bulky packs several times once they realized how compact mine was!

Snuggled in.my sleeping bag I felt very content to be back once more in this special place as I fell asleep pondering the route and days to come.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the second week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 17-18, 2008
to Valcarlos and Roncesvalles

We 3 got up early. During pre-dawn breakfast with Mme Jeannine a local gendarme came to tell her and us that since weather conditions were dangerous in the high mountains the Napoleon route should not be used but the Valcarlos alternate was viable. I in turn assured the gendarme that I had always walked via Valcarlos in the past and would definitely do so today. Mario and Polo agreed to follow his suggestion.

Just after dawn we hoisted our packs and slowly meandered across SJPdP.

towards Valcarlos.JPG

With great excitement we spotted this small sign on route D933 marking the turn for the Valcarlos/Luzaide path. After crossing farmland and small hamlets at Arnéguy on the old French/Spanish frontier we stopped for café con leches and, of course, the simple pleasure of sitting on a chair. Since the weather was grey we walked single file facing traiffic on the verges of Spanish route N145 and not the forest path up to the Valcarlos municipal albergue.

Valcarlos 2008.jpg

As before I asked for the albergue key in the Ayuntamiento/town office next to the drugstore. Set between two public lavatories at the municipal playground this dorm space was small but clean with a tiny heater and plenty of hot water

After 3 welcome showers we ate a
hearty late Spanish lunch in a near-by resto and bought food for supper and tomorrow since there are no shops/stops until Roncesvalles and we hope to set off early.

January 17, 2008

Today was the first long hard slog of this camino. Leaving Valcarlos as dawn broke it took 5 hours to slowly climb up the N135 route following the many switchbacks in rain/sleet to the Ibaneta pass, at 1057m. Once this was the medieval route through the Pyrenees with an early pilgrim hospice at the pass; today this small modern chapel marks the spot.

Ibaneta pass.jpg

Panting at the top, exhausted and elated we 3 then "floated" happily down the road to the monastery. What a wonderful relief!

Roncesvalles monastery has been welcoming pilgrims since the 11th c. Tonight we 3 plus 2 Spanish guys are sharing the small winter dorm. There are bunks for 16 but only one loo. All will attend mass and the pilgrim blessing at 8pm followed by the communal pilgrim dinner. ...I feel fine but tired ie. appropriately pooped and proud.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the second week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 19, 2008
to Zubiri

Predawn we 3 left Roncesvalles walking in winter starlight. The camino paralleled the N135 road but passed through a wood and crossed a stream. Polo and Mario walked the path; I walked the left side verge of the road while carrying a small flashlight so traffic could see me and I my feet.

We remet for breakfast in Burguete at the Bar Fronton, calle Zubiarte, 13. Open early every morning and very pilgrim friendly it is easy to find at the back of the plaza next to the only church. Within their complex is the local fronton court. They keep a big ledger of pilgrim signatures/dates; we added ours and I found mine from years past .

After a very hearty breakfast Mario who had only 4 weeks to walk decided to go as far as possible before nightfall. So we all shook hands and Polo and I wished him Buen camino as he strode west. (It would be one year until our paths crossed.)


Burguete.jpg

Near where the morning light is shining in this view of the Camino Frances/route N 135 Polo and I regained the pastoral CF path. Unfortunately the farm fields were semi frozen and cattle crossings slick with ice. Within the wood the path was pure mud, every step difficult.

After sliding down the Alto de Erro we continued on the verges of the N135 roadway and not the CF, arriving at the edge of Zubiri early afternoon. Ouf!

Paulo and I, plus a "lost" young Spanish couple, stopped for the day in Zubiri at the Pension Usoa, calle Puente de la Rabia, 4.

Zubiri 19.01.2008.jpg

This was the only accommodation open that cold January afternoon. Warm and cosy it was a bargain 14€ for a single room, free use of washer/dryer and a full kitchen .

The town name means bridge in Basque. The medieval bridge crossing the rio Arga was visible at the end of the street.

...It had been an exhausting day; 22 km in winter mud is not a walk in the park.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the third week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 20-21, 2008

to Trinidad de Arre and Cizur Menor

Following the path along the river Arga Polo and I were surprised to find Coke machines at several medieval bridge crossings!

Trinidad de Arre.JPG 20.01.2008.jpg

We stopped at the Marist monastery in Trinidad de Arre where I had stayed earlier. Scenically located on the Ulzama riverbank, the monastery had been an important pilgrim refuge throughout the ages.

albergue, Trinidad de Arre.jpg

Dorms were in this refitted barn within the simple monastery garden. All was cold with no ambient heat but since we were the only pilgrims there were plenty of blankets for tucking below and above each sleeping bag.

Before settling in we walked 3 more blocks (!) along the calle Mayor to Villava for a delicious copious meal at the friendly Club de Jubilados on the placa Consistorial. Pilgrims was also welcome at this club for seniors; since were were senior pilgrims they treated us royally with double portions, lots of wine and shots of local booze after coffee. The total bill was 10€ for 2; of course we added another 10€ in thanks.

January 21, 2008

Next morning we walked to/ through the city of Pamplona.

Pamplona.jpg

Entering via the puente de la Magdeleina then strolling along the paseo Vergel we passed this Baluarte de Redin/Guadalupe.

A baluarte/rempart/bulwark is a structure which projects outward from the defensive curtain wall of a fortification. Facing north towards France this is one section of the once extensive five-pointed-star-shaped 16th c. citadel.

Like most cities and towns along the trail the urban development of Pamplona is closely associated with the history of the CF. During the Middle Ages ‘burgos de francos’ or independent neighborhoods were settled by former pilgrims.

21.01.2008.jpg

Late morning we paid a lesser entrance fee for pilgrims by showing our Credentials to visit the cathedral interior and separate Gothic cloister; both were filled with priceless treasures.

albergue, Cizor Menor.jpg

Later it was an easy walk on sidewalks to the private Roncal albergue in Cizor Menor. Not too much heat however and a cold shower. The young Spanish couple from the Zubiri pension are also here; eating together at the Asador El Tremendo across the street we four planned to walk on together tomorrow.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the third week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 22-23, 2008

to Eunate and Puente La Reine

In the cold dawn we 4, ie. the young Spanish couple, Polo and I, returned to the Asador El Tremendo for breakfast at the bar. I suggested that we could avoid climbing up/down the looming Alto de Perdon via a 25 km 'walk around' to Eunate and Puente la Reina which I had followed in 2007 using small roads.

All agreed. We left the CF at Cizur Menor following route NA 6000 generally SE across farmland and a few hamlets .

near Campanas.jpg

This giant haystack screened our mid morning "loo stop". After walking roughly 14 km we arrived at Campanas early afternoon. A busy truck-stop resto, the Casa Teré, served us a great menu del dia. Due to knee discomfort the Spanish couple decided to taxi onward.

Polo and I continued walking SE on NA121 to NA601 joining the Camino Aragonés near Ucar. Across frozen fields at Eneriz we followed the calle San Juan/Camino Aragonés.

hidden path to Eunate.jpg

to a tight right turn into the almost hidden back path towards the splendid Eunate church.

Eunate.JPG

Lost in the countryside this small, octagonal Romanesque structure is mythic. The destinctive design may be based on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Luckily the adjacent albergue had just opened for the 2008 season; Polo and I asked if we might stay the night. Jean, the French hospitalero, invited us to enter and join him and 2 local friends for late afternoon "tea".

22.01.2008, Eunate.jpg Eunate.jpg

The ambiance was wonderful as we ate delicious goodies and shared much camino gossip in French !

Early evening we 5 visited the church by candlelight and held an almost silent prayer service; all was transcendent, truly beyond this world.

...Later in the albergue applied to the dark dorm ceiling a phosphorescent band of stars, a Milky Way, could be seen leading westward...Magic

What an extraordinary day it had been!


January 23, 2008


After breakfast Polo and I thanked Jean for his gracious hospitality. We then slowly walked along the camino path pausing for this last look at Eunate.

last view of Eunate.jpg

Built by unknown craftsmen one thousand years ago the ocher stones blend with rolling nearby fields now planted with corn and fennel. Here one senses the eternal peace of paradise. ...Silently I prayed that I might be back another year.

It was difficult to shift gears and return to the ordinary world as we walked the 4 km to Puenta la Reina and settled into the albergue run by the Padres Reparadores. Located next to the Church of the Crucifix; pilgrims have been welcomed here for centuries.

23.01.2008.jpg

We enjoyed a copious menu del dia at the La Conrada restaurant, 17 Paseo de los Fueros, which parallels the camino on the south. Polo went to find the post office to send unneeded gear back to France. I, emotionally exhausted, returned to the albergue for a hot shower followed by a siesta.
... Any sightseeing could wait until tomorrow.
 
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mspath

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From my blog for the third week of January 2009 on the Camino Frances

January 25, 2009
to Zubiri

Walking for safety on the verges of the N135 roadway and not the CF, I had trudged down alone from Roncesvalles monastery amidst the snowy trees like some storybook character.

Mid afternoon I arrived exhausted in Zubiri; the Pension Usoa offered warm and cosy accommodation. Taken at the pension through a window both sides of calle Puente de la Rabia frame this snow covered view of the nearby medieval bridge across the rio Agra .

snowy Zubiri.jpg
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the third week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 24, 2008
to Estella


Freshly squeezed orange juice was a treat this morning when Polo and I ate a tasty breakfast at a cafe near the famous bridge in Puente La Reina.

Puente La Reina-Gares .jpg

Once crossed the still Arga River reflected double arches thus creating an illusion of a bridge on circular supports.

A local fellow also admiring the river view suggested we walk via route NA 1110 to Maneru since the immediate camino path was very muddy. We did and at Maneru rejoined the camino crossing vineyards .

Cirauqui .jpg

However the most difficult camino section was after a cold picnic facing this multi-lobed door of the Cirauqui church. We followed a curved tree-lined path to climb/crawl across

leaving Cirauqui.jpg

the precarious "steps' of irregular stone on this Roman "bridge". Nerves wracked it was vital we used our sticks for balance!


towards Lorca.jpg

Happily near Lorca the path was easier/broader following antique cart routes and crossing this (restored) Roman bridge.

Estella , cross.jpg

Late in the afternoon this view was taken as we walked on the CF into Estella on the south side of the river Ega. Set amidst small conical hills this beautiful sandstone town dating from Roman times mainly developed in the 12-13th c. due to the ecclesiatical/commercial importance of the camino.

Estella 24.01.2008.jpg

After 21 km muddy and very tired Polo and I arrived at the Estella municipal albergue; we would be the only pilgrims that cold winter night.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the third week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 25-26, 2008
Los Arcos and Torres del Rio


Los Arcos

Just after sunrise the cold air, clear sky and no wind were a perfect combo for walking! We had a sip at the Irache winery fountain but did not wait in the cold for the monastery to open. However we did have a delicious full breakfast at the nearby Camping Iratxe cafetería/resto. Heated (!!), clean, cheap, and pilgrim friendly, it was great.

As we followed the CF for 21 km the landscape changed; snow-topped mountains on the north under a cobalt sky in a golden light were splendid.

east of Los Arcos.jpg

Much in Los Arcos was closed for winter; the only albergue open was a private mistake on the far side of town. At least their shower worked. However Polo and I had a very good menu de dia at the resto/bar Mavi near the bus station at Carretera La Serna 2. It waa simple place and filled with locals which is always a good sign. Servings were copious They also rent rooms (!!) which could be handy next year.


January 26, 2008
Torres del Rio

Today was an easy 14 km across orange earth and vineyards under cloud cover.

Torres del Rio.jpg

This picturesque hill town, has an octagonal Romanesque church, Santo Sepulcro, similar to Eunate. Some historians link it to the Knights Templar who protected the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem; others link it to the nearby monastery at Irache. Whatever, it is a small gem.

26.01.2008.jpg

We are staying in the same private albergue, Casa Mari, as I did in in 2004 and 2007. It is a comfortable place with only one drawback. The showers/toilets, although modern are outside off the open patio! Hence any night need is always a bit complicated especially in winter.

Two charming Spanish pilgrims who speak French are also here. Both find my name Marguerite a riot when recalling old French movies featuring a determined cow so-named known for wearing a floppy straw hat, with cutouts for her ears. I might get a straw hat. Not sure about the cutouts though.

By the way, Polo, my walking companion could be described as a contemporary Jean Valjean from Les Miserables. He has done it all. However, he could not easily be here without a shepherd(ress). So as I show him the camino he shows me basic survival skills. Best of all we laugh a lot.
 
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mspath

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Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the third week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 27-28, 2008

Logroño and Najera


The CF west of Torres del Rio would cross a deep ravine described on maps as mataburros or the mule-killer. Polo and I avoiding that strenuous trail followed the NA 1110 road to/through Viana.

After another 10 km this gentle woodland CF path paralleling route N-111 would cross the regional boundary between Navarra and Rioja.

entering Rioja.jpg

However it would still be a long slog along the camino Viego de Viana to cross the Ebro river on the historic stone Puente de Piedra bridge and enter busy urban Logroño.

Logrono 27.01.2008.jpg

Entering the city via the bridge we stayed, as I had before, at the municipal albergue located on the CF at rua Vieja, 32.

Logrono.jpg

In the midst of an historic district the albergue was spacious and urbane. Several interior spaces were decorated with camino art such as this life-size tired pilgrim sitting by the main staircase. Within each dorm bunks were grouped in small nooks; with dark blue fleece blankets folded on each. All was chosen with care and very comfy...The two Spanish guys from the night before were the only other pilgrims.

January 28, 2008
Najera

In the morning we stopped at the Iglesia de Santiago el Real. Best seen from the calle Santiago the bi-level Baroque door front depicts Saint James in the two different guises associated with his hagiography.

Santiago el Real, detail 1%0A.jpg

On the lower level he is a gentle pilgrim wearing a broad brimmed hat and cape, holding a staff and shell. In this image, which is the more common, he has become his own pilgrim.

Santiago el Real, detail 2%0A.jpg

The upper level depiction is as Matamoros or Moor slayer. As a valiant warrior he rides a spirited white horse beneath which lie slain Moors. The Matamoros is associated with a 9th c. battle site at Clavijo where the Spanish king while fighting the Moors saw in the sky an apparition of Saint James on horseback. The Spanish were victorious and, thus, began the Reconquest of Spain. Of course, in today’s ecumenical and/or politically correct world this depiction is a no-no.

After pondering these depictions it was with relief that we started to stride west. Just leaving the sprawling city took an hour. We great relief we arrived at the Parque de la Grajera where la Cabana del Tio Juarvi, a simple cafe/resto was open for a second breakfast and a loo.


Navarrete, cemetery.JPG

Entering Navarrete we had passed ruins of a medieval pilgim hostel and on the west of the hilltop town this doorway from that medieval hostel had been repurposed as the cemetery entrance. Nearby is a recent memorial to a Belgian pilgrim killed on the road.

Navarrete, memorial .jpg

Finally after walking 27 km Polo and I arrived in Najera. Ouf! We both were pooped.

Sited along the river Najerilla at the base of high, red sandstone cliffs and caves. The Arabic name means place between the rocks. The town’s major monument is the medieval monastery of Santa Maria la Real, now a museum.

Nájera, monastery.jpg


At the municipal Najera albergue which holds 100 there were only 4 pilgrims, the 2 Spanish guys, Polo and me. Polo cooked a good hot dinner for all including the hospitalero.

Najera 28.01.2008.jpg

Afterwards we all went to bunk early. I was so tired that I could hardly write my diary/blog!
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Today (29 January 2022). Between Monesterio and Fuente de Cantos. I really enjoy seeing these Extremadura mojones. Partly because of the design on top - the VdlP passing through the Caparra arch. But even more because unlike the Galician ones they are a great design for sitting on. A blessing indeed at times :cool:

IMG_20220129_094741.jpg
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the fourth week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.

January 29, 2008

Santo Domingo de la Calzada


west of Najera.jpg

Leaving Najera the early morning light was golden, the sky blue and in the southern distance snow covered the peaks. Surprisingly late in the morning the trail crossed a brand new golf course and upmarket, but empty, Tempora mutantur!

After 21 km Polo and I arrived in Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

Domingo after whom the town is named was an 11th century hermit who devoted his life to improving the local pilgrimage route, ie. the calzada. Buried here, he later became a saint and the village took his name. Due to a later medieval local legend of a young pilgrim's life being saved through the assistance of immortal chickens Sainto Domingo himself is usually depicted accompanied by such birds.

Sainto Domingo .jpg

This historic coop complete with chickens (changed every two weeks!) Is within the cathedral

historic chicken coop.jpg

and over time chickens have become THE symbol of the town.

In the 12th century a local confraternity, the Cofradia del Santo, was formed to help/host pilgrims as they still do today.

 Cofradia del Santo%0A.jpg

In 2008 within the attic of their historic building, calle Mayor 42, this small albergue
was accessed by climbing a steep Renaissance staircase.

old albergue.JPG 29.01.2008.jpg

Basic facilities included beds for 20, blankets, hot plate, kettle, one shower/ toilet combo and very erratic heat. It was too cold to even consider a shower.

We chose bunks along the interior partition, not against an exterior wall, since old walls are often uninsulated/frigid; a cozy 'sandwich' for sleeping was made by folding a blanket in half the long way, placing the sleeping bag on top of the bottom half and pulling the top half over all.
 
Last edited:

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the fourth week of January 2008 on the Camino Frances.


January 30, 2008
Granon

This morning the albergue was truly freezing. We got up very early. After relishing a HOT breakfast in the relative warmth of a nearby cafe, we visited the church and heard the famous chickens crow.

Then it was a short 6 km walk to Granon and the wonderful albergue within a tower of the church of San Juan Bautista; It is a remarkable stop. The door is always open with a sign which reads "Welcome pilgrim, make this your home". Each time I am here I want to stay forever!

Granon 2008.jpg

As pilgrims besides Polo and myself, there were a two Swiss guys and a young Canadian couple. The hospitaliero was a young polyglot Spanish fellow; his girlfriend was Latvian. They cooked us a wonderful supper.

fireplace, Granon.jpg

Afterward it was a treat to sit talking together by the blazing fire and feel warm.

Just before bedtime all attended a prayer service in the church; behind the altar the magnificent 16th c. gilded retable was glowing. ... Truly memorable.

Now after such a glorious vision we pilgrims have gone to bed or more accurately to our floor mats on the mezanine.

...Once again authenticity, honesty and true ‘caritas’ made Grañón unique

Might it always be so.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From my blog for the fourth week of January 2008

January 31, 2008
Belorado


Castille and Leon, sign.jpg

Sad at leaving Granon we walked west along a winding frozen path. This tall signpost marked the entry into the next autonomous area, Castile and Leon

font, Redecilla del Camino.jpg

Sheltering from the cold wind we stopped briefly at Redecilla del Camino. Within the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de La Calle the 12th c. baptismal font handsomely represented the towers/windows of Heavenly Jerusalem

folkart, Redecilla del Camino.jpg

A simple 21st c. window facing the church on the calle Mayor aka Camino Frances was decorated with a folkart cutout depicting either a Knight Templar or Saint James as Matamoros(?).

Although the baptimal font and the cutout spanned almost 1000 years both shared their craftsman's intense desire to espress an ideal.


Vilorio de Rioja.JPG

Despite the relentless wind we continued walking. At Viloria de la Rioja, the birthplace of Santo Domingo, we stopped for hot coffee and a chat at the Refugio Acacio & Orietta. The hospitality of this Brazilian/Italian couple was generous and their multi lingual camino library outstanding! Next time I'll stay longer and read.

After 15 km crossing several hills and walking parallel to the highway N -120 Polo and I arrived at Belorado, a riverside town which seemed rough edged and unfinished.


Belorado 31.01.2008.jpg

Only one albergue was open. Private and spotless it proudly advertised recently available "free Internet" but lacked human warmth. What a difference it was compared to the unique atmosphere last night in Granon!
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Today. Last day of January. Los Santos de Maimona. Almond blossom in an olive grove. Reminded me of walking in Japan during the sakura season. If anyone still thinks that a winter Camino must be all cold and wet and darkness.... :)
IMG_20220131_101855.jpg
IMG_20220131_101211.jpg
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
Almond blossom seems to be unknown outside of Spain. When my daughter was on secondment in Madrid, she took us to see the sakura-like spread in parks local to Madrid, like this one.

 

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