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LIVE from the Camino Phil and Janet brief diversion to CF to attend a party

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hi all,
We have been walking the Camino Aragones, but received an invitation to the 25th anniversary party for the Hospital de Peregrinos de San Juan Bautista just before we left for Spain. Since we would be in country, we could not say no, so we are deviating a few days and will return to the Aragones July 4. If you want to read about our journey so far you can see this thread. Thread 'Phil and Janet on the Camino' https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/phil-and-janet-on-the-camino.75598/
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Today we took a bus to Zaragoza and then the train to Logrono. We are staying in an Air BNB to wash laundry and prepare for three or four days walking to Grañón for the celebration.

We arrived about 5 pm, got checked in and did some shopping. Today I lost my beloved white sun shirt somewhere in the Zaragoza station 😢. Also we have been having ATM trouble in Jaca. Phil spent 30 minutes on the phone with the bank today and they suggested we try banks in Logrono and also avoid the "touch" option and physically stick the card in the machine.

Success on both fronts!!! After 2 stores, I found a suitable sun shirt for walking (I hate the feel of sun screen) and we were successfully able to get money from an ATM!

We are not in a Camino area so no early supper, but we bought a freshly made pizza from Giselle's and came home and celebrated by doing laundry and making tomorrow's bocadillos. It was lovely to see everyone out on this summer evening in the park/plaza. Young and old alike enjoyed a drink at a cafe or a good run in the park.

Tomorrow we will head out early. Not supposed to be too hot until after 2 pm and the next day much cooler. Ou goal is Ventosa. But we'll stop in Navarette if Phil can't go further. We will decide tomorrow and look for beds when we make a decision.

One piece of news, the Zaragoza bus/train station is marvelous. You do have to pay a euro to use the bathroom though. The Huesca station is also a bus/train combo and free bathrooms that were very clean. No bathroom at the Jaca bus station . The Logono train and bus station are finally combined and bathrooms are clean with soap and paper towels!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Long way to Navarette today. Too long with more than 5 hours (12-13 km). Phil's still really struggling. We have tried the 'walk your own Camino' thing for a few days now which involves me going my slow, but steady pace and Phil going his much slower pace. I watched him coming into Navarette from far away and it was just painful to see.

I spoke to a Dutch couple on bikes who had stopped to offer him water because he looked so distressed to them. Sadly that is just the normal look for right now.

I booked us a private room at Albergue Camino de Estrellas right at the edge of town so he would not have to go further. Incidently we are the only people staying here as of 3:40 pm and all the bunk rooms and other private rooms are empty so there is no bed race to Navarrette at least. The hospitalero said it is usually slow at this time of the summer. Very nice albergue. The associated restaurant is not open, but it would be perfect if it was.
I am sitting on the shaded back patio enjoying a cool breeze hatching a different plan for tomorrow.

I checked the bus schedule and I think tomorrow we will take a cab to Najera in the morning, eat breakfast, see the church, and then walk the 6 km to Azofra. Tomorrow we will walk together and chat to see if that helps him focus on something besides the discomfort.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Today we took a bus to Zaragoza and then the train to Logrono. We are staying in an Air BNB to wash laundry and prepare for three or four days walking to Grañón for the celebration.

We arrived about 5 pm, got checked in and did some shopping. Today I lost my beloved white sun shirt somewhere in the Zaragoza station 😢. Also we have been having ATM trouble in Jaca. Phil spent 30 minutes on the phone with the bank today and they suggested we try banks in Logrono and also avoid the "touch" option and physically stick the card in the machine.

Success on both fronts!!! After 2 stores, I found a suitable sun shirt for walking (I hate the feel of sun screen) and we were successfully able to get money from an ATM!

We are not in a Camino area so no early supper, but we bought a freshly made pizza from Giselle's and came home and celebrated by doing laundry and making tomorrow's bocadillos. It was lovely to see everyone out on this summer evening in the park/plaza. Young and old alike enjoyed a drink at a cafe or a good run in the park.

Tomorrow we will head out early. Not supposed to be too hot until after 2 pm and the next day much cooler. Ou goal is Ventosa. But we'll stop in Navarette if Phil can't go further. We will decide tomorrow and look for beds when we make a decision.

One piece of news, the Zaragoza bus/train station is marvelous. You do have to pay a euro to use the bathroom though. The Huesca station is also a bus/train combo and free bathrooms that were very clean. No bathroom at the Jaca bus station . The Logono train and bus station are finally combined and bathrooms are clean with soap and paper towels!
Phil spent 30 minutes on the phone with the bank today and they suggested we try banks in Logrono and also avoid the "touch" option and physically stick the card in the machine.
My ex wife told me a long time ago that yes technology can be your friend but especially when traveling it can be your mortal enemy too. She believes and I do too that try to do things as un-technologically as possible. Simple is better especially far from home. That also includes for me, having to ATM cards and also only taking money (whenever possible) from a bank ATM when it is open. Just in case the machine is hungry and wants to eat your card. I also call twice (I know this is overkill) before I go to make sure my bank and my credit card company knows where I will be and for how long. My credit card company tells me that if I pay for my plane ticket with the card they automatically unlock it. But I still call to make sure.
Can't wait to get on the Aragones in October. Then I have to decide which camino after I get to Logrono!!!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I can’t remember a camino high season in which so many forum members have posted very openly about their challenges and difficulties. Whether it reflects an uptick in injuries or just a more open attitude about sharing the bad stuff, I think it says a lot about how the forum is supportive, sympathetic and full of good wishes for the best possible outcome.

Hoping that Phil‘s ailments dissipate and that you both party party party to the fullest in Grañon!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
We had a lovely cool day to walk. We took a cab from Navarette to Najera, had breakfast and walked the 6.5 km to Azofra. We walked together and it was a pleasant journey full of rabbits, sheep, a mother quail and her chick's, grapes, and flowers. It was only about 60 degrees and overcast.

We had an early lunch with some other pilgrims at Bar Seville which the first regular hot meal we have had since we cooked for ourselves last Saturday. All others have been bocadillos, salads, potato chips, tortilla, etc

We are staying at the Azofra Municipal, which we love. It has 2 person bunk rooms, a great kitchen, washers and dryers, and both an indoor and outdoor common area. We are all set to make macaroni and cheese for supper and I bought stuff for tomorrow's bocadillo lunch.

I made a reservation with Jacotrans to ship Phil's pack to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. We have a hotel reservation there at the parador (across from the church) which we also love and there is a great laundromat nearby.

Phil seems much better today and is in good spirits and it was nice to walk together in the cool countryside. We spoke to locals and used our Spanish and all seems right with the world again.

We just met Emily a forum member who posted about her dad missing his glasses so if you see them on your journey, please respond.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Nice meal with new Camino friends at the albergue last night. I made some real macaroni and cheese and although there was no oven to bake it, the stove top version is also good.

We did ship Phil's pack, but he still struggled today. In the end I even carried his day bag so for the future I need to put more of my stuff in his pack to ship so mine is not so heavy to carry. We stopped at the golf course in Ciruna and bought two expensive diet cokes so we could eat our bacadillos in the shade and use the bathroom.

We are getting a pilgrim rate at the paradore with the big breakfast tomorrow. It was 151 euros. We have stayed there 3 times now and this is the biggest room yet with a sitting area. I am enjoying a white wine on the terrace outside the laundromat while washing clothes. Phil had to stay in the room because I am washing all he has. I also went to the bank and our cards work here, too, Yay!

Tonight we will go the grocery store as the invitation says we will bring a bocadillo to the party tomorrow and the albergue will provide cake and wine. I have an apartment rented in Grañón so we won't be sleeping on colchenettas, but can still join with the party, then help later with supper, go to mass, and stay for the oracion.
 
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Nice meal with new Camino friends at the albergue last night. I made some real macaroni and cheese and although there was no oven to bake it, the stove top version is also good.

We did ship Phil's pack, but he still struggled today. In the end I even carried his day bag so for the future I need to put more of my stuff in his pack to ship so mine is not so heavy to carry. We stopped at the golf course in Ceruna and bought to expensive diet cokes so we could eat our bacadillos in the shade and use the bathroom.

We are getting a pilgrim rate at the paradore with the big breakfast tomorrow. It was 151 euros. We have stayed there 3 times now and this is the biggest room yet with a sitting area. I am enjoying a white wine on the terrace outside the laundromat while washing clothes. Phil had to stay in the room because I am washing all he has. I also went to the bank and our cards work here, too, Yay!

Tonight we will go the grocery store as the invitation says we will bring a bocadillo to the party tomorrow and the albergue will provide cake and wine. I have an apartment rented in Grañón some won't be sleeping on colchenettas, but can still join with the party, then help later with supper, go to mass, and stay for the oracion.
I did need a laugh, and you have made it happen! I hope Phil had a nice cold drink too! have a great time. Maybe send Phil along with the pack tomorrow... I am serious.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Made the short walk in 1 hr 45 minutes. Enjoying an agua con gas in front of La Concha. In the 2018 the owner used to send her kids up to us in the albergue to get small change on the weekend when the bank was closed. The daughter appears to be working the counter now.

Bought a new sun shirt in Santo Domingo with a collar and that launders easier. Pricey, but a brand I know. Hospitaleros arriving and gathering now outside the church. Phil and I hope to check in and change clothes before the festivities begin at 2:30.

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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
What a wonderful day! When we arrived just before noon there were already hospitaleros arriving. We were the only Americans at the party, however, another American whose partner is a Spanaird was also there. I would say total there about 40-50 people.

Everyone brought a bocadillo or food to make bocadillos and there was way more than enough. Everything was set up on folding tables in the back courtyard under some trees and someone also brought a sun shade. One man, Carlos, brought his portable speaker and there was Spanish dance music playing. Lots of people were dancing and having lots of fun on this hot afternoon with sandwiches, wine, and water available.

We walked to to the bakery to get the special cake and were made to sing songs to pay for the preparation of the cake. So much fun!

Then we went into the coolness of the ancient church and a special video was shown with messages and greetings from hospitaleros from around the world. Afterwards it was time for mass and one of the former priests who was there for the party conducted mass since the current priest was tied up at his other job at the monastery in Santo Domingo. A young priest from Louisiana who is walking as a pilgrim also assisted in some borrowed vestments and his flipflops.

Afterwards Phil and I decided to cut out of dinner and the late meditation service as we were were still pretty whipped from the heat and the walk. We went back to the La Concha bar and at the next table was the young priest and some others at least one which was also a priest.

The young priest from the US was very happy to have been able to participate in the mass at this special celebration and he told me that he and the other priest only needed a handkerchief and they had all they needed to do a service on their own. Phil was glad to donate his clean hankie for their cause. (He always carries two, one for himself and one for a person in need.)

They asked us a lot of Camino questions and we told them some of the memorable albergues on the way they should consider. They asked about being volunteers etc. After they left, Phil and I shared a plate of patatas bravas, had some red wine, and walked back to apartment. We had done laundry earlier and so we brought that in from the balcony.

I am impressed with this apartment. 2 Br, 2 bath with full kitchen, large terrace, swimming pool, and a big living room. It is more than we need, but would be great for a family or pilgrims traveling together. (Mirador del Grañón on booking.com.) pricey but worth it to us right now.

We picked up the key at The Cuartel which about 100 yards away. Several years ago when these apartments were new, Phil and I talked about buying one even though it is totally impractical to live in a tiny farming community on the Camino without a visa or a job...

Tomorrow we catch a bus bach to Jaca and we'll transition back to the Camino Aragones so I will switch back to that thread in a few posts.

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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Just let everyone know that travel is crazy everywhere and not just where you live...

I was so glad I was able to buy advance tickets today for our bus from Santo Domingo to Zaragoza. It was a mob scene at the bus and only 5 seats available. Additionally a matronly woman was sitting in our assigned bus seats. She waived me off saying "no importa" when I asked her seat number and showed her mine. Phil and I just sat in the first two empty seats we could find, but she did finally move over and surrender one of the seats to another woman traveling with her complaining husband (who did not to wear a mask.)

The driver was a frustrated Indy car racer and I was pretty carsick by the time we reached Logrono. I also want to correct an earlier post on the Logrono bus station. It is still in the same location and HAS NOT BEEN MOVED to the new station after at least 3 years of building activity (probably hampered by the pandemic.)

The bus was crammed to the gills again on the way to Zaragoza, but the drivers did change and this one took a less hectic approach to the task.

At Zaragoza, I saw the Alsa ticket window was open on a Sunday evening and decided to buy our bus tickets from Javier to San Sabastian. At first the agent gave me tickets from Zaragoza to San Sabastian and had not heard of Javier, but her coworker assured her that Javier was in the system and I finallt got the tickets. After I got to my room and looked at the planned itinerary and reservations in San Sabastian, I realized they were for the wrong date so went back downstairs and had her change them again. This was all done in my rudimentary Spanish so I think I did OK.

We are staying tonight in the Eurostars hotel at the bus and train station since we have a bus to Jaca at 6:30 am. There is also some kind of little girls gymnastics team here with excited parents and grandparents so our check in took longer than it usually might. We are in our room now, showered and ready to go find a bite to eat. This station in Zaragoza really is a one stop shop with bus, train, restaurant and hotel in one huge station. Very convenient.

The plan tomorrow is to jump back over to the Camino Aragones thread so I will begin posting there again tomorrow. Our goal is Arres and we may cab part way since we will get a late start and Phil carry his pack tomorrow.
 

East Bay Pilgrim

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Frances
2019 Frances
2022 Del Norte
Just let everyone know that travel is crazy everywhere and not just where you live...

I was so glad I was able to buy advance tickets today for our bus from Santo Domingo to Zaragoza. It was a mob scene at the bus and only 5 seats available. Additionally a matronly woman was sitting in our assigned bus seats. She waived me off saying "no importa" when I asked her seat number and showed her mine. Phil and I just sat in the first two empty seats we could find, but she did finally move over and surrender one of the seats to another woman traveling with her complaining husband (who did not to wear a mask.)

The driver was a frustrated Indy car racer and I was pretty carsick by the time we reached Logrono. I also want to correct an earlier post on the Logrono bus station. It is still in the same location and HAS NOT BEEN MOVED to the new station after at least 3 years of building activity (probably hampered by the pandemic.)

The bus was crammed to the gills again on the way to Zaragoza, but the drivers did change and this one took a less hectic approach to the task.

At Zaragoza, I saw the Alsa ticket window was open on a Sunday evening and decided to buy our bus tickets from Javier to San Sabastian. At first the agent gave me tickets from Zaragoza to San Sabastian and had not heard of Javier, but her coworker assured her that Javier was in the system and I finallt got the tickets. After I got to my room and looked at the planned itinerary and reservations in San Sabastian, I realized they were for the wrong date so went back downstairs and had her change them again. This was all done in my rudimentary Spanish so I think I did OK.

We are staying tonight in the Eurostars hotel at the bus and train station since we have a bus to Jaca at 6:30 am. There is also some kind of little girls gymnastics team here with excited parents and grandparents so our check in took longer than it usually might. We are in our room now, showered and ready to go find a bite to eat. This station in Zaragoza really is a one stop shop with bus, train, restaurant and hotel in one huge station. Very convenient.

The plan tomorrow is to jump back over to the Camino Aragones thread so I will begin posting there again tomorrow. Our goal is Arres and we may cab part way since we will get a late start and Phil carry his pack tomorrow.
Hi! I’m trying to get from San Sebastián to Logroño but I don’t see Logroño on the Alsa page. Is there another bus line?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi! I’m trying to get from San Sebastián to Logroño but I don’t see Logroño on the Alsa page. Is there another bus line?
Since Janet and Phil are off enjoying their time as tourists, I will try to help out by saying that Rome2Rio shows that you need to take a bus from San Sebastián to Vitoria and then another bus from Vitoria to Logroño. If you have the time, and if you’ve never been there, you might want to spend some time in Vitoria, because it’s a beautiful city and the cathedral tour is unique.

Pesa is the bus company from SS to Vitoria. Website here.
Alavabus from Vitoria to Logroño. Website here.
 
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East Bay Pilgrim

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Frances
2019 Frances
2022 Del Norte
Since Janet and Phil are off enjoying their time as tourists, I will try to help out by saying that Rome2Rio shows that you need to take a bus from San Sebastián to Vitoria and then another bus from Vitoria to Logroño. If you have the time, and if you’ve never been there, you might want to spend some time in Vitoria, because it’s a beautiful city and the cathedral tour is unique.

Pesa is the bus company from SS to Vitoria. Website here.
Alavabus from Vitoria to Logroño. Website here.
Wow, thank you so much! Ultreia!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hi! I’m trying to get from San Sebastián to Logroño but I don’t see Logroño on the Alsa page. Is there another bus line?
We had a bit of a circuitous route today to Bilbao, because I waited too long and and there weren't any buses or trains with a decent departure time (not in the middle of the night or late in the evening). We took a train from San Sebastian to Miranda de Ebro and then switched to the bus to Bilbao. Looked like connections on the the bus to Logrono through Miranda de Ebro, too.

Our bellman at the posh Ercilla de Bilbao hotel today (where we are guests) recogized our Camino patches and was familiar with all the albergues where we have worked. He also knew Canfranc was recently remodeled and newly opened so we suspect he had Camino connections as a pilgrim, hospitalero or member of one of the associations.

Going to the Gugenheim tomorrow. Rooftop drinks tonight.
20220710_190034.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF; Le Puy; El Norte; Monastery Santo Toribio; Monasteries Yuso and Suso
Hi all,
We have been walking the Camino Aragones, but received an invitation to the 25th anniversary party for the Hospital de Peregrinos de San Juan Bautista just before we left for Spain. Since we would be in country, we could not say no, so we are deviating a few days and will return to the Aragones July 4. If you want to read about our journey so far you can see this thread. Thread 'Phil and Janet on the Camino' https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/phil-and-janet-on-the-camino.75598/
:)
 

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