Puente la Reina to Estella**

Apr 1. Day 6. 22.2 km. Departed 0753 hours, arrived 1530 hours.

This morning almost turned into a desert experience. We had taken the buffet breakfast but it appeared this was just a fare of a glass of orange juice, coffee and a pastry. Not buffet by any stretch of imagination or creative advertising copy! We had accepted this fare in good faith, like most of the early ones.

A trio of ladies turned up after us, and insisted their buffet breakfast should be more than this. After a while, they were served additional yogurt, plates of cheese and meats, and eggs being scrambled for them. One of them came to inform us of this. Hmm…. we thought if we could get some scrambled eggs, that would be good protein for the walk. So, I stood there at the counter trying to get the attention the single staff member. It was so infuriating as that staff member ignored me. I let out a cuss when I went back to sit with Joon.

One of the three ladies, Sam, noted our predicament. She then offered to share something from her table (they were served so much). We took only a yogurt each. Later, when we met on the trail, I had deduced that their buffet breakfast was tied to their hotel rate, while our’s was tied to our albergue rate. This was confirmed, and thus, there wasn’t a double standard in play.

I realized there was a learning opportunity in this event. Unfortunately, each of us have the ability to cuss. It may lie inches or fractions of, beneath our skin. It may be easily triggered or not. Our emotions are elephant-sized and will usually overwhelm the rational man-sized rider. It seems the key is never taking it personal, plus some deep breaths.

There seemed to have been a light drizzle over night as the roads and pavements were drenched. We brought our rain jackets as a precaution.

We walked our slow leisurely pace across town. We passed and entered the Iglesia Crucifigo, where there was a lovely modern interpretation of the crucification.

Modernistic interpretation

The Old Bridge out of Puente la Reina.

The Camino turns left immediately after the bridge, but Joon’s comment about the bridge, prompted me to go to the right after the bridge. Which resulted in this very beautiful picture.

There was also a home that fronted this river with some lovely gardens.

The whole day turned out to be overcast. We took off our rain jackets and enjoyed the cool walk throughout the day. It was blissful.

The open countryside. Quiet. Peaceful.

I enjoyed the various color layers in this scene.

We passed both olive trees and young vineyards. The green layers are wheat fields, shorter than usual due to the poor rainfalls.

Lingering rain drops! Joon on trail path.

Loved how the midst came down the mountains.

The valley is so beautiful, the cultivated blending so artfully with the wild.

More than a handful of homes in the town Cirauqui proudly displayed their family crests on their front walls.

Here’s a sampling.

This is an ancient Roman road that persists to this day! Much easier and gentler on the knees to walk on the modern path next to it.

A rest area with benches, books, eyc to rest a bit. We rang a bell as we entered this section.

Here is the man who set it up, Ivan. He runs a small free willing stall to raise enough money to continue expanding his property and cultivating the olive trees!

Coming to the boundary of the town, Villatuerta.

Joon had suggested framing this picture with the tunnel arch!

As we neared Villatuerta, I noticed this small olive tree orchard had branches being pruned.

Gardeners prune trees so that the nutrients and energy goes to the remaining branches for a more fruitful harvest.

Perhaps pruning ourselves of ‘bad’ attitudes, mindsets and behaviors will also lead to more fruitful lives, no?

This was an old fortress.

Statue of St James

Eagle Eye Joon spotted this weather vane in one of the earlier towns.

We checked into our B&B lodgings, and we’ll have a rest day tomorrow. Let our joints recover. Let our hearts and spirits soak and marinate.

There is much to gain if we can empty more of ourselves.

Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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