11-07-2011 Cirauqui – Estella

A new day, new chances. At the camino every new day means again walking. Today I’m going to walk around 27 kilometers.

I want to start about things which I didn’t mention before. First the 2nd day.

I was walking with Marcelo and Cess towards a drink vending machine. No, they already were there. Anyway. I walked towards them. I wanted something sweet and a coffee. I had noticed from a distance this was a Nescafé branded vending machine. I didn’t had enough coins. A pity I thought. I wanted to have a coffee badly. I choose a croissant with chocolate because I still had enough water but nothing to eat. Just when I wanted to start to eat my croissant Cess said the machine was giving back money. It appeared to be all my money I paid for the croissant, 1.30 euros to be exact. What a luck. Now I had the coins for getting me that highly wanted coffee. Funny isn’t it? Back to today…

I woke up really late today, around 7.30. I thought this was caused by the conversations on the phone and messages of yesterday. Because of this I went sleeping late. The breakfast was 3.50 euros and delicious. Fresh orange juice, a nice coffee and 2 toasted slices of bread with nice marmalade.

In Puente la Reina I went inside a church were they were doing a service while I came. Beautiful to witness this. There was a group of handicap people walking. They all had a blue t-shirt with the logo of International SOS. I asked a woman in Spanish if she could please explain me this. She told me that International SOS, an insurance company, paid all expenses so the volunteers and handicapped persons could complete a 4 day long camino trip. I was thinking that it looked hard for those people. The roads on the camino are not really wheelchair friendly. Especially when you are going upwards a hill. I have to admit that I was a bit jealous when we went downwards the hill and some of the group were overtaking me with a fast speed. But again… you immediately start thinking… Be happy to be healthy. Every advantage has his disadvantage. It was beautiful to see they had a lot of fun. Beautiful to experience those different feelings and emotions and also to see it in perspective.

The first part walking was hard, I think I had not enough rest yesterday. After walking a while it was going better and better. I met a couple. Gerda and Gerard from Zwolle. It was nice to speak with them a while. We arrived at a village names Cirauqui, were is supposed to be an old Roman way. It was indeed looking beautiful and old. It’s difficult to imagine that more than 1.000 years ago also pilgrims were walking on this road towards Santiago de Compostela.

After walking a while I started to speak with a nice girl from Bremen. She was at the camino with a studentfriend, Santos was his name. She told me that her name was Jantje and she was 18 years. A real Dutch name she said. Indeed it was. I found her a nice and attractive woman and I estimated her 25. She is going to study after the camino. She was cheerful, attractive and a bit young. We had some nice conversations while walking. Very personal. She was especially interested in my Spanish history which came emotionallly more and more to the front. I decided to keep it friendly and not loose the focus of my camino. I certainly learnt from this experience.

Just a bit before I arrived in Estella a Swiss couple warned me for sunburning my neck. I checked it and it was indeed burning a lot. I went to the shadow and put some protection lotion on me. They also offered me to help me but I said I could manage it by myself. They also asked me if I had fallen before. I said no. Later on I understood their question. My cap which I used for protecting me against the sun had become dirty and they ofcourse thought I had fallen because of the dirt on my cap. Nice to notice people asking how you are. You feel clearly that you can walk the camino alone without being alone. If you compare this to the girl in China of 2 years old which was killed in an accident while mor than 15 people who walked and saw her did…. nothing… a big difference.

When I arrived in Estella I saw a lot of ETA slogans written on the road. I made a photo of 1 : “You are not in Spain”. Strange sensation. From the nature to the politic center of Spain. While walking the camino you are not exactly thinking about politics. In this way you are forced to be aware of the real world.

The albergue cost 8 euros. 5 for sleeping,2  for the breakfast and 1 for the blankets. I had to go to the 2nd floor. I had chosen a nice spot which afterwards was being taken. So.. changing again… What happens… next to my new bed there is an outlet! Yeah now I can charge my iPhone. Especially because I want to keep the phone standby tomorrow for Natascha. I had eaten in the bar “Alday” in Estella. I just had to walk over a bridge and there was this bar located. I had to pay 10 euros for nice macaroni, meat with fries and a nice flan.

I wanted to calculate how many kilometers I had walked till now. After calculated I estimated I had done around 104 kilometers in 5 days. Sounded not much but on the other hand it’s 20+ km per day. I had the idea I walked more.

I got a nice SMS textmessage from a Spanish girlfriend. She asked me to pray for her everyday, she needed this. While she before the camino told me she didn’t believe anymore. Specially for her the video Losing my religion R.E.M. and here the lyrics of the song Losing my religion R.E.M..

I enjoyed a Fanta Orange on a terras… € 2.30 !!! That’s a lot if you compare the prices of the albergues and some vending machines which charge you € 1.20. Anyway I was enjoying the terras and the sun. I took the time for calling with Natascha. I took a beer for enjoying a bit extra…. 3.30 euros!!! Ok, not exactly camino prices but it tasted well.

Gerda and Gerard asked if they can join me. We spoke about the nice things here. They asked me about a nice restaurant. I had indeed already eaten and speaking Spanish was helpful at finding nice restaurants. I had found 2 nice restaurants where I saw Spanish customers eating. I eat with one myself. Nice diner and well priced. I was able to charge my phone and the TV showed the news. Before and after the diner I did some writing my diary.

I went back to the albergue. Time to check the laundry! I met Cess. She asked me if I was joining with them for the diner. I said no because I already had eaten. After I checked the laundry and put my diary back I was thinking I could join them even if it was for just a drink. When I went outside I saw Cess on the end of the street. The complete group (Cess, Marcelo, Solenne, Huib and Marcelo) start waving to me. When I came near Cess told me : “Changed your mind?”. Yes, drinking one is possible, isn’t it. They asked me where I had eaten and I told them the bar “Alday”. Was not bad. We started walking towards Alday while I told them the menu. Huib told me he had a bad knee injury. Really bad news. While the women and Marcelo when to a pharmacy when Huib and me to Alday to take a table. We talked about his injury, the camino and our lives. Huib told us later that he had spent 96 euros the last 2 days because of his knee. That was a shock compared to the normal camino budget. The ladies were also telling they had exceeded their budget a lot. I was thinking I had to become careful as well.

According the guide of Huib we had walked 117 kilometers till now. The other lists did measure only from sealevel while his book was counting the actual walked distance in kilometers. This meant if we still keep this pace we had to walk another 27 days. So I was ahead of schedule. Especially if you think experienced pilgrims told me that the last days your pace is becoming better and you can walk more kilometers than when you started. We shall see. I was now thinking I was walking a lot of kilometers a day. The pace is nice. It’s nice to walk alone and later on the day see familiar faces. Everyone experience different things and emotions which you share without shaming with your fellow pilgrims. This is a nice gesture of the camino.

It’s 21.30 or something. I’m going to read a bit and then sleeping. My phone is charging. Tomorrow an exciting day. Natascha is getting her operation at 14.00.

I had made an error in my calculation. 123.8 kilometers, that’s 24.76 km per day. 661 km / 24.76 km = 26.69 days. Still around 27 days. Matches Huib his list. So it’s around 25 km per day. I didn’t believe this is possible when I started the camino.

Photo galery:







Old roman way during the Camino








Old Roman path during camino








1000 year old church








ETA You are not in Spain leus








32 degrees around diner time







In front of the albergue








Estella with moon