Stage 5 – Puente La Reina to Estella

Stage 5 – Puente La Reina to Estella (Navarra)
Total Distance – 21.9 km
Adjusted for Climb – 23.4 km (accrued ascent 300m = 1.5 km)
High Point: Alto Villatuerta 510m (1,673 feet)

As I was photographing the bridge at Puente La Reina ( for which the town is named) I saw this man walk onto the bridge. I greeted him and asked if he’d mind taking my picture and he said yes. I also took his picture and we introduced ourselves. I asked if he’d like to walk together and he said yes. Little did I know that that simple question would lead to a friendship and 8 days on the Camino together.

Robert and I hit it off immediately. He’s from Melbourne, Australia and has the most Australian accent ( not my words but the words of a fellow Australian!) you will ever hear. We are about the same age and had a lot of things in common. We spent the rest of the day chatting while walking and enjoying life on the Camino. I told him that the Camino is one slow walk through Spain that must be enjoyed.

As we walked he told me of how his boots were stolen on his first night in Roncesvalles. The thief left a pair that had broken shoelaces and was a size too small. Robert, to his credit, rather than let this bring him down immediately got in a taxi and went to Pamplona to buy a new pair. In Pamplona he met some great people and also met some great people that he shared a taxi with on the return trip to Roncesvalles. In Roncesvalles he started his Camino anew! I have a great admiration for the way he turned this situation into a positive and certainly will emulate him if I face a similar situation.

In the pictures you will see the rolling farmland we travelled in rainy and cold conditions with the briefest interludes of sun. You will also see a Roman road, a Roman and a medieval bridge (between Cirauqui and Lorca) and an elderly Korean couple that we passed and then they passed us and then we passed them, etc.. My friends, Sechu and Vicente left me a present by the road. It said, “Don’t think about the pain, think about the kilos (pounds) lost” Also pictured is one of our favorite stops, La Bodega del Camino in Lorca (they had the best wine and olives!) Also, you will see a picture of Mat who is from the Czech Republic and currently living in New York City (my hometown!). Last is a picture of Robert and I having well-deserved dinner in Estella. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Stage 5 – Puente La Reina to Estella

  1. Mike Good to see your spirit remains high.  we are enjoying the posts.  Great you have made it halfway!  You have traveled more than you have to go.   Ray & Jeanine.

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