Stage 6 – Estella to Torres del Rio (Navarra)
Total Distance – 29.1 km
Adjusted for Climb – 30.1 km (accrued ascent 370m = 1.8 km)
High Point: Albergue Monjardín 650m (2,132 feet)
Today’s hike was over a scenic route over mainly natural paths. Two highlights early in our walk was the Irache Wine Fountain (for us Peregrinos!) and the Benedictine Monasterio de Irache (both are pictured). When Robert and I arrived at the wine fountain we were accompanied by a cyclist who said that he didn’t drink wine. You’ll see what he ended up doing and he also called his friend so that he could watch us on the Internet. At the Monasterio monks had served Peregrinos since the 10th Century but that ended in 1985 due to a lack of novitiates. Now the Monasterio is a museum. The church here dates from the XVI Century while the Gothic cloister is from the X Century.
We had learned the previous night from our host that there was a truck race in Los Arcos our final destination and that a place to sleep would be difficult to find. I called ahead and found it impossible to get accommodations in Los Arcos so we had to book an Albergue in Torres del Río, 8 km past Los Arcos.
When we got to Los Arcos we took a beverage break in the town square opposite the church. There we encountered some Spanish friends that Robert had made in Pamplona. They were the lucky ones because that had found a place to stay in Los Arcos.
Because of this lack of accommodation for us we did the last 10 km in 2 hours even with my blister giving me constant pain!
As we were doing these last 10 km we noticed that there was a car that would dart ahead of us, stop and go into the woods, then it would repeat the process at least 4 times. Robert began to get suspicious, what was going on? When we got to Sansol we needed a break so we stopped at a small grocery shop. As we were getting ready to go in the shop what should arrive but the car that was making all the stops! It turned out that the man in the car was the owner of the shop and he had been collecting his dinner! He had some beautiful wild mushrooms and as we relaxed in his shop drinking some soft drinks and eating chocolate he gave us the recipe for the mushrooms he was to cook. It also turned that he was the Mayor the village of Sansol.
Torres del Río was only 1 km away and when we got to our dormitory in the Albergue we found that we were sharing it with a group of 3 Aussie girls and 2 American boys that had formed a group and were going all the way to Santiago. They were a nice bunch of kids in their early 20’s.
I also found myself in excruciating pain from my blister after I took my boots off. Luckily one of the Aussie girls was a nurse and she was consulting with Robert as he drained my blister with a needle. Afterwards the nurse gave Robert and Me foot massages!
In the pictures you will see Antoine from Belgium and Dori from South Africa. The towns pictured are Villamayor de Monjardín, Los Arcos, Sansol and Torres del Río. I’ve also posted a picture of my lovely blister!!