Walking in Spain along the Camino Ignaciano from Loyola to Manresa, and the Camino de Invierno from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela

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Friday, 30 September 2016

A rest day in Tudela

Tudela might be a small town, but it's big in history.  We arrived here yesterday, and have spent the day having a rest. I have spent some of the day at the physio, where I had my tendonitis (Achilles) treated.

What has been happening over the past few days?  I walked alone into Calahorra, a very old town, and sadly, somewhat decrepit.  I was alone because neither Pam nor Julie wanted to walk it, and I decided I didn't really want to sit around waiting for the train to come, so off I set.
Leaving Alcanadre and the obligatory " shadow" photo!
A little further on I was still enjoying the vistas of vineyards.

The first few kilometres were quite pleasant.  The air was cool, the light was great, with interesting clouds colouring the sky.  Then the path crossed the freeway, and for many kilometres I trudged alongside it, trying not to let the traffic noises distract me!  Phillipe, the French pilgrim, didn't like it at all - but I guess the similarities with home made me feel more comfortable.  He complained about the dust, but each time I hit a patch I just thought "it's not as bad as bull dust - nearly, but not quite!". It was about a 20km walk, and I was there long before the others arrived.

Calahorra was quite modern walking into it, with many new apartment buildings, but in the old town it was a different story.  There were many buildings in disrepair, some only just standing, and quite a bit of graffiti.  At the same time this was a fascinating place.  Very narrow streets, ancient, crooked, buildings but with plazas interspersed throughout.
Pam & Julie heading towards the cathedral in Calahorra.
and on the way we passed these little statues of Don Quixote, and his jovial companion.

Many races live here, and as Julie and I returned to the albergue we heard the Muslim call to prayer, and leaving the next morning, as the bells peeled, we heard the call to Mass.

We stayed in the Franciscan Albergue where we paid a few euro extra for sheets (much better than a sleeping bag), making it €12 each!
The view from the albergue window in Calahorra.

The next morning we set off fairly early, walking down past the cathedral.  It was lovely looking back at the town in the clear morning light.  On this Day, fortunately, we had decided we were only going to walk to Rincón de Soto and from there we planned to catch the train.  I say fortunately, because, with only about 5 kms to go, I was struck down with severe tendonitis.  I wasn't aware of it prior to this, and so it's appearance was all the more surprising for me.  I hobbled into town, where we found a pleasant bar to have so refreshments and watch the world go by.  We spent a pleasant couple of hours here before heading to the train station.  On the train we caught up with Phillippe, who had decided that he was walking at all that day.  He, like us, planned to have a rest day in Tudela.
Leaving Calahorra
On the road - with Calahorra getting ever more distant.

We have spent our rest day eating, exploring, and resting!  It is a novel experience to have a siesta, but all three of us observed the customary couple of hours siesta!  Mind you, having my legs and feet massaged for an hour or so at the physio was very relaxing too!

This town is full of history.  It is one of the places that crop up in Spain, where for centuries, Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived in peace, each considering those of a different culture.  Leaders of each community would attend important functions / events of the other.  Writing this makes me quite sad - where have we gone wrong?  Why can't we have that same concern, tolerance, acceptance, and understanding of others backgrounds.  It existed once - will it ever again?  Enough of the sermon - onto other things!
Arriving by train at Tudela
The main square in Tudela, which was once a bull ring.
The stork's have taken up permanent residence in Tudela, having abandoned there migratory instincts for security.  Feathers can be seen everywhere.

Just one of the narrow streets in Tudela.

I had a lovely time here, despite my discomfort.  In part of my wanderings I visited the Cathedral.  There was no one in the Cathedral at the time and so I asked a young priest if I could sing - "of course" was his response.  Thus I can say I have sung in Tudela Cathedral!
The Cathedral cloisters.....
...and just a small portion of the huge building 
The patron Saint of the city - Santa Anna

This is such a friendly town.  Last night as I was hobbling through the square the woman from the tourist office rushed out to ask me how I went at the physio, and just now, as I was walking to a bar for lunch the lovely woman who served me at the Cathedral Museum stopped on her bike to ask me how I was.  She heard me sing and it gave her Goosebumps - I'm taking that as a compliment!

This blog post has been written over two days - I hope you can follow it ok.  I'm off now to catch the train and catch up with Pam and Julie.  Till next time......

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