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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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Arantzazu to San Roman

Today has been another mountainous day.  One longish uphill slog, and a mainly downhill run, with the odd short uphill thrown in for good measure.

Julie and Pam headed up the hill in the mist after breakfast, while I headed back down the hill to see the views I'd missed yesterday, and to visit the church, which I had also missed.  By the time I did my exploring I was an hour behind.  It meant though, that I was able to discard my raincoat before ascending and was much more comfortable.
The extraordinary church at Arantzazu.  The bell tower is the seperate tower on the left, and below a mix of concrete and stones in the cloisters.

Our room was in the big white hotel on the right.
A small portion of the amazing views ay Arantzazu.

The mist cleared as I neared the top, and I was able to get some reasonable photos.  As I left Arantzazu there was a crowd of young people gathering in the car park.  Some of them caught me up just over 5 kms later at the Ermita de Urbia, and the rest trailed in a little further down the track at the Refugio de Urbia.  It transpired that they were from an agricultural school on a school excursion - studying shepherds and the large flocks in the mountains.
A small part of the school excursion, taking a photo of themselves.
One flock of sheep we passed grazing in the meadows
After crossing the pass, the path was treelined.

The path all day today was wide and comfortable walking - except for the last few kilometres which were on bitumen.  The orange arrows which we'd been following were frequent enough to keep us on track, though as we came through the village of Araia they petered out for a while, keeping us on our toes.
A shepherds hut, complete with grass growing on the roof, and a couple of solar panels.
Pam and Julie partaking of a picnic lunch - where I finally caught up with them.

It was lovely crossing the meadows and hearing the various bells of the animals.  Old shepherds huts had a few mod cons - saw a solar panel on one.  There were photos at the Refugio, where I stopped for a coffee, showing some of the big snow falls they'd had in recent times.  This wouldn't be a place to visit in winter for me!

The last leg into San Roman was a treat because we kept passing pink crocus.  They brightened the way no end, especially as by the last few kilometres we were feeling pretty tired.  The other thing of interest for you Camino people out there was the way crossed over the Camino coming through the San Anton tunnel.  We actually followed both yellow (Camino de Santiago colour) and orange (Camino Ignaciano colour) arrows for quite a while.
Crocus in bloom.
The Camino de Santiago sign
This is where the other Camino joined ours for a while - the orange arrow above the yellow is not as easy to see.

This post was written a few days ago, but not published because of internet limitations.  I will try and do anther post tonight to bring things up to date.

1 comment:

  1. These landscapes are just amazing Janet- though I can understand why the body will be feeling so tired. Am enjoying watching this journey as you take us along!