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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Monday, 26 September 2016

Now walking along the Rio Ebro

Leaving Logroño was just as I expected!  The night had been long and noisy, and as we left, the streets were still busy, with many people yet to head home!  We actually caught the bus out of the suburbs to the village of Varea, making life easier by not trudging along endless streets.  We shared the bus with at least 7 young people who had yet to get home from the celebrations!  Both Julie and Pam had a very poor night's sleep with the endless noise  from the street below, and even beyond our street.
The simple little church at Varea.

Each day brings a new treat.  The treat yesterday was coming into the village of Agoncillo.  We knew nothing about this village and the walk into the village itself seemed endless as we headed towards the Church, where we were hoping there would be a bar.  We not only found a bar, but a very old church AND a castle, complete with what was once a moat.
The castle, with its moat, and the church in the background at Agoncillo.

We had a lovely break watching the many people out and about on a Sunday, and those who were returning from what appeared to be a special mass.  There were throngs of people everywhere. Added to the surprise of seeing a castle where we least expected it, was my delight in seeing my first stork's nest on this trip.  They truly are a delight, so big, and usually several in close proximity.
Our lunch spot in Agoncillo
The church tower in Agoncillo, with stork's nests atop.  Note the ever widening crack between the tower and church building
Just a couple of stork's nests.

It wasn't all beer and Skittles yesterday though, as we had to contend with the noise of a very busy road for a few kilometres. We passed 2 female pilgrims from Norway and 2 males from Italy - all heading in the opposite direction. We heard from them about how good the albergue was in Arrúbal and I was quite glad that we had decided to push onto there as they were right, it is very high standard albergue, especially for a municipal one.  It even had television, on which Julie & I watched a fabulous programme of Basque music - lovely!
Walking towards Arrúbal.
The municipal albergue, below the church at Arrúbal.....
... and the church at night.
The view from outside the albergue, with clouds rolling off the mountains.

Today we set off in the cool morning air.  After a few kilometres we struck the Rio Ebro close by and it has been our companion on and off all day.  We have walked past vineyards, orchards, and fields of white asparagus.
Rio Ebro.

The real treat today though has been the vultures.  As we were heading towards Alcanadre, our destination for the night, we passed the Peñas de Aradon cliffs.  It is here that the vultures nest.  Watching them take off, and come into land on these cliffs was a special joy.  They are huge birds with a wing span of around two and a half metres and with a body length of about a metre.  Even from a distance of about 800 metres or so, we could clearly see them with the naked eye.  Watching them was quite a distraction as we walked!
Pam silhouetted in the morning sun.
Julie heading towards the Peñas de Aradon cliffs.
Just some of the white asparagus in a field at the foot of the cliffs.
The Peñas de Aradon cliffs were fascinating, no doubt comprised of very friable soil, but the vultures made them even more so (look carefully and you can see two atop this portion of cliff)

It is amazing that these massive birds can be seen so clearly from a distance.

Our notes said that the only accommodation here was in a little albergue, but over lunch we heard about la Casa Azul, the blue house (because it's painted blue on the outside) and that it was only €60.  We have opted for a bit of comfort, and some wifi!  We have done the washing, and tonight no doubt over dinner, we have some extra company as our fellow pilgrim Phillippe has just arrived.

1 comment:

  1. Janet, thank you for taking the time to post to your blog. I am enjoying reading it but knew from the beginning that it would be a mistake. Your photos and text have brought the itch to my feet and yet another route has been added to my now very long list.