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, 3 October 2016

Hobbling into Zaragoza!

We are now in the wonderful City of Zaragoza, but I will talk about that at another time.  For now I will cover getting here.

The last time I posted was in Tudela, just prior to me heading to the station to catch the train to Gallur.  Pam and Julie had left in the morning, planning to meet me on the train and then for us to stop at a small village called Gallur.  We were successful up to arriving in Gallur, but not for stopping, as we discovered that the rather delightful albergue was closed, though we couldn't establish whether just for the weekend or for the season.
The albergue at Gallur - in the old station house.  The albergue was closed but we made use of the bar until the train was due.  At the station itself we had to wait to cross to the platform on the other side until the station master told us to cross.

This meant we had to sit and relax for 2 hours until the next train.  We then set off in the early evening for Alagón.  A strange place.  Once, like many places along this stretch, a thriving small town, but now with closed industries.  It was a mystery as to what the industry was near the train station, with huge chimney stacks, massive buildings, and now home to some very large stork's nests.
These derelict buildings were obviously part of some large industry, now they'qt awre home to the storks.

We wandered through the town eventually finding a very nice hostal for €50 for the three of us.  We managed to persuade the hostal owner to provide dinner at 8.00pm.  There were two other pilgrims staying (having walked from Arles, in France), and they too must have been able to persuade him that they required an earlier dinner.  It was good to meet some other pilgrims, they are few and far between on this route.
An early morning departure from our hostal opposite this church.

We divided the walk into Zaragoza into 2 days.  This meant it was manageable for all of us, and especially for me as I hobble slowly along!  The walk from Alagón has been through some very intensive horticulture and agriculture.  Crops such as corn, cabbages, Vines, fruit trees and so on.  There have also been some lovely crops of Lucerne - some nearly ready to cut, others already mown.  The River (Ebro) was off to our left, and we always had the magnificent cliffs on that bank to watch.
The path from Alagón.......
......past many irrigation chanels.  Note the large fungi on the tree, below the yellow arrow, that Julie is studying.
We always had the cliffs to look at

In this region I have noticed a lot more Adobe buildings.  We passed one the other day which looked as if it was in the process of maybe being preserved - certainly being more cared for.  Not all Adobe buildings and walls have been obvious though as a lot have been rendered.  I noticed it because some of the render had either been chipped away or was falling off.
An Adobe wall.....
......and a small Adobe building which appeared to be being restored.

From Alagón we walked to the village of Utebo.  A leisurely drink at the bar in the square gave us plenty of time to study the magnificent church tower.  That evening another party was in progress here - what a surprise!  This one was to do with a bike race.  We got front seats at a cafe, and saw the race begin.
The church tower in Uterbo.....
......and some of the detail on it.
Just some of the people at the party in Uterbo.
On the way to Zaragoza, looking back at Uterbo.

It was a lovely walk into Zaragoza.  There were fields to meander through at first, and then the last 5 kms took us along the banks of the Ebro. This was a well defined path, jam packed with walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Julie pauses to look at the Rio Ebro...
.....and she walks amongst the many out walking on a Sunday afternoon.

Zaragoza is a lovely City, but I don't have time to tell you about it now - will do so next post.

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