Day 7 – El Camino – Estella to Los Arcos

Estella to Los Arcos, today, we started the walk much earlier than we had previously. I woke at 6h00 to leave at 6h30. It was still dark in the hostel so I had to use my torch to see.

~5 hours by bus
1x 400mg tablet of ibuprofen, ibuprofen gel, scallop shell, 1x water purification tablet
overcast and cold in the early morning, windy and cold morning, sunny but cold in the mid morning, sunny and chilly winds in the afternoon
– Albergue: 10€

Just three of us today.

Aaron’s feet were still tender and covered in painful blisters, so he stayed back and later caught the bus over to Los Arcos, our next destination.

Our new friend, Samantha, began the walk with us today. We all started strong, making some six kilometres in the first hour, what a cracking pace!

Here is a photo looking from Estella to the Bodegas who produce wine.

We headed out of town, and according to the guide book there was a fountain for the pilgrims that dispenses wine! La Fuente de Irache is switched on from 8h30 each morning and allows the pilgrims to have a sip of wine to begin their trek.

Some pilgrims we saw later on the track were carrying full bottles of wine. They had brought empty bottles to the fountain to fill up, how bogan…

We passed an underpass that had “Bar” spray painted on the side. Though we weren’t really going to follow the sign, we were suspicious that there wasn’t actually a bar as indicated.

Here is my view today, once the sun came out.

My feet were aching, the soles mostly. I kept pushing through and caught up with Samantha and Matthew a few minutes later. We had a quick break and here is a photo taken moments before my spirit was broken.

I walked only another two kilometres before the pain in my feet became unbearable. I sat on the railing of a bridge and saw a sign painted on the rocks – three kilometres until Los Arcos. My spirit was broken.

I rested there for a while and let most of the pilgrims pass me. I had a wee break, and a pilgrim felt the need to call out to me – Buen Camino.

As I resumed my walk, the pain in my feet returned very quickly. I kept saying to myself that there were only a few kilometres left to go. I crossed a small wooden bridge and as I descended the steps on the other side I felt a sharp pain race up my left ankle. It was as if the skin of a large blister had split rapidly from the bottom to the top.

I stopped and removed my boot, thankfully there were no blisters. However, my ankle was huge and swollen. After my spirit breaking not moments before, this was the end of me. I shuffled myself along the track for the remaining two kilometres, it took me another hour to reach town.

I passed a pharmacy and bought some Ibuprofen tablets and Ibuprofen gel. This should help reduce the swelling in my ankle, feet and right knee.

We are staying in an albergue called, Albergue de la abuela, ‘grandma’s hostel.’ I will see how the pain is tomorrow and decide then if I will walk or bus to the next town.

To save money and not eat out, we bought some groceries and cooked at the hostel. What we made resembled Tartiflette, made with potatoes, bacon, egg, cheese, and fried onions. Here is a picture of us at dinner.

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