A lot of our thinking about today was really about tomorrow, when we have a seriously tough day ahead of us. So we started today slowly with breakfast at our hotel, and stopped frequently along the way.
That approach made for a pleasant day. There were villages spaced a handy 5km apart to stop in. There was coffee, fresh juice, tortillas, and pastries to provide energy. There were some lovely churches and old bridges.
It was another pretty hot day. Noon in Spain isn’t until after 2pm and the Sun is generally on our left as we walk – so we are getting the feeling the left sides of our bodies are going to be well tanned by the time we finish. Quite a few of the towns have fountains and I am liking nothing better than soaking my hat under the water steam and then sitting it back on my head. It is generally dry again in a few minutes. The hottest part of the day is around 5pm and we are trying hard to be finished walking by 2 pm or so.
The walk today went through an increasing number of vineyards and olive groves. There are still a lot of huge wheat fields, but the cultivation is changing again. We are entering wine country.
One other thing was really noticeable – snails. I was pretty chuffed with a nice photo of a snail yesterday. Today snails were everywhere, there were so many they look like seeds or fruits on the plants.
Today we reached Estella by just after 2pm. I had a cunning plan to see if we could move on and knock 5km off tomorrow’s walk, but once Jennifer saw our hotel room, which I had forgotten I’d upgraded to a suite, she immediately vetoed the idea.
Estella is a lovely town arrayed along a river. There are several beautiful churches and many well-preserved, or even ancient, buildings. So many of the towns and villages around here are exceptionally pretty, it’s making the walk feel quite magical.
I’ve had a shower after a good day’s walk. I’m writing this sitting on a terrace beside the river looking at the ‘Prison Bridge’ which was originally built in the 12th Century. A Herron just lazily winged down the river and under the Bridge. It is quite idyllic.