Friday, October 2, 2009

Onwards to Cirauque

I got up around 6:45 am because it was impossible to sleep longer with all the packing noises from the other pilgrims, even thought I had not slept well at all - first night without sleep aid, and it seemed the beds were especially noisy at this albergue, so I could hear whenever anyone in the dorm turned!
After packing up in the dark, I set out in the early morning with just a hint of light - the sun does not rise until about 8:15 am at this time of year in Spain. Once I was out, I must admit it was a beautiful morning, and I cheerfully set out on the detour to see the Octagonal church in Eunate. - I enjoyed to walk there, and it was pretty well marked. I could see the church in the distance, so it was not hard to find. When I reached the small, pretty church I sat down at a bench outside the little Albergue there and ate my left-over bocadillo from the day before. It was still good, and would have been even better with a cup of coffee! Then I headed back to the Camino - or so I thought - the way marking was not very clear, and I headed in the wrong direction, up a steep hill - then realizing this could not possibly be correct as the path ended in wooded wilderness! Oh joy - now my poor knees had to take me back down again! Well, I eventually got back on the Camino, and soon there was a bar where I could get a cefé con leche and a cold Gaseosa - sort of a sports drink, and just what I needed to lift my spirit again. I continued on towards my destination for the day - a small mountain village that sounded lovely according to my guidebook. - I enjoyed walking through Puenta de Reina, where I bought a peach and a nectarine, before I headed out over the medieval pilgrim bridge over the Rio Arga, built by royal command in the 11th c. and then up the little mountain towards the village of Cirauque.
It was getting hot, and I finally used the cooling neck tie Janicke and Erik had given me - later I also used it to cool my knee - a really handy little thing!
When I reached Cirauqui I was ready to get off my feet, and I was happy to find the Auberge Maralotx after a bit of searching. - It was so lovely, situated right across from the church, and a delightful and friendly hostelier who spoke English. As she welcomed me she told me to leave earlier, and not walk in the hot afternoon sun! Her concern was heart-warming! As I stepped in to the dorm room I was even more delighted to see Sarah from the day before, as well as Jane, whom I had met several times, but last I saw her was the night on the floor in Zubiri! We hugged like long-lost friends! That´s the Camino spirit!
After a shower and laundry I took my nap, and then enjoyed the lovely patio where I wrote my notes and just enjoyed the late afternoon in another lovely little Spanish village.
That evening we had a great dinner downstairs in the cloister-like cellar room, and the tables were set according to what language we spoke, so I was at the "English" table with 2 Canadian couples from Vancouver Island + an Austrian guy, Sarah and Jane and we had a lively conversation as we ate our way through an excellent pilgrim´s menu of Cream of Green Vegetable Soup, Spagetti w/Vegetables and Meatballs in a delicious sauce, yogurtwith fruits for dessert, copious amounts of red wine, bread and water. A great evening in a lovely setting, conversations in many languages, and lots of laughter!

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