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TREKKING — DAY 5

Puente la Reina to Estella — 15.5 miles

Both Dick and I still have queasy stomachs that we’ve had for a few days now and we simply don’t want to eat. Dick’s stomach is worse than mine because his is cramping quite a bit. Last night for dinner in the hotel all we wanted was a bowl of soup but we were not allowed to have one unless we purchased the full 3 course Pilgrim meal for 15 Euros each. We paid the price and ate a few bites of food from the buffet. The waiter insisted on bringing me the main course which he said was chicken. I pushed it around on my plate and ate two bites of what I thought was thigh meat. It actually tasted wonderful, but the thigh meat, instead of being dark meat was pure white. I later found out it was rabbit! The staff at this hotel, Hotel Jakue, had not been accommodating or friendly and this was the frosting on the cake!

Waking up this morning I lay in bed thinking how much I did not want to walk. My legs were sore and it was still hard to walk when I got out of bed. The plan now was that I would walk the Camino and Dick would take a bus to the next destination and have a hotel room waiting when I got there. That worked well for both of us.

We didn’t eat any breakfast and Dick walked me out of the hotel at 8 a.m. I started walking the Camino which was very well marked. No problems with getting lost today. The sun was already out and the sky was clear blue. It was windy and cool but I knew it would soon be hot with no clouds or shade on the path. The distant views of the mountains and adjacent fields were beautiful but the path was mostly in open areas with not many large trees for shade. I was walking through the hills and the path seemed to consistently go up a hill then down a hill, then up a mountain or two then down and up again. I stopped one time for a 5 minute rest but wasn’t having much fun on the path today so I just wanted to keep walking and get to that hotel room. Dick texted me that he had a room and he would meet me on the path. Relief!

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I had been walking for over 14 miles up and down mountains and hills, still on an empty stomach and just couldn’t figure out how much farther I had to go. Finally, I got another text from Dick saying I was almost to the river. Well what did THAT mean? I was too exhausted to even text back and ask. I passed the river, walked another mile and every corner I went around I expected to see a town or to see Dick. But NO! I was getting really irritated because I was so tired and I just wanted the walking to end. Finally, after I entered the narrow cobblestone streets of Estella and walked quite a ways and still didn’t see him I texted him and asked where he was. He texted back and said to go to “Find My Friends” and look at the dot where he was. Well, that did it!! Like I could even tell where he was from a dot on a map!  I texted him back and said, “I don’t care about any f…ing dot, WHERE ARE YOU? At that point I had walked 15.5 miles with no food and I felt like I couldn’t make it one step more. I sat down on a bench to rest for a few minutes, then started walking farther through the cobblestone streets of that darling town. Finally I saw Dick walking toward me. I took my backpack off and gave it to him to carry and we walked the rest of the way to the hotel. Once there I ripped off my stinky t-shirt, flopped down on the bed and slept for 2 hours.

When I finally awakened I knew I had chores to do. I had to shower, put on semi-clean clothes and then wash all the clothes I had worn that day. Having to do the wash by hand every day was a chore that just zapped my energy. But it had to be done. After a cold shower (yes, COLD) I washed my clothes in the bathroom sink, wrung them out, rolled them in a towel, stomped on the towel to absorb more water then hung them on the balcony to dry. Our room overlooked the cobblestone street and I didn’t even care that my bra and underpants were waving in the wind.

Just to backtrack a moment, at breakfast the day before, in Pamplona, Dick had met David and Eliza, a father and daughter who were doing the Camino together but they each walked separately during the day and sometimes didn’t even stay at the same place at night. David wanted to stay in hotels and Eliza wanted to stay in Albergues where she could meet young people her own age (23). David was an Orthopedic Surgeon and wanted to know all about Dick’s foot problems. Dick thought he and his daughter were just great, very personable and fun to talk to. So anyway, we ran into them in the hotel dining room the night before at Hotel Jakue and it was great chatting with them for a while.

O.K. getting back to the hotel where we were tonight in Estella. After getting all my “chores” done I asked Dick about the WiFi and when he went to the front desk he found out there wasn’t any. This hotel was in the old section of town and when Dick was looking for a room it was one of the last hotels that even had a vacancy. They told him he’d have to go to a restaurant that had WiFi if we wanted to use our computers. It was approaching 6 p.m. so we went out and walked around a couple of darling plazas where people were sitting outside eating. And who should we run into but Eliza. She was having drinks with a couple of other trekker guys. She and her father joined us later and we ended up having dinner with them, sitting outside on the plaza, talking until the sun went down and it was dark and time to call it a day.

Sent from Karen’s iPad