Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Camino de Santiago - page 3

A Pilgrim's Progress: Fr. Stephen Sanchez, OCD, on the Camino de Santiago – 2018 - page 3

July 19th

[NB: I'm writing these entries when I get a chance. I'm trying to write them before they all blend into one long memory. Its getting g hard to remember what day we are in. Forgive the spelling and grammar]

Before crawling into bed last night, Deacon Peter tended to Deacon Ron's blisters. Ron was suffering from some severe blisters that were lovingly cared for by Peter.

We checked on Ron's blisters then at 7am we gathered in the patio, prayed our Divine Office, prayed our pilgrim prayer and left Puente la Reina for a 27km walk. Once again we walked past the Church of the Crucifix (with the Y-shaped crucifix), the parish church of Santiago, and the Church of St. Peter which was unfortunately closed. Our destination would be Ayegui.

We walked past olive groves, fields of asparagus, wheat fields and hay fields. All along the way we found ourselves walking in between blackberry bushes which serve as natural hedges. Most of them were budding berries if we would wait a couple of weeks we would have fresh berries - but - we can't wait. Some areas are wide enough for 3 or 4 persons to walk abreast, other areas barely room for one person to walk through without brushing up against the thorny brambles of the natural hedges.

We also ran across huge fig trees many also just budding their fruit.

We came across a fig tree and as we searched the tree, an Austrilian couple (Richard and Errcilla) joined us and Errcilla'd sharp eye found a ripe purple fig. Between Richard's and my walking sticks, and Deacon Peter's hands we harvested the one solitary fig and shared it between the 5 of us. A delicious breaking of fig.

We past Mañeru and kept trudging on in the mystery of the journey. Through Cirauqi across an ancient Roman bridge, stopped at Lorca for coffee and on to Villatuerta through Estella and to Ayegui.

We stayed at a municipal albergue - San Cipriano - very nice accommodations. We had an entire room - 6 bunk beds - to ourselves. We showered and took a cab to back to Estella to have a 'typical' meal at a restaurant that was recommended to us back in Puenta la Reina - Casanova. We happen to arrive during a Renaissance Fair. Amid the bustle and hustle - and Google - we found the place.

We ate off the 'Pilgrim's Menu'. I had the 'typical' 1st plate which is a type of thick soup made up of carrots, onions, mostly asparagus and artichoke hearts and just the right amount of too-much-salt. The second plate consisted of small sweet red bell peppers stuffed with a meat mixture - Delicious! The dessert was a small delicious flan.

We took a taxi back to the Albergue - washed n dried our clothes to be ready for the next day; Dr. Peter once again tended to Ron's blisters, take our Advil, Tylenol cocktail and began the next phase of the World Cup Snorring competition.

- So far we have (Peter has) had to wash by hand only one night. The other nights we have had access to a washer and dryer. Prices vary from 1 to 3 Euros each - washer / dryer.

Leaving Puente la Reina
Leaving Puente la Reina
Uneasy Way
Uneasy Way
Villatuerta
Villatuerta

July 20th

Another early day - you don't want to walk for too long in the heat of the day.

We left Ayegui, we first walked past an ironsmith who is famous in the area. He has lots of symbols of The Way - interestingly he had some iron 'slugs' - you know, shell-less snails. That's part of the Walk - walking through some wetlands that seems like - in the words of Ron - 'a slugfest'.

Next we walked past the famous Water - Wine spigots near the old abandoned Monastery of Irache. There are two spigots - one that gives new wine, the other refreshing cool water. Tradition has it that the Benedictines of the old monansterywould take a sip of wine before travelling.

We walked another 5kms to Villamayor de Monjardín where we found a beautiful small chapel dedicated to two images of Our Lady.

We walked another 12 kms to Los Arcos where we stopped for a 'pincho' ( a 'pinch' of something) but which turned out to be a huge sandwich - apparently we ordered from the wrong menu - all of us doubted we would be able to eat it but it all disappeared!

We traveled on towards Torres del Rio. Leaving Los Arcos, the wind started to pick-up and the menacing clouds on the horizon got closer. The winds started to pick-up and we had another 5kms to walk. A few drops fell and I started praying to St. James and St. Michael the Archangel to watch over us.

Ron asked jokingly "If it starts to rain do we drop our walking sticks and come back for them later?" - they are metal - but a GREAT help in the walk. It started to drizzle and I pressed St. James - "Your are a 'Son of Thunder', keep us safe until we reach our lodging." There came a loud and long rumble of thunder. I chose to accept that as his answer in the affirmative.

We saw a town on the horizon but nothing else - there are supposed to be two towns near each other - Torres is 1km from Sansol. We were trying to make sense of what we saw.

Skies started to clear - thank you St. James and St. Michael and Our Lord! We started to go through Sansol and found Torres del Rio right behind and lower than Sansol. We found our way to our albergue 'Pata de Oca' - small private room with three twin beds and with AC and a private bath!!! We felt like we had won the lottery!!

We took turns showering - tended to Ron's blisters went down into the patio and had dinner. Then, BED!!!

Bushes along The Way
Bushes along The Way
Wildflowers along The Way
Wildflowers along The Way
View along The Way
View along The Way
Villamayor
Villamayor
Retablo in Villamayor
Retablo in Villamayor
Detail of Retablo in Villamayor
Detail of Retablo in Villamayor
Romanesque Arch - Los Arcos
Romanesque Arch - Los Arcos
Los Arcos
Los Arcos
Saint Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Paul
Saint Paul