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Album: photos:20021026

Monreal - Puenta la Reina/Gares
26 October 2002
Day's km: 30.5
Overall km: 463

Jose beat me out by an hour and a half at least. I finally started hiking around 09:30. It was a 31 km day or so that started to get a bit long by the time I arrived in Puenta la Reina/Gares.

From Monreal to Tiebas I sped along. The path mostly followed the contours of the sierra above the valley floor, but there were innumerable small ups and downs never really more than 100 meters at a time but it sure added up. The views north while hiking toward Tiebas offered glimpses of Pamplona. I had intended to visit, but the Camino Aragones joins the main pilgrim trail west of Pamplona and I found that I do not really have a lot of extra days so Pamplona will wait for another day. Tiebas had the remains of Teobaldo I's 13th century castle on a rocky promentory. I took lunch there on a ruined staircase while I contemplated Luis.

I had caught up to him and was within easy shouting distance, but I decided that I could just catch up to him again after my light lunch. Really I was just finishing my breakfast sandwich and water and taking some pictures. I did in fact see him again after I was done and even before I left town. He must have taken a short rest break somewhere in town also. Again I was catching up through the crooked streets when fate separated us again - perhaps for good. At the edge of town he took the road to the right, but I spent more time looking around the poorly waymarked junction before deciding on the left route. Soon I saw a blaze showing I picked the correct way, but he was long gone. I assume he more or less followed the road, but he is not in this albergue so I have no idea what happened to him. Perhaps he stayed in Obanos.

This is a total culture shock. I have been hiking the Way of St. James for 20 days and have seen only 5 pilgrims. Most of that time has been spent alone in lands with people I barely understand. Now there is a horde of pilgrims of every description. The albergue is filled with the sound of English, French, and German. Some Austrians are singing their national anthem and the sounds of a harmonica comes off the porch. At this table are Derrick a rather eccentric New Zealander and world biker, Pascal a young German, Jacquiline a Canadian biker, a Japanese woman whose name escapes me at the moment, and another German whose name I should remember too. There are also a pair of Australian girls floating around too. Mainly it is Spanish, French, Austrians, and Germans. Across the street is the ancient cathedral and above the starry sky.

I am bunked in the "French" room for some reason. I actually pulled out my French phrasebook again. It is interesting that within the space of a few minutes I can be communicating in three different languages and hearing a few more.

Tonight's dinner is just some chorizo I have been carrying. Conversation is Derrick's world exploits. Quite a character, that Kiwi.

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Powered by album from David Ljung's MarginalHacksTue Feb 10 23:45:50 2009

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