June 8th Estella

June 8th

Last night we went to a mass that many pilgrims go to as it is one of the best to start out your Camino with.  This is where many Pilgrims go to get a blessing before they start.  I was really impressed with the priest, while the mass was in Spanish he met with the pilgrims after it was over.  He had all of us line up and come up one at a time for a Camino blessing as each person approached he would ask where they were from.  He would then proceed to talk to them and give them a blessing in their own language, I watched him do probably 9 or 10 different ones.  He asked us to wait until the end and then come up on our own.  He was really moved by Debs spirit and bravery.  He took pictures with us and then sent us on our way with blessings of safety and protection.

Dominique and Germy were there also along with a couple from Sweden that we ate with the night before.  We then went back to our Alburgue.  It was a parochial alburgue where the women slept in one room and the men in another.  Almost all the people at this alburgue were at the mass.  When we found out we had to sleep apart we told the hospiteleros that we would need to go to a different one, as I must be close to Deb to monitor her breathing machine and sleep comfort.  They wouldn’t have and even put us up in their quarters so we could be together.  We tried to protest but they insisted.  They then split up and slept with the other pilgrims.  Everyone just went out of their way to help us and we were so thankful for them and this trip.

The other two we met there were Amy Nelson and Lisa Barker both Americans who were already good friends.  We stayed in the morning and talked to them and the hospitaleros for almost an hour before we left.  Once again the Americans were the last out of town.

This morning when we finally left we headed toward Villamayor de Monjardin.  It was a bit of a walk but one we had been looking forward to.  This was the hike that included a stop at Irache, this is a famous winery on the Camino.  It has a fountain built into the wall outside that is tied into one of their giant barrels of wine where pilgrims can get some to drink.  It is a tradition that you fill your seashell with wine to taste.  Deb and I are not big wine drinkers but we did partake here in Spain.  The winery part was closed today but the museum was open, so we got a stamp for our passports.

We stopped at Aztaqua at the Bar barazketako to eat some lunch and charge Deb’s chair.  We talked with a man about Oklahoma Thunder, Basque and how man was made for walking, he did the Camino from here to Santiago six years ago, it took him 21 days.  He told us about a book called “Born to Run” about the Tarahamara Indians.  Great runners.

We had palitos de pollo 3 Euro and patatas brava 2.50, that’s chicken fingers and spicy potatoes.  They warned us about how spicy the potatoes would be but to Deb it was just ketchup.  That girl can eat all kinds of spice.  That’s one thing we have noticed here, there is nothing spicy and no Mexican food at all.

Finished eating, finished charging and headed toward Villamayor.

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