7.15am Not much sleep , another ” snorefest ” , despite the earplugs. I obviously didn’t down enough Rioja last night.
I was out for dinner last night with the Dublin girls ( Denise , Pauline , Anne , Catherine and Jacqui ) and Gail from Notts ( aka ” Joyce Grenfell ” , ” Steady as a Galleon etc ” ) . It’s their last day of walking tomorrow and I’m going to miss them all as they’ve been great fun. I was very amused to discover that one of them was mortified when she recognised a fellow Pilgrim as a Dublin Gastroenterologist who has carried out two colonoscopies on her. As one might expect , given his speciality ( and to her great relief ) he doesn’t seem to have recognised her.
The conversation got around to packing for The Camino and one item mentioned was the paraphernalia associated with the removal of female body hair. This is clearly not a priority item for many of the European females . Denise then asked for a male opinion on female hirsuteness. There followed an hilarious conversation which I can’t repeat here. At one point Catherine said I was like their new ” gay ” friend , which is a bit worrying.
I saw the Japanese contortionist last night. She’s blanking me. I suspect it’s because , in another Mr Bean moment the other day , I blundered into the females loos/washroom and startled her. There goes my Japanese lessons.
Just docked in Estella after another pleasant day walking through rolling countryside passing lots of vineyards , nut and fig trees . The figs are just ripening and we ate a few as we ambled along. I walked at various stages with 3 Aussie girls and a Conor from Crossmolina in Co Mayo , who now lives in Southern Spain.They have been walking together for the last 5 days. We had a little sing along the way today , you might have guessed , ” I would walk 500 miles “. Conor set out from Le Puy in Central France a month ago and has done 800km up to now. He loved the French section and has given me ideas about doing that in the future. I also walked a bit with Martha , a nurse from North Carolina who is heavily involved in the Anglican Church and spent six years working in Rwanda. The last bit I walked with a couple who live in a part of Germany that was in the GDR before the Berlin Wall came down. One of the real pleasures of The Camino is in the walking and talking with so many interesting people from all over the world.
I am posting a few pictures of Churches today. There are photos of the 12th Century Romanesque Church of Santa Maria de Eunate , one of the ” jewels of The Camino ” according to Brierley´s book . The Church has been linked with The Knights Templar who defended the Pilgrims on the route to Santiago. Another photo is of a ruin of a 15th C Pilgim Hostel at Zaraputz. I went inside and there were messages and prayers written by Pilgrims placed under stones on the altar
It´s the last night for the Dublin/Notts contingent as well as the girls from Melbourne and Adelaide ( they could only take a week away from their jobs as Social Workers in London ). It will be sad to see them leave but we´ll try to give them a good send off tonight.