A Travelogue

Friday, December 07, 2007

Day 5, August 29: Ciraqui to Villamajor de Monjardin (23 km; 5:50)

Early the next morning the full moon lit our way as we walked on the best-preserved Roman road in Spain. A short distance from where the Camino enters Estella we reached the memorial to a Canadian pilgrim, Mary Kimpton, who was tragically killed in 2002 when she was struck by a car that veered off the highway. Click on her name for more details.

Photo 275: Memorial to Mary Kimpton.

This was the fourth modern pilgrim memorial that I had passed since starting the Camino. Unfortunately there would be more.

At Irache we enjoyed the free wine for peregrinos that flows from a tap built into the wall of a “bodega” (winery). There are two taps, one that delivers red wine and the other, water. We had our share but, in a rare display of self-discipline, decided not to fill our water bottles with wine as we still had a long way to walk.

Photo 279: Decisions, decisions! Wine or water?

The path to Villamayor de Monjardin is scenic and as usual, it’s a long uphill slog to this little town located at the base of a large hill.

Photo 282: Typical Camino marker. This one is on the road to Villamayor de Monjardin.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to climb up to the castle at the top of the hill that dominates the valley, which played a strategic role during the Spanish civil war in the 1930s.

Photo 284: Yet another steep ascent to the albergue. The entrance to this one is at the top of the stairs.

We decided to stay at the Dutch-run Albergue Hogar de Monjardin. The Dutch hospitaleros prepared a great communal dinner for about 25 of us. Before dessert, the lady in charge gave a little speech during which she educated us about their organization and handed out a pamphlet which we were asked to take with us. Since all of us are obsessed about the weight that we are carrying, I jokingly asked, “How much does it weigh?” to the amusement of all.

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