Day 3 Tue 25 Mar
We didn’t enjoy the 16 k walk from Jaca to Santa Cruz de la Serós – it was cold wet and the muddy path made for slow going. Yet, Santa Cruz is the most beautiful stone mountain village, the best preserved in Spain, and we stayed 2 nights.
Day 4 Wed 26 Mar
The old monastery of San Juan de la Peña is a 8 k walk up hill so we set off early with some misgivings as it had snowed overnight and about 10 cms remaimed on the road. The day cleared with sun and blue sky for the first time. The new monastery (1675) was restored in 2007; the old monastery (920) built into the cliffs below is definitely worth a journey.
Day 5 Thu 27 Mar
From Santa Cruz to Arrés, via Santa Cilia, was a pleasant 19 klm walk, except for the mud in places which made for heavy going. The hospitalero, Rafael, met us the edge of the village, and with great enthusiasm, led us to the Albergue. He insisted on washing and scrubbing our shoes absolutely clean before buying us a beer. Another pilgrim arrived by bike – we were the first pilgrims for 4 days so a couple of bottles of wine somehow disappeared. Arrés is a pretty hilltop village with a weekend population of 36 and a weekday population of 4.