Pamplona to Lorca

Day15 Sun 06 Apr
On a beautiful sunny day, cold in the morning & warm in the afternoon, our longest day – 25 kilometers to Puente la Reina seemed easy going, even the climb up to Alto del Perdón (735m).  Today was VISTA DAY, views forever.
Puente la Reina (Queen’s Bridge) – many years ago the ferymen were ripping off pilgrims to row them across the Arga, so the Queen built a bridge for the pilgrims. It is the most beautiful in Spain.

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Ruins along the Way

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Looking back towards Pamplona

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Altp del Perdón

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Storks nesting Puente la Reina

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Puente la Reina

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The famous bridge at Puente la Reina

 
Day 16 Mon 07 Apr
Another beautiful day for the short walk (14 kilometers) to Lorca.  Today is ROMAN DAY with old roads to walk and bridges to cross.  You could almost hear ancient footsteps. We paused in the village of Cirauqui, one of our favorites. We stayed in the Albergue at Lorca, owned by the friendly and hyperactive José Ramón and his Korean wife whom he met doing the Camino in 2010.

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Head down & bum up on a steep climb after Puente la Reina

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Housing boom and bust - unfinished & abandoned houses

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Our favorite village - Cirauqui

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The area is famous for its magnificent coats of arms

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Cirauqui church, weeds growing in the cracks


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Roman road - wonderful to look at, not so wonderful to walk on

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Pilgrim crossing the roman bridge

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Not another medieval bridge!

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Classic Romanesque church at Lorca

Lorca to Viana

Day 17 Tue 08 Apr
A short day, 8 kilometers to Estella, to arrive early. We like Estella, its streets curved to follow the fast flowing stream cutting it in two. Short history – over 1,000 years ago, Estella was established half way between Puente la Reina and Los Arcos to provide overnight shelter for pilgrims to Santiago. It prospered and today numerous buildings of that era remain. We lunched at an excellent restaurant featuring typical local food. Pam went for lamb chilindrón (lamb, red peppers, onion & garlic); and for me the chicken in apple juice sauce – both cooked on a wood fire.

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Remote chapel of San Miguel

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre approaching Estella ...

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... features intricate 14 th century carvings of the Deciples

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Reconstructed in 1973, blown up in 1873

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One of three large monasteries in Estella

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Baroque former City Hall, Estella

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Palace of Navarra kings, Romanesque topped by 17th century brickwork

Day 18 Wed 09 Apr
Departing at 0800, we easily made opening time at the free pilgrim’s wine fountain at Irache, a few kilometers out of Estella. Properly strengthened for the 19 kilometers more to Los Arcos, we took the low path, passing through a couple of nice villages. Perfect weather, nice walking.

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Irache Monastery

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Fortifying ourselves at the Irache wine fountain

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Moorish water cistern

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Great idea - wayside coffee stall

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This way

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Los Arcos

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Casa de la Abuela (Grandma's House)

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Wine from the village (Los Arcos) - nice!

Day 19 Thu 10 Apr
After a good nights sleep at the best place on the entire Camino, Casa de la Abuela (Grandma’s House), we set off energized and made good time to Torres del Rio. After eating a delicious, but huge, apple pastry for breakfast it felt like lead in the boots for the following climb. Still, good weather and good walking, 19 kilometers to Viana – a lovely old town atop a hill. Next – La Rioja.

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All the pilgrims, two by two

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Torres del Rio

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Torres del Rio church

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This part of Navarra is studded with old stone refuges

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Viana Cathedral

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Entrance, Viana Catedral

Viana to Logroño

Day 20 Fri 11 Apr
Viana to Logroño is an easy walk of 10 kilometers, still in good weather. Just before Logroño, an old lady greets pilgrims and offers drinks and a stamp in their credentials. Her mother did the same until she died a few years ago. We stopped for a chat.

Day 21 Sat 12 Apr
A day off In Logroño.

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We cross into La Rioja, home of the famous wines

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Like her mother before her, this lady waits to stamp pilgrims' credenciales

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Arriving Logroño

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Drinking from the fountain in Logroño

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Santiago Matamoros

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Saint Bartholomew, 12th Century

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Our room is behind one of those windows

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Vegetables from La Rioja

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The Camino is done by tapas, not stages

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The very same tapas shown on the wall

Logroño to Nájera

Day 22 Sun 13 Apr
Logroño to Navarrete, 13 kilometers, a pleasant walk through a park and along a lake for the first half, them through the vineyards of La Rioja.  We stayed at the same place, in the same room, as last time in 2012.  This is as far as we got that time.

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Mural of pilgrims on the Way out of Logroño

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Pam adds a cross to the fence to give thanks for passing Logroño

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Big bulls here

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Tempranillo vines on the Way to Navarrete

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Remains of an old pilgrims hospital

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Don Jacobo winery

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Water fountain, Navarrete

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Navarrete church

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Pam's 2012 note on the wall of the Pensión in Naverette

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Romanesque cemetery gate

Day 23 Mon 14 Apr
Enjoyed the walk, 18 kilometers from Navarrete to Nájera amongst the grape vines with the snow capped peaks of the Sierra de la Demanda in the background, the first of the red poppies in the fields.

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Giant wine pots

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Spring time in La Rioja

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Monastery, Nájera

Nájera to Belorado

Day 24 Tue 15 Apr
A dull day, weather wise and walking wise – 21 kilometers to Santo Domingo de la Calzada which is a lovely town. It is compact with many fine old civil buildings, well maintained – the best on the Camino so far. This is the place of the pilgrim and the rooster miracle (Google it).
Passing through Cirueña was a strange experience. On the outskirts is a housing development consisting of blocks of identical units in modern ugly style, mostly eerily vacant and every third one for sale. All this plonked on the Camino Santiago which is World Heritage – huh?

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White vans bring bread to the villages, everyone gathers

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The long and winding road

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Lunch

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City walls of Santo Domingo de la Calzada

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Santo Domingo de la Calzada

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Convent, Santo Domingo de la Calzada

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Main plaza

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Former Royal Court & Jail

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Santo Domingo de la Calzada Cathedral

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Back of the Cathedral

Day 25 Wed 16 Apr
22 kilometers on to Belorado, clear skies, warm but not hot so nice. A village every few k made it easy enough. We’ve now left the vineyards of La Rioja (but not the wine!) behind for the wheat fields of Castilla y León.

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The "modern" bridge built before Cook discovered Australia

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Grañon - San Juan Bautista

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Baptismal font

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Santiago Peregrino

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Water fountain

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Boundary cross

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Ermita

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Castilla y León

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Popular regional architectural style

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Villamajor del Río

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Belorado - Santa María

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Storks on Santa María

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Preparing for Easter

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House built into cliffs

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Belorado, main plaza, San Pedro