Thursday, September 14, 2023

Free Wine Tap


Day 42 - Azqeta

     We grabbed breakfast at a bakery: ham and cheese croissant and coffee.  The morning sun cast rich colors on the landscape as we walked through the Navarro hills.  There are more towns on the Spanish portion than on the French portion.  There are more opportunities to buy food.  However. while there are churches in every town, they are usually locked up which is a real switch from France.  Another difference is that the towns often don’t provide public restrooms which can be inconvenient; since the trail is too crowded to make bush detours.  This morning also brought us passed a barefoot pilgrim from Denmark. He seemed to be walking quite gingerly, but claimed he has been barefoot for 3 years.

      A major pilgrim stop is Estrella, but we wanted to get further today.  So we grabbed a sandwich and tried to psych ourselves up for the afternoon.  By 2:00 the Camino trail thins to a trickle. A unique rest stop this afternoon was a wine tap for pilgrims.  In keeping with the tradition of the neighboring monastery which traditionally served wine to passing pilgrims, the local vineyards offer wine to passing pilgrims through a spigot next to the water.  I am not sure how much help a shot of wine is to hot tired pilgrims still needing to walk 6 miles.

     Tonight’s alberge had the feel of a French gite. With a dozen guests and sharing dinner, you begin to feel like a family.  The big difference is that everyone is speaking English now, even though they are from other countries.  Tonight there were Americans, Finns, Swedes, French, Koreans and Spanish.  All were speaking English including our Spanish host.  No more google translate!  We ended the evening with Duwayn from Philadelphia singing 70’s folk songs with his guitar.

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