Saturday, September 21, 2013
Hostel Jake in Puenta La Reina wasn't stuffy despite there being no windows in the crowded accommodation caves and we all had a pretty good sleep. A quick breaky and we were off into the hills. Well, all of us except Kath and Carlene as Carlene woke up not being able to stand on her heel. Kath joined her in a cab to Estella, our next destination, where they found a hotel and masseur....
And so the five of us left over marched off with delirious enthusiasm. The hills got in my way and every time a hill popped up all my new Camino friends would appear out of nowhere and pass me and say Gidday. I would also make new Camino Amigos and on top of each hill, after catching my breath, I hand out the Way of CF postcards to the new mates before flying along the straights and downhills where I have the advantage again.
Eventually we all meet up at strategically placed cafés along the way where most peregrines buy coffee and snacks. Some of us just have bread, cheese and chorizo with a Coke or Cafés con Leche. These stops are very social where you meet all your new mates, meet old ones and new ones. This El Camino experience is not a place for solitude - yet.
In fact I have my phone loaded with cool podcasts that I like to listen to, but just do not get a chance. Just talking to my mother on the phone in Dutch a Dutchman thinks I'm talking to him. Mum tells him Buen Camino too.
And eventually, some more hills and steep little climbs later we enter Estella where we are greeted with the usual watering point and a little road sign that advises us that our booked Alberge Juvenil is 1500m further away.... and this also turned out to be uphill. Fortunately there was a lift to the second floor where we have a room to ourselves complete with free wifi.
Estella is pretty big, but despite that the Camino social life continuous with frequent meetings of fellow peregrines in the various bell ringing squares with plenty f licensed premises serving iced Sangria, paella, pizza, beer,...