Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Aragones Route - Sta Celia to Arres

Note: Remember, I did not have my camera
so photos have been borrowed from the internet.
I've tried to give credit when I know the photographer's name.
* * *

13 October 2009

What a beautiful morning!
The little white lambs were still in the pasture below my balcony window,
the sun was shining,
and the pilgrims were up and rustling around.

I got up, got dressed, and packed my mochila. 
I was in a really happy mood, having gotten a great night's sleep!
The earplugs weren't needed last night
because I only had one room mate. 

The French couple, whose names were Michele and Michael,
slept in a room by themselves,
the German boy slept in the men's dorm,
and my only roommate was a young woman who did not snore!

I took advantage of the kitchen facilities and made myself a cup of Nescafé.
I've mentioned these packets before,
and they are very handy to carry on the Camino.
You can find them in almost any market
and they taste almost (almost) as good as the real thing. 
Buy Nescafe in convenient tubes in the markets in Spain

I had been told there would be no place open for coffee this morning,
so I sat and enjoyed my coffee as I looked at the map
and decided my next stop would be Arres.

By the time last night I realized the only tienda in town was at the bar,
it was too late to go buy breakfast food,
so I began my walk without eating.
By the time I had walked an hour,
my stomach was complaining and I began to wish for food.
A fig tree?
An apple tree?
A bar where I could get breakfast?

But all I could see ahead was trail,
so I put one foot in front of the other and dreamed of food. 
I remembered a piece of bread and cheese in my pack,
but knew I needed to save that for my lunch.

Less than 20 minutes later, I looked down and
there in the center of the trail were two perfect apples!
They were just sitting there, side by side,
as if they had been left just for me! 

I looked all around.
No apple trees to be seen.
Somebody had left these for a hungry pilgrim.
I laughed and picked them up.
I bit into one and it was ice cold, sweet, and crunchy.
Wow!  That is the magic of the Camino again! 

I ate one apple and saved the second for later.
The terrain was flat and easy
and before I knew it, several hours had passed.
Now I was nearing the Puente de la Reina de Jaca.
Here are some photos of the scenery.

 As you come to the bridge, a road shoots off to the right
if you want to go through this town. 
I decided to bypass it and continue on straight. 
At the crossroads was a picnic area. 
I decided to take advantage of the picnic table and have my lunch.  
I made a cheese sandwich and as I ate, 
I could hear the river rushing past me. 
I began singing, 

"The river is flowing,
flowing and growing,
the river is flowing,
back to the sea..."

Suddenly, out of the bushes came the most beautiful kitten!
He was a grey and brown cat, like a Himalayan.
He was just ethereal!
I couldn't believe this little guy was out here living on his own, he was so young.
There were no houses close by, just a road and forest and a river.
He looked at me with his icy blue eyes and said,

I laughed and shared my queso with him.
He purred and rubbed up against my legs,
asking to be petted.
I fed him more cheese.
He was very happy, and when I packed up, he began following me.
I hoped he would follow me all the way to the albergue 
so he could be adopted by someone who would care for him, 
but about 20 minutes up the road, 
a car passed and frightened him. 

He scampered back into the forest 
and nothing I could do would bring him out.
I hope he lived.
I suspect he did... 
he had, afterall, survived thus far.

I walked until the I saw a sign and a dirt track. 
This section was a short but rough climb up and around a hillside.
The trail went up and around,
up and around,
up and around.
And then...

Arres by Nomadicvignette

there it was, 
the jewel called Arres!
Arres by Holzhammer

Arres Albergue
It looked like something out of a storybook, 
the little stone houses
sitting on the tip-top of a hill.
I kept wondering
where they kept the dragon?

As I arrived at the Arres albergue, 
I was surprised to see Loretta,
my little Italian companion from Jaca. 
She had been there since yesterday. 
Her poor face was wrapped in bandages.
She apparently had done a face-plant on her trek yesterday. 
She had two black eyes, 
a big gash on her head, 
and was still feeling very dizzy.  
It seemed to me her spirit was hurt the most, 
despite the physical injuries, 
and I felt worried for her. 
Would she continue on? 
I asked her.
She had not yet decided.

This Albergue was donativo.
I had no cash left, so 
I got settled in, and went off to find a beer, a snack, and some change. 
There is a hotel here with a bar. 
I had a cerveza con limón and chatted with the bartender.

Soon, it was time to go back to the albergue.
We were to help the hospitalero prepare dinner for the pilgrims.
I got a quick shower.
Hot Water! Hooray!
Then did my laundry and hung it out.

There would be ensalada, pollo, and sopa de verduras
with chunks of fresh bread and butter.
Everyone helped prepare the dinner and
everyone ate their fill!
Pilgrims arriving tomorrow would eat 
well or not, according to the amount of donation we left.
I always try to remember this and I left a generous donation.
Chimenea by Rosa Lob
 We took a short break from cleanup when
the local priest dropped in
and took us for a tour of the church.
As usual, there are some wonderful treasures to be found
in the little village churches along 
most of the Camino routes.
This was no different, and I really enjoyed the tour.

By this time, there were maybe 7 pilgrims who had arrived from Jaca
including an entire troop of boyscouts!
The albergue beds had been taken.
Where would they all sleep?
Photo by Jacko the Whacko
 No problem!
There were mattresses stuffed in nooks and crannies,
in the rafters of the building, 
and in the sitting room.
These were dragged out and everyone had a bed for the night.

It really was a lovely place to stay,
and I hope to return sometime.

I slept soundly in the silence of this medieval-looking hilltop town.
There were no city lights,
nor automobile sounds to disturb my rest,
and a velvet sky full of stars
twinkled at me through the open window.
See my AnnieWalkersCamino website at 
for more information about
Guided Walks on the Camino Santiago 
and on other Pilgrimage Trails of Europe

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated.