Estella to Los Arcos (Camino de Santiago)

I awoke at 5am after a long night of dreams, strange unsettling dreams. It took some time to find our way out of Estella and into the countryside, especially in the dark. Our first stop was at the Monastery Irache and the Fuente de Vino (the fountain of wine). Even though it was early, and before sunrise, we purchased a small glass from the vending machine and sampled the free flowing wine. The wine was not too bad even at that time of the morning. As the sun rose we were treated to the Spanish countryside. Miles and miles of wheat fields explained why Spain was the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. A cool breeze blew over the green sea. The ripples and waves of the flowing wheat were magical. Further along our trail passed through a lengthy section of small stunted trees, the light colored path leading us along our way. It gave me time to think about Suzanne and how she would have loved hiking through this small forest. After about 8km we passed Villamayor de Monjardin and the ruins of a castle that sits on a high hill above the small village. We stopped and had espresso at a rather new alberque with outside tables that provided a wonderful view of the ruins. It was around noon that we arrived in Los Arcos and found a private alberque for 8 euro. I would call our nights lodging abit of a hippy establishment with its mural patio. I got in some trouble with the owners wife as I thought the blue concrete structure with running water in the back garden area a place where I should do my laundry. Turns out it was a small fountain, oops. We wandered to the main square where we found a café with air conditioning and television. The three of us shared some plates of local cuisine and ended up drinking five bottles of wine. The alter ego Father Diego Rivera was discovered. Journal: “I stood looking across the wheat fields and remembered my childhood in northwestern Nebraska. The wind blew across the green sea and waves of silver danced across the hillside. The sun bore down hot and my boots are covered in dust. I am finding I am starting to need to have some alone time away from the others. During the day I have time to think. I am settling in and the days seem easier.”