Under A Boiling Sun.

Navarra simmers under a boiling sun as the peregrinos (pilgrims) trudge wearily through dusty hills and vineyards, punctuated by tiny, sleepy villages. This is like the Spain I learned about many years ago… Not the ghastly tourist Mediterranean coastal resorts, but the authentic Iberian experience of Laurie Lee, George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway.

A typical dusty track on the Camino.

O A typical dusty track on the Camino.

I reached Estella just before noon, a small, vibrant town between Pamplona and Logroño in Western Navarra. This is where I will say ‘adios’ to my young American friend Mel, as she is running on limited time and must take the bus to Leòn, in order to reach Santiago.

I shall miss her intelligent, unique zest for life, but as is so typical of the Camino, continue to experience the wild swings of emotion that inevitably come to pass.

Another stop for a rest near Lorca.

Another stop for a rest near Lorca.

One cannot doubt the rugged beauty of Northern Spain, but the Camino is really about people…A journey of the soul. We are all in it together, no matter how different we are. This is the thread, if you will. There are all nationalities here… All religions, creeds, and as many different reasons to walk the Camino as there are folk.

It takes all kinds!

It takes all kinds!

At present there seems no immediate end to the heat; however, when the rain sets in and the dust turns to mud, there could be an interesting slant on the downhill sections of the route and a very painful landing at the bottom!

I never cease to be amazed at how stoical some peregrinos are; bandages and knee supports are fairly standard, yet still they arrive at night, battered but dignified. Somehow, my luck has held out thus far, but I must remember my age, no matter how fit I am. One moment’s lack of concentration could be enough to turn a pleasure into an ordeal.

My travelling companion and friend, Mel on the bridge at Estella in the Basque Country.

My travelling companion and friend, Mel on the bridge at Estella in the Basque Country.

Tomorrow I strike out alone towards Logroño, but it won’t be long before someone new is walking alongside me… a soul on its own unique journey, and if not, then I hope that the spirits of the ages will watch over me…


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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21 Responses to Under A Boiling Sun.

  1. The peregrino is making progress! It appears to be so dry there, are you missing the ocean? We just experienced the hottest spring day on record.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Strangely no… The experience is so powerful, it seems to transcend everything.

      • Wow, it must simply be amazing. Some of those towns look almost medieval in age? The history of those trails – can you imagine what they would say if they could speak?

      • Viking Queen says:

        Yes, nothing much changes on the surface, but the Basque people have a good life, that much is obvious. They mix the modern with the old and keep the best.

      • It is a culture I know so little about. It sounds intriguing.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Me neither…
        I know their language is possibly the oldest in Europe and seems to have no Latin route. They are fiercely proud and nationalistic. So far my experiences have been all good.

      • I remember hearing about some separatist rumblings many years back. So your comment about them being fiercely nationalistic makes sense. Did they or do they have their own religion as well? ( seeing as their language is so different)

      • Viking Queen says:

        They are Christian but I suppose like old cultures they must have been pagan at one time. Certainly the Camino smacks of pre-Christianity! Especially the way folk leave trinkets and small pebble cairns all along the trail. I’ll send some of these ideas in a later blog.

      • Interesting. Can’t wait to hear more.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Thanks for your feedback. Just arrived at a refuge in Logroño. A memorable night with a pilgrims mass and communal supper which we all prepared. Now in the Rioja country.

      • Google tells me that Rioja is a province which produces plenty of wine, but is also the name of a submarine telecommunications cable system linking the Belgium and the Netherlands until October 2006 and a minor planet named after the wine. Must be some wine!!!!! Enjoy! ( but not too much that you can’t walk the next day)

      • Viking Queen says:

        You know more than me. Im more interested in how the folk around me are relating to the Camino. I’m sure I miss too much though!

      • No, I have never heard of Rioja or the wine before, so I went to Google for help. And I agree the people factor is more memorable. 🙂

  2. Lynda Hulme says:

    So happy to hear you’re in good company Poppy. I just can’t imagine how uplifting your experiences must be. God Bless you and keep you safe sweetheart. All our love as usual. Tony and Lynda. xxx

  3. Simona says:

    Queen of the highway! Good to know you are not alone on this inward journey. Those pictures of northern Spain remind me of Provence in high summer. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

    Simona x

    • Viking Queen says:

      Just reached Los Arcos. Still hot… Weather is changing though. Walking with an American guy, Kevin, at the moment. We camped on a mountain next to a castle last night… Amazing!

  4. Christine says:

    Love to you and those you meet along the way xxxxx

  5. christian says:

    glad you not alone and still enjoying it, wow a castle – picture to follow? well keep following your dream take care on the dusty road ahead. hope the weather does not change too much might be a bit cooler which would be nice. will be busy this weekend got the boys while kerri and joe sort out new car and things.
    love the picture of racksack and seeing just a single boot makes a strong statement of a picture if entered into comp would sure to win 1st prize

    • Viking Queen says:

      Kind words Chris!
      One day maybe someone will take my photography seriously… Good to know that you can enjoy and appreciate it. Cuddle the babies for me! Take care. Castle pictures will follow soon!

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