Day eleven~11 May 2015
Estella/Lizarra to Los Arcos
started@5.30am till 12.30pm ~22 kilometres ( 7 hours)

This is the first day I got lost on the Way! I started the walk very early in the morning. There were two Italian men in front of me. It was not that easy getting out of Estella. Apparently I could have gone several ways. One of the Italian men was complaining of the lack of signs, I should have realised right then and there that we were on the wrong road! One of the things is that the Way is very clearly marked, and if one can’t find the signs, one is NOT on the Way! So I got lost due to NOT following my OWN star!
I walked through a little town, which had a pump with water AND wine! As I find that water on the Camino is of more value than wine, I did NOT fill my water bottle up with the free wine! I have been having problems with indigestion, and have been wondering if the wine is too acid for my body! Anyway I came finally to a signpost, I noticed that the Italians had walked on, I looked at the signpost and took the right road! In hindsight it would have been easier to have followed the Italians, as I had wanted to walk through the forest, which was the LEFT road! Sigh! Anyway I walked on and somewhere along this road I met a gorgeous young woman from Germany, called Dana. Dana had torn her Achilles heel on the St Jean to Roncevalles road. I suggested that may be if she put a stretched bandage on her heel it would be less painful. I gave her, and put it on, my African stretched bandage. (Which I bought in case I twisted my ankle or something) As we were working on this, Judith from Budapest caught up with me! I was so surprised as I had thought her very far ahead of me! The three of us walked together, sharing stories, laughing a lot and having a fabulous time! In the next little village, Dana took of the bandage as it hurt more than walking without it. Judith applied tiger balm, and gave Dana the little tin. This sense of community is very, very strong during the day time. Everybody helping each other, supporting each other and generally being very kind. Shame this does not extent to the evening or night time in the communal dormitories. The girls now we’re both walking much faster than little old me, so I suggested that they would go right ahead, and we would catch up later.

I also met up with Jos, from Belgium, Judith’s “angel”, he asked me if I had seen Judith today, and I told him she was about half an hour ahead of him! I walked on, my own slow speed, going up hills is an absolute ordeal for my back, knees and every other body part I am like a tortoise, I go very slowly but will catch up in the end! I also hurt badly, from the injury I received when I slipped in e bathroom in Tanzania, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a hairline crack in my hip! It aches like hell, especially going UP hill! So slowly, slowly I moved on, met some interesting people on the way. Vineyard workers just stopped for smoko, and we ended up having a good old chat about growing vines. As if I have any knowledge of any of this! But hey, I go to McLaren Vale and the Barossa! Plus I drink a lot of wine, surely I can hold a conversation in Spanish about vineyards!

I stopped six kilometres before Estelle/Lizarra, where a very smart person had set up a little stall, where one could buy food, drinks and fruit. I met up again with Dana, Judith from Hungary and lovely Jos from Belgium! As they had been there all ready for an hour, they all moved on quite quickly. I was so over this walking business that I asked the stall owner if I could ring a taxi. He gave me the number, and told me I had to wait there until the taxi came, but, he said, it is ONLY five kilometres from here, all flat and down the hill! Okay, now I feel guilty that I even “thought” of a taxi! How “un~pilgrim like” to even THINK not to walk! Sigh! This being a pilgrim is NOT an easy task! It was also very, very hot! Although the heat doesn’t bother me as much as some of the other pilgrims it does make one sweat, and it does make the walking rather unpleasant and difficult. The man had lied, it was six kilometres to Estelle and there were bits that one had to go UP as well! I was totally exhausted when I arrived at the square in the centre of Estelle, and who would I bump into? But Dana, Judith and Josh! This was so incredibly funny! They all assumed I had taken the taxi as I arrived there so fast! What a scream! It had indeed taken me just over an hour to get there! I had my very first sangria on the Camino, and we chatted away quite nicely! Who would show up while we were catching up, but Peter from Byron Bay! He was in a private hostel, and to be honest I was ready for privacy again. By now Jude from Adelaide had also caught up with us, and she was also looking for a private place. Peter started to act very strange, and disappeared soon after! He probably thought we were after him or his body! I never got a change to tell him not to worry as I am totally NOT interested in him or any other man for that matter! As Jos and Judith decided to walk on to the next village, Dana, Judy and I decided we would stay and look for a hostel. Dana went to the Municipal hostel, while Judy and I looked for a”private” one, only to realise that all the inns were FULL! Finally we also ended up at the Municipal Hostel, which was run by people from Belgium. I made my bed, fell upon it and slept, slept and slept. If it wasn’t for those loud mouthed, obnoxious American I would have slept through the night! They literally walked into the dorm and shouted “the Americans are here”! If one didn’t feel like killing people before, believe me, one felt like it then! There were more than four people fast asleep after a hard days walk! Self centred, egotistical and absolutely obnoxious!

Anyway there was a wonderful church in town and as I came out of the dorm, I met up with Dana, who was very surprised I was staying here as well. She asked if she could come to the church with me, and we spend the rest of the afternoon together. She is so nice. As we were both hungry, we ended up eating a lovely plate of pasta in the square. Who would walk past but Judith from Christchurch? Unbelievable, I thought she was way ahead of us as well! We had a great chat, lovely food, great company, but I was totally exhausted and I wanted to go to bed and sleep.

Today’s lesson; follow your own star! Not Italians!
Today’s gift; Meeting Dana and catching up with both Judiths!