Los Arcos

Apr 11th, 2019

Los Arcos

Excellent breakfast in the hotel – believe it or not bacon and eggs. But with one addition – my Mum’s favourite breakfast food – a yeasted pastry called an Ensaimada. When I was a child I couldn’t pronounce this so I called it an “Elsie Marley” (As in “Elsey Marley’s grown so fine she won’t get up to feed the swine, but stays in bed until eight or nine. Lazy Elsie Marley”)

The big news overnight was rather unpleasant. Someone came in to one of the public Auberges overnight and stole a load of money and mobile phones. The really nasty thing is that the people the stuff was stolen from were largely young people with very limited budgets. A Hungarian student, three young girls from Taiwan etc. How mean do you have to be to steal from poor people who are on a religious pilgrimage? I thought about trying to make a collection around the better-off pilgrims to help the people who had been robbed but I couldn’t work out how to arrange it.

Anyway, after that the day started on a high point with a visit to the famous “Fuente del Vino”. The winery donate 100l of wine per day to pilgrims to drink for free.

J broke the rules by filling up a (small) bottle for later refreshment. We both also drank from our scallop shells as is the tradition.

Sadly the monastery associated with the fountain had to close in 1985 due to lack of new novices.

Further down the track we ran into (not literally) two ladies from Ireland on horseback. The interesting thing was that they were riding the full Camino Frances – side-saddle!

After that we plodded on through farm land.

The weather was not great – very grey, raining slightly and with a perpetual cold wind. For the last 12km of the day there were literally no villages or places to eat apart from a single oportunistic snack van.

We came into Los Arcos at 15:30 – an attractive enough village but nothing particularly special about it apart from a nice church and a small animal sancturay with goats, chickens and a nice dog (with a notice saying not to feed him – he looked like a right mooch).

Logrono tomorrow. This is the last day of the first part of our Camino – after that we will take a taxi transfer to Leon for two days.

As an adendum to this – J and I had an interesting evening. First we actually went round the Church of Santa Maria which was absolutely beautiful.

Then we came back to the room and I had a go at handwashing some of our laundry – goodness knows how it will turn out!

Then we went to the Pilgrim’s mass and finally the Pilgrim’s meal in a big restaurant where we got three courses with bread and wine for 12 Euros. I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as the waitress there – she was all on her own serving about 70 people – so I gave her a nice big tip 🙂

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