May 17, 2011 Cirauqui to Estella

People began rustling around the albergue at 06:00 and a Korean girl turned on the light (not good pilgrim etiquette) at 06:15. I managed to stay in bed until 06:30 then up and out at 07:00 (early for me). I enjoyed a slow walk to Estella. Met Sheila from San Francisco and sat for a bit with Roberto of Italy, Felipe of France (had met him with Roberto at the top of Col Orisson) and Ariel of Netherlands at a park as I came into Estella. The dog’s name is Ma-at and is 8 months old, with one month of his life spent on the walk with Philippe from Le Puy in France to Estella. So that dog had something like 1000 km already on his odometer.

I bought a phone in town and then went to find the Internet at the local library so I could send an email to Rock and Luke with my new phone number. I decided to stay at swanky hotel here to unwind and knew that Rocky, who I though I’d see here, would appreciate that. Waiting for her at Plaza Mayor 12:45.

Just now starting to get into the camino spirit. Could be the cervesa I’m enjoying, but am recognizing there’s really no need to rush and that every day holds its charms. I’ve decided to let go of my anxiety about where Luke is and how Rocky is. They’re both adults and going at their own pace. I’m appreciating Estella now. Charming town with narrow Calle Mayor and older people who look grim, but hard to protest with beautiful weather. The Plaza Mayor is dominated by a large Romanesque revival church with two towers and the place, which I’d walked by but not through in 2008, has its charms.

Had dinner after finding Luke, who had taken bus to Estella and was waiting for Gal and Lila at the municipal albergue. Earlier I’d had nice visit with Luke, Robert and Philippe at park. Night at nice hotel. Rocky, I just learned, had gone on to Los Arcos for blister care and rest, so she’s now ahead. I slept quiet night by myself at Chapitel Hotel just below the grand citadel/church above city. Would happily recommend this boutique hotel to pilgrims stopping in Estella. A charming, older building with an ultra-modern interior.

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