30 May Puente la Reina to Estella
After dinner last night there was a lot of laughter and giggling coming from these 4 Irish girls in the corner of the bar/lounge area. They were still giggling at breakfast and later on when they passed me on the path.
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I set off this morning in bright sunshine a little before 8 o’clock and 10 minutes later I crossed what I was told was one of the oldest bridges in Europe.
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I was quickly into my stride today and I felt good. As it turns out today I lose my Camino family through a combination of different paces, staying at separate albergues and presumably like Alana, Ethan and Maria, at different towns or villages along the way. I guess we’ll all meet up or see each other again sometime.

The first new faces I exchanged walking time with today were a bother and sister from West Virginia and their uncle from California. I didn’t get their photo or right their names down :-(.

The early part of today pretty much followed a fast-flowing river along a deep sided valley until, inevitably I started to climb, and climb, and climb, steeply at first, then very steeply until it was simply like walking up a staircase without any steps. Once again, it was worth it because after a toe wiggle and a cafe con leche here…..

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…… I was back into yesterday’s oil painting ………
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Sometimes the path followed short stretches of road or ran through interesting villages but always up and down and always threatening to please the eye again to a background of birdsong.

I shared another toe wiggle, this time with Kirk from Utah who waiting for his two sons to catch him up.
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It wasn’t too long before Jordan and Dylan arrived to be with their Dad. I think they might be in a bit of discomfort even though they put a cheering reply the question about how they were doing.
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Just before I left the Utah Three it was nice to see Alana, Ethan and Maria pitch up. They were only minutes away from their intended stop whilst mine was around 4 kilometres ahead.

A funny coincidence happened next. An Australian woman named Rosie arrived and sort of stooped and stared down at my boots before exclaiming they were the same as hers. I looked at her feet to see open-toed sandals with feet bedecked in an assortment of blister treatments. She asked how I was doing then told me how her boots had wrecked her feet and that she was planning on throwing her boots away. She asked me what I was doing to help my feet so I told her the first thing I do to look after them is remember to bring them with me each morning, and then throughout the walking day, regardless of how far I had walked, where I was at the time and regardless of how I felt, I stop every 2 to 2 and a half hours, take off my boots and socks, say hello to my toes, thank them for all their hard work and let them have a good wiggle. If my socks are too wet to dry out in the next twenty minutes or so, I change them. When their play-time is up I tell my feet I’ll see them again soon, put their socks back on and hide them in my boots again. So far that approach has worked for me.

Rosie also has the same trainers as me and almost squealed like a child when I started munching on a large tomato, the same thing she munches on.

I got underway again and walked a short distance with Alana, Ethan, Maria and Rosie before leaving them behind. Outside a school I came across a small boy who couldn’t have been more than six wished me Buen Camino and threw a huge smile at me which I caught with my heart.

The final leg into Estella was less picturesque than previously and I walked beside a type of works unit for a short distance, before finding my bed for night at a cost of six euros.

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This guy, Yunam CHA from Korea pointed out the way in for me and asked me if I was on Facebook.
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This where I checked in.
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This is the kitchen and dining area.
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My bed is the top nearest to you on the right.
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Catching up with the blog today and including doing what should have been done yesterday has taken about three hours.

Today’s step count was 33405.

Bye for now.

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