Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 12: Alfaro to Tudela (July 13)

We rose early again this morning and Greg felt his leg was much improved from yesterday, so we departed, moving at a great pace, mainly along a highway, for the first hour or so. At that point we passed through a small town called Castejon and beyond town found a gravel road along the railroad tracks that we would follow for some distance. We've reported some of our challenges with flies in past posts, and there have been occasional attacks by gnats, but today both of those obstacles seemed minor in comparison to the mosquitoes that descended upon us while we walked this gravel road. At some point while we were navigating this uneven terrain and frantically swatting the bugs, Greg's leg really started to act up again. About halfway to our destination we ascended a bridge and crossed the railroad tracks...this gave us a nice opportunity to rest, and we were delighted to find that the road on the other side of the bridge was paved. This last portion of the walk was quite difficult for Greg, and we started to realize that we really needed to evaluate our gameplan for the coming days. Our total distance again today was about 25 km.

Arriving in Tudela, we found our hotel and had to wait a bit for our room, so we had coffee and bocadillos in the hotel cafe while we waited. Later that afternoon, after we were all settled in and rested, we walked to a nearby plaza to meet Jaime at a bar called Gilligan's. Jaime is one of the Jesuits who has been working to develop the Camino Ignaciano. Over drinks we talked about our camino experience and the recent challenges with Greg's leg, and we heard about the extensive work the Jaime has done to develop the route that Camino Ignaciano takes. From the bar, Jaime brought us to the high school where he is director and gave us a tour of their extensive facility.

Later that evening, we met up with Jaime again in order to attend the mass he was saying at the local Jesuit parish. Then, we scooted back to the school so he could stamp our credentials, and we enjoyed dinner at the Jesuit residence. Back at the hotel, we planned to take the train instead of walking the next day so that Greg's leg could rest and we considered our options for the remainder of the camino. More details to follow in a subsequent post.

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