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Saturday, April 28, 2007 

Day 5: WHY am I doing this again?

So, yesterday, after the beautiful walk from Pamplona to Puente la Reina, it rained & rained hard. Luckily I was having a glass of wine in the bar. Hee.

However for pilgrims, this bodes dangerous, slippery, muddy paths the following day.

This morning I had no problems waking up as the bunks around me totally woke me up... I was out the door by 6:45 am.

But M&M called out as I was walking & told me that the paths out of Puente la Reina were rumoured to be a bit hazardous from the rain and they were planning to take the highway to avoid some of the steep incline.

I was very glad to have walked with them: not only avoiding the steepness and muddiness by taking the bike route, but also they kept my pace up for the first 3 hrs (all the way to Lorca).

After this, I fell behind, due to my feet hurting again and I needed to walk a bit slower as I decided to continue from Estrella to Villamayor...

Well, made it to Azqueta and found the sign for Villamayor de Monjardin indicating that was 2km ahead. Uphill but not too bad actually... Until I slipped in the mud ONCE AGAIN. This time, no major injury... except to my ego.

I arrived at the hamlet, spent a good 10 min back & forth between albergues until I found the lovely Dutch run Albergue Hogar. After attempting to clean my shoes (which probably by the looks of it were cleaner than my backside that was covered with the red mud from where I landed) I proceeded to walk in and the Dutch owners had to stop me.

I took my cue and stepped back out, and pretty much broke into tears. I was already so frustrated from such a long day, the second fall, not to mention trudging through the mud & rain... I was just done.

Today, however tiring it was, was not a lost cause. I found the Fuente del Vino in Irache, where I promptly broke the bota rule (you're supposed to let wine sit for 5 days at least and then trash the first batch. Kind of like a Brita filter...) and dumped the cheapy wine I got yesterday and filled it from the winery. What can I say? I'm in the frakkin' Rioja region. There's no way I'm missing out on the good wine.

I also am grateful, despite the slippery mud, that I made 30 km today and up another big hill.

Tomorrow is a bit of crazy downhill, but if I make another 30 km, the following day will be nice and easy (according to M&M.)

Tired. Hasta maƱana...

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