Day 5 | Villanua to Jaca
Tell me honestly, have you ever been just a little drunk on too much cheap wine and sung out loud to All By Myself just like Bridget Jones? I have. And can you resist playing power drums just as the chorus starts? I can’t. 😊
The only reason I ask this is because today I’m walking alone. Gerry’s ankle is looking a bit too fat and a rather fetching shade of purple so we feel he would be better taking the day off. He joked that no one would care about him anyway… He said he’s like the partner to Don Quixote… the one who’s name no one can remember… We tried and couldn’t… To which Gerry said “I rest my case”. Anyway. He’s not in pain, and confident that nothing is broken but we’re going to be cautious. It does look really sore and walking would be foolish but I’m going to be bored without him.
Today we also bid farewell to our little home in Oloron. Its been a wonderful base for us and this part of France is beautiful. The gite was so well equipped its been a real home away from home and I’m really going to miss the pool. But Spain beckons and we’re moving on to Berdun, partway between Jaca and Pamplona and a stones throw from the Camino Aragones. We packed our bags, loaded the car, said our goodbyes and headed back to the Somport tunnel. There was still cloud hanging over the peaks but there was also lots of blue and the weather is definitely improving but going through the tunnel really feels like you’re jumping into another world… At least weather wise it is!
We drove towards Villanua were we’d stopped yesterday and driving along we could point out the places we walked. We even spotted the place Gerry took his tumble. We parked the car on the edge of town, an odd place with many many modern houses, I guess maybe a new suburb of Jaca? I grabbed my day pack and walking poles and bid farewell to my walking buddy…. We agreed to meet up partway along the trail for a cuppa. There are two options leaving town and I wasn’t sure what path to take, the river variant or the original route. The first half of the original route had me walking alongside the main road and I really felt that I’d made an error in my choice. But I made good time and soon reached Gerry at our meeting point.
We had a cup of tea and looked at the map to see where next… I trundled onwards and thankfully was taken off the road and across a more rural setting. I kept walking until the trail crossed a road where my support team was waiting with sandwiches. He was feeling very pleased with himself too as he’d found a great picnic spot complete with mirador.
As we sat admiring the amazing view two ladies cycled up the hill by pulling trailers. We’ve seen them before a couple of times near Bedous and Urdos in France. The trailers they’re pulling have solar panels and we realised the bikes were electric. Both girls were sporting EDF t-shirts ( EDF is the French power company) so perhaps they’re being sponsored? I’m not sure I’d like to cycle along towing a solar panel though!
Lunch was over and it was time for me to return to the yellow arrows. We agreed another meeting point and I set off. If my morning walk had been a little underwhelming then the afternoon walk was glorious. I had to keep reminding myself to look back though as there would be only forward walking for me today.
The sun was hot but the air was cool and I made good time. Honestly It just felt like coming home walking this path today… I always feel like this when walking in Spain. Crunch crunch crunch underfoot, old stone houses, yellow arrows and the odd chicken or cow. It was a beautiful walk.
Gerry sent me his location… He’d found a bar right on the camino not far after Castiello de Jaca. All he had to do was sit and wait for me. I’d stopped to admire the view so often I thought I was super slow but he seemed quite surprised as I ambled up. Gosh what a great walk.
We sat and drank and planned for our next move. We had agreed to meet senora of our apartment at 5.00pm and it was now almost 3.00pm. Rather than walk into Jaca we decided it might be an idea to skip the outskirts and drive into the centre. This would give us time to explore a little of the old town… and I think Gerry was feeling a little lonely as he’d spent a lot of the day in the car waiting for me.
We parked in the centre and meandered. We found an ice cream shop and sat under a shady tree and enjoyed our treat. We meandered down to the old walled part of the city which just like the cathedral was closed until 16:30. No vists for us today as time was pressing and we had to leave.
We’re settled now in our new Spanish home, under the church in a typical hilltop village. The views from the terrace are stunning. It really does feel like we’ve come home… I’m sure that I could just stay here and plant a garden and raise chickens and go walking.
But before that there’s a camino to walk. Looking at Gerry’s ankle I might be walking a fair bit of it alone. But for now we’re going to sit outside with a drink and consider our options… we’re not worried… The sun has moved around the building and the fields have turned a golden honey colour as the sun drops in the sky… This really is a glorious place to be stranded.