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  • Writer's picturekristina jacobsen

Day 6: Los Arcos to San Sol:

-Photo of Palestinian flag from the village of Torres del Rio, today-


Day 6: Los Arcos to San Sol (Navarra)



“Walking is only the beginning of citizenship. But through it the citizen knows his or her city and fellow citizens and truly inhabits the city rather than a small privatized part thereof walking the streets is what links up reading the map with living one's life. The personal microcosm with the public macrocosm in makes sense of all the maze all around.”


 Rebecca Solnit, ‘Wanderlust,’ pp. 190 and 191


Heading just up the road to explore a beautiful Hermitage and then an octagonal church. 


I'm hoping to avoid Viana because it can be a bit of a bottleneck on the Camino and staying usted directly before and directly after. I realized with shock yesterday that I'm actually nearing my destination of Logroño faster than I’d thought. So I may just keep on walking for a couple days after that.


 I met a wonderful family at the Albergue from Toronto. A grandfather, a daughter, her two children, her children's friends, all of them teenage women. And they were so full of joy and spontaneity. And it was really wonderful to see them all together. 


In the afternoon, I took my guitar and played and one of the central plazas the church. Earlier I had gone into the cloister and recorded a portion of a song I had written in Sweden with cowriter Pia Toft Sand (included in yesterday’s blog), and I am loving the acoustics of these different spaces that I am passing as I walk .


So as I was playing, I had some cool encounters. The first one was a Spanish man in his 50s who, when I got done playing, asked me where I was from and I said ‘Nuevo Mexico.’ And he told me that he had walked the Continental Divide from Mexico all the way up to New Mexico, which is a pretty wild rural trail! And then he asked me where my tip jar was. I said I didn't have one because I was just playing for enjoyment. And he said, ‘Well, please let me offer you a ‘tinto verano,’ which is lemonade mixed with red wine, which can be really delicious on a hot day, and he said: ‘please drink it in my honor,’ and I agreed and said yes. And he left four euros on the top of my guitar case. 


And then right when I had finished playing, a second man man in his mid 20s walked up to the bench with a guitar in his back and a mullet and he said ‘Hola.’ I said hi. He said he played the guitar. I asked him, “do you want to play a song together?”  And he said yes and was very serious and he sat down. He played me a song in Spanish that alternated between C and D minor and had these beautiful little melodic flourishes, sort of Spanish style guitar. It was a nylon string guitar. And he kept on saying that he felt it was a little bit out of tune. And he sang this really sweet, beautiful song. 


And I said ‘Are you a pilgrim?’ and he said said ‘no. I am from here’ (Los Arcos). And so then I was racking my brains for songs I knew well in Spanish. And I asked him if he knew ‘cielito lindo.’ So we played ‘cielito lindo’  together and he did some little guitar solos, and I was trying to figure out where this encounter was going to go, next. And then he goes, “Oh, yeah. Listen, I need to catch the bus.” And he picked up his guitar and he went and caught the bus. He had a sort of a typical Basque mullet, which I mentioned a couple posts ago.  The proverbial “Business in the front party in the back” hair style,  with hair shaved on the sides, and he was very serious and very sweet. And we didn't get each other's names until the very  the names came much later, which I thought was interesting.  


And so I had these sweet sort of random, very light hearted chance encounters that I appreciated. And then we had a pilgrim dinner at the Albeegue and this was called Casa de la abuela and owned by a woman named Sara. 


We had a really delicious large, fresh salad which is always a luxury and we get lots of fresh vegetables. And then we had a soup of ‘lentejas’ lentil soup with a red smoky piece of meat, like an entire sausage link, in each bowl. But it was red and smoky. And the soup was unsalted but really really good once you added salt and they'd been cooking it all afternoon so we've been smelling garlic and sweet peppers in the albergue that  wafted it up into the rooms. So we were seriously ready to eat by the time the soup was ready. And then we had a local red wine which I was told was a version of garnacha;  it was pretty light it was almost like a tempranillo, or like not this some super full bodied, Rioja or the kinds of wines that I'm heading into now as I as I crossed the line into the Rioja in the next couple of days. Instead this was lighter and crisper and it was from a local cooperative. And so local, it's like being in Sardinia and the kind of wine where things aren't even labeled on the bottle. 


I sat next to the woman from Toronto and we had a great conversation. And there was pilgrim from Portugal and a pilgrim from Estonia and a pilgrim from Belgium and the pilgrim from the Netherlands and then this entire large group of family and friends from Toronto. And there were some folks from France as well. So it was a nice group. And the dinner was tasty. And I'm very interested to see the different ways that each albergue owner sets intentions with their guests because of course it's a reset every single day of the year. And every single time they have a new group of pilgrims, which typically pilgrims on the same day for one night. Some albergues are very explicit and intentional. Some just leave with lots of rules, do's and don'ts, and then the best sort of hold forth a little bit and talk about their intentions for the space in the place. Or give some words of welcome to pilgrims and those are my favorite ones. Whether that's a religious organization, or a couple, or a team for a passionate owner or former pilgrim themselves that opened up an adventure to me as a walker. It feels important to know where people are coming from and why they are offering this pretty selfless service to begin with, as it’s not a high paying or lucrative gig. And that's a lot of work and you don't necessarily get any time off or time to yourself, especially if you're doing it single handedly.


tonight’s dinner menu at the albergue in sansol

 The most successful albergues seem to be teams that sort of swap off. so now I'm walking through some freshly moving wheat fields and there's that slight smell of freshly cut wheat to my right. A little bit of manure. There's lots of snails this morning on the trail slowly moving across this nice flat packed dirt road as they wake up before the heat. signing off now, have a wonderful day everyone!


disclaimer: All posts written on the camino are written from my cell phone from transcriptions of a recording, and therefore have very minimal editing. They are meant to be a snapshot/soundscapeand a representation of daily life while walking, rather than a polished publication. Please take that into account when reading.*



-singing “amazing Grace” in the stairwell of the alb game staying in tonight.-






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7 Comments


raquelzrivera
raquelzrivera
Jun 23

From this entry, I especially loved your encounters as you played guitar. How lovely! Oh and the soup with the sausage. Sounds delicious.

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kristina jacobsen
kristina jacobsen
Jun 23
Replying to

it was lots of fun and quite silly. i loved how low stakes it was! soup was so delish :)

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Henrik Nielsen
Henrik Nielsen
Jun 23

Hi Kristina.


I really hated ending up in Santiago de Compostela. I had been free for so many days on the road, so it was absolutely awful for me to have to return to the human-made world. But the show had to keep on. Or does it? But anyway, both are just ideas that the brain creates.

Hope you move on…

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kristina jacobsen
kristina jacobsen
Jun 23
Replying to

. I think the show, think stand great the new with old. And so this way, we can reconnect with the feeling of how we felt while we were walking. Does that feel true?

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Linnea Hendrickson
Linnea Hendrickson
Jun 22

More loveliness. In the municipal or parochial albergues and possibly some private ones, the hospitaleros may be volunteers who work in two week rotations with no time off, and they not only welcome and register pilgrims, but may do the cooking and all of the cleaning. That's what Kent and I did during our nearly 3 weeks in El Burgo Ranero, with a full house almost every night. We didn't cook, though. The pilgrims did a lot of cooking in our much better than average kitchen with a little grocery just down the street.

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kristina jacobsen
kristina jacobsen
Jun 23
Replying to

I’m amazed by the love and care shown by so many HOSPITALEROS on the camino. It seems indeed an act of selfless love.

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