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  • Writer's picturekristina jacobsen

Lorca-Estella: Day 3

This morning, I left Lorca and headed to Estella, where I am now arrived in a beautiful hostel in Estella, right along an exquisitely green river.

In Estella, I had a super tasty lunch with an orange, sweet bell pepper-based gazpacho with olive oil drizzled on the top and rounds of bread to dunk in it. I had a delicious glass of white Rueda, which was a sort of semi-sweet wine and some fried fish and then a coffee, super delicious.

Gazpacho with olive oil drizzled on top
Rueda: it is sort of light golden color with a slightly sweet finish
Brilliance of small amounts of portable olive oil combined with salt so you can pour both directly on your bread

Two days ago, on the Alto del Perdon

(the mountain of pardon or forgiveness), there was a very moving stone circle and a plaque written in Spanish (henceforth Castellano in my blogs) and Basque (henceforth Vasco), but not translated into English so I’m guessing that many English-speaking Pilgrims will miss it. 

At this site, about 92 Spanish resistance fighters between 1936-1937 were shot on the top of this mountain by Franco. The plaque lists all the different towns that the men that were killed, in this case, were from. Maybe it’s because I was alone on this mountain top early in the morning with vast views and the sense of peace and stillness, but all of a sudden the wrath and brutality of Spanish fascism became alive for me in a way that it hadn’t before. The names, the small towns, the places, the bravery of all of the resistors. It's a deeply moving tribute and one of the interesting things is that it's not translated into English. So I think a lot of American and English speaking pilgrims won't necessarily know all the meaning although it's also where the beautiful bronze silhouettes are of St. James, against the backdrop of the valley. I'm thinking about the ways that history, both ancient and contemporary, get incorporated into this Camino, along with all the Brazilian owning Albergue families that we see increasingly on this path and the much more multicultural and multinational aspects of this Camino. For example, when I was at a bar in a small town about two days ago, having a great conversation with an old gentleman about local wines, there was a Cape Verdean couple that ran that bar.

Alto del Perdon, memorial for resistance fighters
an example of what was found in the exhumations later

This morning, when I left the albergue and Lorca, there was a quote from Joan Halofax Roshi, who said (full quote, below): You need to let go of your planning. When you go on pilgrimage, let go of your projects. Pretend like you're not coming back. Take care of everything, as  if you weren't coming back. 

This is also a choice, of course. To leave the headspace of planning, and ascertaining, and evaluating, and focusing on walking, and smelling new smells, and putting 1 foot in front of the other. And it’s not that everything that I wish were resolved in this moment and my life right now is resolved, it’s not, but that’s also OK, and I can keep on walking despite that..So I'm gonna walk along and record a little note with the click of my sticks. Keeping tempo with my thoughts and reflections.

Fields of ginestra

I'm really liking the fact that I've given myself permission to do modified caminos and not apologize for it. That feels good in my bones. My body is responding, having a lot less pain. feeling a lot more energy. A lot more joy. A lot more spontaneity. And I love that also taking my time in the morning, not having someone wait for me to pack my bag to leave to walk. makes a huge difference just being able to leave. When I want to leave, I say goodbye to who I want to say goodbye to and then slip off down the trail with no broader sense of social obligation or where you are you sleeping tonight or ‘see you there.’ Just maybe we'll see each other, and if we're supposed to see each other we will, and if we're not, we wont, and just leave it at that. Last night, I met a woman. a woman from the Canary Islands, who's walking with her small rat terrier named Chicca who's one of the sweetest little dogs you've ever met. Just sort of cuddles into the covers and she likes to sleep under a blanket. And then she doesn't wear special shoes to walk on the camino. but. each night when they arrive, She's put in the sink and given a bath and then her paws are oiled with Vaseline to keep them from cracking on the Camino, and she's doing 20-25 kilometers a day. It's really pretty amazing to watch her and she just follows her and her all around the bed and then i Rodrigo from Barcelona who feels like this old soul to me. I feel like I've met him before. There's a very calm and deep connection with him. I don't even know how to explain it but there's something primal and archetypal with him. And, as the camino does, we'd met the day before at a bar and I didn't even realize it. 

-Video from the “ Ermito San Miguel,” a little hermitage I encountered along the way today with an incredible acoustic. I really want to play concert here!-

And then there's the father and his daughter from Parma, Italy. Her name is Allegra, his name is PierFranco. I think they have those really hard guttural German |r|’s and the first time I heard this pronunciation years ago, I thought it was an idiolect or even that the person had a speech impediment of some sort the first time I talked to someone from there, which is when I was planning my solo tour in 2019. But no, it is a regional Italian pronunciation. And they were sweet and curious and then we had a really nice evening of music out on the terrace. I played songs and they sang with me and it was really beautiful. It was exactly the reason I brought my guitar: to share music and to have some moments of conviviality on this camino with other pilgrims.

My favorite foot bridge of the day

 It’s also such a fine balance for me between alone time and group time. I can err on the side of too much alone time and show up in an Albergue where there's only one or two people and talk to to virtually no one. Or I can pretty much spend my whole day walking alone spent and then show up at a bigger Albergue like the one I'm sleeping at tonight.

What I'm finding I'm really liking is making the day and my walking about the local people in the place, being in the place and connecting with people from that place, in Spanish. So, seeking out small bars, seeking out tables, seeking out spaces where you see elders or women or other people that are lingering in outdoor spaces and just having small conversations. Those are also nice times and nice moments to read the newspaper to see what's going on locally in the news or even to talk to people and ask them about the news or their thoughts about politics or religion or any events that are going on locally. So that can be a really nice way to learn a little bit more. then, in the evening, I like to dedicate that to being at the albergue and building community with other Pilgrims, the unique subculture that is on the camino. 

I am trailing some Sardinians on the camino, including TONI and his Sardinian flag :-)

So the day is about being in the place and on the Camino, in nature and with people from Navarra from the region, and the evenings are about the shared community of being in pilgrimage with others. So it gives me also lots of mental space during the day, to decompress in ways that feel really, really good.

Now I’ve just crossed the street to smell a sweet hedge of Jasmine. Just like every time I'm in a town I'm like a bee to pollen. I just Beeline right for wherever they see the Jasmine hedge and then I go over and I smell it. 

One of the things I've been doing first thing when I come out on the Camino each morning is finding a flower and taking a deep, long, slow inhale. Right now this is generally Jasmine and yellow ginestra, which smells like honey, and I don’t know how it translates into English. 

Gosh that smells amazing! Yesterday I found a full field of ginestra. But it went on for like a couple of kilometers on the hillside. Great, intense yellow everywhere, on a hillside.

I will sign off now as the town of estay awaits, but tomorrow I would like to dive into the serious topic of the ubiquitous presence of tjhe Basque mullet, among other things :-)

 talk to you anon…….

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

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Linnea Hendrickson
Linnea Hendrickson
Jun 19

I really relate to this post, Kristina. I realize that so much of what you’re experiencing is what I miss about walking alone, which I haven’t done since my first two Caminos.

kristina jacobsen
kristina jacobsen
Jun 19
Replying to

it’s definitely new for me, this walking alone business. And I’ve been surprised by how not alone I feel and how supported I feel in the walking. I’m so glad that it feels relatable and that you can reconnect to the experience.


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