Stage 12: Alfaro to Tudela

After a hotel breakfast and paying the very reasonable bill, I set out along a B road to Castejón, an ugly industrial village as I approached it, but the bars were already full of life. The next stretch was a dirt road alongside the railway. By the time I crossed the tracks, I was nearly half way to Tudela and looking forward to beautiful views of the river Ebro.

Since the first part of the journey had been straightforward, I was reflecting on the baptism of Jesus.  What might his mother have said when he left home?  “When will you be back?” probably. Did she give him some food for the journey?

Then I thought about John – what brought him to the wilderness, and why just then?

I skipped the actual baptism, whatever John thought he was doing, and, as my knee was getting painful, placed Ignatius in the crowds heading for the Jordan.  Then I moved to last’s gospel. “Rabbi, where are you staying?” “Come and see.”

By this time I had really slowed down, and on rejoining the road, found some shade for a 15-minute rest before the last lap.

The Posada is not quite what I expected. The shared patio is nice, the dark lounge and shared bathroom and toilets less so. This makes last night’s en suite with a good and inexpensive breakfast even better value. After a wander round the town, I dined on something unidentifiable at the hostess’s favourite tapas bar. I could not find a supermarket, so breakfast will be a mandarin and the rest of the ginger cake.