Stage 4: Araia to Alda

The guide book gives this text for the walk:

“I will lead the blind along a road that they do not know. I will guide them along paths of which they are unaware…” (Isaiah 42:16)

From the route description I was expecting thick mud and a lack of waymarks.

The day began with breakfast at the same restaurant as last night’s dinner. Just bread and ham on the table when we arrived, but fruit juice, coffee and cheese arrived to make a good start to the day.

The 3 of us plus Imanol were on the first taxi run, to Araia church where we were picked up last night, and walked to San Roman to meet the others. The path up to the pass was less muddy than expected, a stone road with drainage channels.  Only the last part was thick mud, and it had mainly dried out so that it was not difficult to walk on.  At last we came out of the woods onto a summer pasture where we stopped for lunch.

Two events enlivened the ways down: cows on the path which looked at us before running away, and a stop for Imanol and others to pick sloes for drinks based on aniseed and gin.  Then we emerged on a road through the valley, with several impressive churches, all locked.

We are staying in a Casa Rural, very friendly and comfortable. Dinner included an egg salad with salad vegetables from the garden including thick chunks of tomato.  No WiFi however.

In the village we met a German pilgrim on her way to the refugio at St Vincent. She is thinking of following the Ignatian Camino as far as Zaragoza. I wonder if I will see her again.