Friday, June 25, 2010

Puente la Reina

Today I have finished walking along the Via Tolosana and Camino Aragones routes finishing here in Puerta la Reina, Spain.  Standing here to key this page in I hesitate to say walking.  Yes, tired as I am after a day walking, there is not a computer chair so I must stand to key in my Blog.  Yuk! 

Along the way I have met some wonderful folks Eugenia y Migeul (Madrid), Fernando y Ricardo (Canarias), Christiana und Edmund (Cologne, Germany) and then the lovely Brigita (Germany) who is lost to us now, she is possibly a day or two behind. We all finish walking in Puerta la Reina and in celebration will have dinner together tonight.
Via Tolosana 
The Gite at L'Isle - Jourdain

The best way I could describe the 2010 Via Tolosana walk was, wet. It rained every day that I was in France - sometimes drizzling soaking rain and at other times torrential downpours with thunder and lightening. France was suffering major flooding in some areas and every day on the television they showed streets like rivers with cars being thrown around like white water rafts. So I walked, took a bus, a train, sometimes a taxi, but still when I stopped for the day there was rain. This did not detract from the spectacular views at the times when the rain would ease.
Go on you try it ..... I did, and I poured coffee down the front of my shirt.  In all my travels I have never been served coffee in a cup with a handle set this way, have you?  BTW all the cups in this Bar were like this not just one.
Auch, Gascony
I stayed in some nice Gites but otherwise in small hotels, especially when I could not find the Gites. Gites in France are not as easy to find as albergues in Spain, there is a sad lack of good signage. It is still raining in France.

 So wet ... the rain does not ease up, it continues.
Col du Somport
Walking this way the Pyrenees crossing is over Col du Somport, from Oloron Sainte Marie (France) to Canfrac Estacion (Spain).  I crossed Col du Somport by bus as had been suggested to me by the woman in Toulouse who issued my pilgrim passport (credential). The route is spectacular although maybe because it was cold, damp, rainy and I was feeling blue, I am not sure that I could walk this way, to me it looked tougher than Route Napoleon from Saint Jean Pied de Port (SJPP).

Camino Aragones
Canfranc Estación
The 1928 station that has been abandoned since the 1970's after an International train accident took out a bridge along the way.  It is a beautiful old building and such a shame to see it fall into disrepair.  I wish that I was a millionaire as I would restore this building and turn it into a hotel.
It was very cold and wet in Canfranc Estacion, Spain so I took the train to Jaca (a traditional starting point for Camino Aragones) and I decided that this is where I would start my Camino Aragones. It was a good decision as finally the sun was shining. It felt wonderful to be home in Spain with familiar foods, bars, language and more. As I wrote to Garry be careful what you wish for as now not only was the sun high in the sky with no clouds but each day was hotter than the one before.

Santiago in Jaca

The 16th century Citadel (San Pedro Castillo)

This pilgrim cannot stand much longer, and I want to check email, so I will finish for today.

I am going to Burgos tomorrow and will spend a couple of rest days there before continuing on. Given the opportunity I will Blog again in Burgos.


  1. Anonymous7:38 AM CDT

    Hi Luiza: Good that you are able to blog again. I missed your updates! Hopefully, from now on, there will be blue skies for you. You must have sent Reiki for shop, as we have improved a bit, just enough to manage a bit longer! That is all that is required. I have been reading Katie's blog and keeping up with their travels, and I have written Kees also. Danny is improving day by day - just a long, long process. They told him it could take up to 18 months before all is near perfect again! Weather is very, very hot here also (98 - 99 category). Oil spill/politics continue to plague Louisiana, unfortunately. Enjoy your way, eat some good food and drink some good wine for me! Until next update, Love, Dawnie

  2. We heard about the bad weather France was having... Glad you had better weather for the Aragon valley... It's good there, isn't it?

  3. Hi Dawnie,

    Good that the shop and Danny have imporoved. Garry informed me about the oil spill it is a horrible scenario.

    Hi my friendly Solitary Walker,

    Bad bad weather in France and Spain has been wonderful. Yes the Aragon Valley is truly beautiful.

    Till next time,

  4. Anonymous7:19 PM CDT

    Hi Luiza: Thank you for the was good to talk with you and hear your voice today. I will call when I can. I did check Katie's blog and made a comment, telling her to wish Paula a happy birthday from you. They are off to Denmark for dancing tomorrow, I think. Please continue to have a wonderful time. I wrote to Kees, but have not heard back from him just yet. When you see him, give him a big hug from the Harringtons. Talk with you soon. Love, Dawn