Monday, November 25, 2013

Camino 2013 : Day 9: Izco To Tiebas

The winds were blowing, the temperature dropped, and the skies looked ominous when we left Izco.  We'd had little or no rain since day three and I really thought our luck had run out.  There was some drizzle this day but fortunately the clouds blew by without much rain falling.
2013-09-15 Walking Into A Storm Panorama
Walking into the storm that never was.
Our breakfast stop for today was in Monreal.  Our original itinerary, before we shortened the stage before Sangüesa, would have had us spending the night in Monreal.  It was a nice enough town and breakfast was good.  We got a little lost on our way out thinking the Camino passed by the church.  It did detour by the church but we had to backtrack a little to find the way the out of town.
2013-09-15_Camino_007
The church in Monreal.
For the first time we started passing fields of sunflowers.  A few weeks earlier and it would have been gorgeous.  Unfortunately they were all past their prime and the field of downturned flowers seem a bit sad as they awaited harvesting.
2013-09-15_Camino_009
Sad sunflowers.
We passed through a few little towns along the way but we only stopped for brief rest stops to eat snacks we'd packed and to drink some water.

Between the towns the trail went up and down.  It was like hiking a rollercoaster.  I noticed a pain in my left knee.  I think sometime the day before I'd over extended the knee.  I was a bit worried about this and took it easy.  Having trekking poles helped a lot to reduce the stress on my knees.  My concern was unfounded as the pain in my knee would last three or four days before going away completely.

From the trail you could see a big city in the distance.  It was Pamplona.  One alternative route of the Aragones has you turning and going to Pamplona.  We'd already been to Pamplona so we continued on to our destination of Tiebas.

Tiebas was another small town.  There was an albergue, a church, and a bar/restaurant.  After doing our chores we walked up to the bar to get some lunch.  That's when we discovered that it was festival time in Tiebas too.  That night there was a concert and the eating, drinking, and dancing would last until at least 4:00AM.

The highlight of Tiebas were the ruins of a 13th century castle at one end of the town.  We toured it and took some pictures of the ruins.  The ruins were pretty cool and, reading the descriptions on the plaques, you could imagine what it looked like in its day.
2013-09-15_Camino_034
13th Century castle-palace in Tiebas.
That night Gv made soup for herself.  I was in a weird food mood.  Nothing sounded good and the idea of fighting  the crowds at the bar - party central - was not appealing to me either.  I ended up eating a vending machine meal of a croissant and granola bars (this would turn out to be my only 'bad' meal along the way - I would eat much better along the way).  During our dinner we talked with Nr and Mt.  We kind of hit it off.  They are a nice couple.  J-M and Ju were also there and would end up going to the festivities and, perhaps, overindulging a bit too much.

This would be our last night on the Camino Aragones.  Tomorrow we would be joining the Camino Frances.  Thinking back, I don't think I was looking forward to the Frances.  I liked the newness of the Aragones.  There was always that doubt: Would I like the Frances as much as I did the last time or would it all feel 'been there, done that'?  Tomorrow I would find out.

Pictures can be found in my Camino de Santiago 2013 Flickr set.

Total Distance on Day 9: 23 km ( 14.29 Miles)
Total Distance Walked: 195 km (121.17 Miles)

2013-09-15 Track Image
Approximate Track of the day's hike.
[Click on map for a larger version]

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