To Monreal

6.08.08 Wednesday.

Sanguesa to Monreal.

Another great days walking, but first the things we forgot yesterday. After the church of St James we had a walk about town and were directed to the garage of an 84 year old Spaniard Nicolas Navallas Martiz who makes models of the churches and other buildings in Sanguesa (in fact the whole town!) from lead and copper, he’s been on TV he proudly told us, see Then he showed us the collection of postcards from people all over the world who had completed the Camino and sent him postcards from back home, possibly the most unlikely being from Iran. All in all good value even if we did not understand a word of it. The skies were darkening and the wind got up and we were having dinner in a bar in town when the rain came down, it was not as heavy as we expected but very flamboyant with thunder and lightening, very Spanish. Temperatures dropped a bit from the heat of the afternoon as we went to bed with an early morning to follow.
Up at 0515 and out in the dark along the road to the chemical works (responsible for the smell in the afternoon we had blamed the river or each other) and then steeply up hill to another village, after that it was walking on cart tracks and fields through the steadily lightening landscape of dried and blooming flowers and stubble fields in the early light.
The rain the previous night had left mud puddles some of which had tracks we were later told were wild pig. Around 0800 we had breakfast of half of the loaf bought yesterday and cheese, no morning coffee since entering Spain except one restaurant we passed about 10am one morning.
After a steady ascent over 10-14km of 400m we saw the valley below full of clouds as dawn was breaking, we had not expected a second display like this since leaving the High Pyrenees.
A steady descent into the valley of the river Elorz which flows to Pamplona (the Aragon having disappeared to the south) brought us to a spring in the limestone riverside at Salinas de Ibargoiti and then steadily down the valley finishing through a welcome wood to Monreal at the foot of the hill. This village is billed in our information as having “All Facilities”. It does have an ATM , a hostel and a bar but no shops except a pharmacy. In France there would be at least a Funeral Directors and a hairdresser, equally useless for our purposes. There was a man selling peaches from his van (we bought 10) and we are told there is a bread van twice a day (we missed it). Have had a slice of Chorizo Spanish omelette in the bar for lunch and like the rest of the hostel of 20+ beds (including the Spanish) we wait to see what will happen. On top of the hill are the ruins of a citadel with a faded notice, a wild boar (disturbed and crashed off), and a host of Zebra Swallowtail butterflies.

Link to where we are on Google Maps