Easter Procession in Los Arcos

Camino: Day 5 -Sunday April 12, 2009
Ayegui – Viana (Walk – 38km)
Cold wind and a light drizzle were my companions for most of today. Although in the afternoon the clouds parted and the sun came out. It is incredible how a little bit of sun lifts the spirits after walking for what seems like hours into a bitterly cold wind. The countryside was mainly wheat fields and grape vines. I left Ayegui at 7.30am and the first few hours of walking was a slow climb into a hilltop town called Villamajor. Just as I was about to reach the town a trail runner came past in shorts and short sleeves. I have never been so envious of someone move so freely over the ground while I felt like a tortoise dragging my shell around.
After passing through the town I could see him disappear into the distance on the trail. After this there was about 13 km of walking in open windswept fields before arriving in the town of Los Arcos. Arrival into town was accompnaied by the most beautiful singing. As I progressed walking into town I realised that I was at the tail end of an Easter procession making its way to the town church. The whole village was reverberating with the soud of singing.

It was fantastic to have been here just at this time. As the procession reached the church, the church bells rang. I nearly burst into tears it was such a beautiful moment. It was mid-day and most of the village was in church. It gave me such a lift I walked on for another 17km reaching the town of Viana at around 4 in the afternoon.

Walked 38 km and am feeling tired, but legs and feet are holding up well. I cant believe it was only 7 days ago I ran in Paris. I am in another world altogether. Staying in a fantastic converted monastery adjacent to the ruins of a church, sharing a room with a Koeran walker I had met before and a Norwegian couple one of whom had terrible blisters after only 3 days of walking. Dinner at the hotel across the street – paella, roast chicken, rice pudding accompanied by very good Spanish red (Rioja Temperillo) more than made up for any discomfort I felt through the day.