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Monday, 25 July 2011

From Fiona Inman's most recent pilgrimage from St Jean

Seven weeks home from the camino and I'm still there . . .

Our mountain crossing was very mistical, with sounds of cowbells and baaing sheep, the occasional horse looming up to take a look at us. No sign of the famous Madonna apparently a few metres from where we passed. New accommodation at Roncevalles was very Ikea, but comfortable beds in train compartment style arrangement. Similar at Pamplona where I think we slept in the South aisle of a 17 century church.

The 4E alberque run by brothers at Puente de la Reina was one of my favourites. Have you walked back to the first hotel you pass on entering the town there and experienced the fantastic pilgrim buffet. 11E and unbelievably splendid. Arkadi's alberque at Sansol was lovely too, though pretty quirky - buckets under the basin u-bends- and not clean enough for some Germans who demanded their money back and left us a lovely airy room with chandelier, balcony, and old Spanish tiles on the floor.

92 beds in one room at Najera was probably our most intimate experience with other bedfellows. We finished at Santo Domingo de la C at the peaceful Cistercian convent, bedroom window looking out into a fig tree and below to simple, tranquil garden where pilgirms' clothes hung out to dry.

I'll attach a few photos so you can play "Guess Where?". I'm sorry we can't make this year's feast. When you have time please would you let me have Adele's email address?  It would be lovely to hear from you too. Be sure to use this address to reply not Paul's which is defunct.

Much love Fiona

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