Saturday 26th August
St Jean Pied de Port – Burguete
The group began their journey at 8am. Departing from Saint Jean Pied de Port, they traversed through the beautiful French Pyrenees, and crossed into Spain. The almost 30km walk, which takes an average of 8 hours, took the group almost 13 hours! Most of the group decided to stay in Roncesvales, a short distance from Burguete. Krikor finished the day at Burguete on his own at 9pm, a slow start indeed!
Sunday 27th August
Burguete – Zubiri
Krikor traveled to Zubiri on foot today whilst other members of the group took a taxi to meet him there. The group took the opportunity to recover from the challenging 13 hour walk the day before. The group later met up with Krikor and conversed in Western Armenian about the journey so far.
Day 3 – 4
Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th August
Zubiri – Pamplona
The group travelled from Zubiri to Pamplona on this day. Before setting off, two participants on the walk noticed there was a bedbug in one of the beds! On the road, they encountered much of Spain’s wildlife and natural environment.
On Tuesday, the group enjoyed a well deserved break: a day off touring around the city of Pamplona. That night, at dinner, the group said their farewells to Christine who would be leaving the group the following day.
Pamplona to Puente la Reina
Last year when passing through the village of Orbanos, Krikor was surprised to see the entire village out for a festival. This year again there was a large ‘fiesta’ taking place in the centre of the village.
Krikor was under the impression that this village is the happiest one in Spain, fiestas every single day!? The group approached one of the villagers who told them that it is the annual fiesta of the village: Saint John the Baptist’s feast. Krikor was lucky enough to catch the festival both this year and the last.
Puente la Reina to Estella
Today the group travelled from Puente la Reina to Estella. They traversed through various villages and medieval towns during their journey, seeing the beautiful natural wildlife and Roman ruins, and all the while conversing in Western Armenian.
In the town of Lorca, Krikor visited the same restaurant he had eaten at last year. They serve the best tortillas and paella in Spain! After walking half an hour out of the town, Krikor realised he hadn’t paid the bill and rushed back to pay. They ended up taking a photo together: the chef in blue and the owner in black – see the photo below.
Estella to Los Arcos
On this day, Krikor witnessed his first sunrise of the trip: the other days were all particularly cloudy! The group’s journey took them through the villages of Iraxte, Azqueta, and Villamayor, finally bringing them to Los Arcos. Krikor walked the entire journey, and was joined later by the group for the last 9kms.
Los Arcos to Logroño
This day was a special day: the 2nd September is the birthday of one of the participants. In addition to an almost 30km walk from Los Arcos to Logroño, the group celebrated the birthday in a restaurant in Logroño with food and beverages. During the walk to Logroño, the group ventured through the village of Sansol, and were impressed by an interesting art instillation made of stones balanced upon one another.
In Logroño itself, they toured the Cathedral and witnessed a wedding procession. The walk from Los Arcos to Logroño also signified the end of the groups journey through the Navara region, and the start of the walk through the Rioja region; of which Logroño is the capital.