Day 12 – Estella to Villamayor de Monjardin

  • Distance today:                  6.5 mi
  • Distance Camino 2017:  78.0 mi

Today was perfect for walking: cool, with manageable ups and downs and varied walking surfaces and in the 6-7 mile range, but with one hitch: when we got to our destination, there was “no room in the inn”.

Yesterday, we called the 2 places with double rooms in Villamayor de Monjardin to reserve a place to stay tonight and found that everything was booked. We ruled out walking further, as the next village was an additional 7 miles… more than we were willing to take on. So yesterday we reserved our room in Estella for a second night.

Here is a pictorial account of our walk today:

After walking to Villamayor this morning and enjoying breakfast at the Bar Ilarria, we called a taxi to take us back to Estella.

One method for calling a taxi if you don’t speak Spanish is fairly easy. At most bars or any public place you can find a posting of local taxi numbers. If not you can ask a bartender for a taxi. This morning I told the bar tender I wanted a taxi to Estella. He pointed me to the taxi number, which I dialed on my cell phone. When the person on the other end said something, I said, ” Hola, uno momento por favor” and handed my phone to the bartender, who then the told taxi dispatcher what we wanted. The bartender hung up, handed me my phone and using fingers and Spanish indicated the taxi would be here in 5 minutes. 5 minutes later we had our taxi and were on our way back to our hotel in Estella. This morning’s taxi ride was 25€ for about a 10 mile/10 minute drive.

Since we were already installed in our room and had left many of the heavier items in the room (why carry any more than you need, when you get a chance to lighten your pack?), when we returned we got back into some non-routine items.

First, with the manager of the Cristina Hotel’s help, especially her phone and her Spanish, we reserved places to stay for the next three days, to prevent another potential double night stay and taxi fees.

Second, we tried to enjoy more of the Estella festival.

This included a procession and a later dance performance in the nearby square (Plaza de Los Fueros) of Spanish gigantes (giants).

We were also rewarded with more “bull running” in the street overlooked by our room balcony.

All in all, our slight adjustment in where we spent the night was a fortune rather than mis-fortune. The festival was unplanned and a unique experience. We continued our progress by walking 6.5 more miles and had what seemed to be a day off!