Villamayor to Sansol – Day 8

We left before sunrise. We are to walk 19km today. I was feeling a little under the weather, so left my bag to be picked up by the baggage carrier service. You fill this envelope with 5Euro and tie it to the bag and the bag gets delivered to the albergue in the drop address. Such a blessing!

We’re treated to the beautiful sunrise over Villamayor as we leave.

The walk is on entirely flatland after we descend from Villamayor. Though easy on the legs and lungs, it was pretty boring! No sudden surprises of beautiful landscapes as you turn the corner or come upon after a challenging climb up a hill. The difficult part after the sun came out, was the fact that there was no shade at all. No trees or forests to walk through! Just wheat fields and vineyards. We were now close to reaching the border of Navarre and Rioja. Entering world famous wine country!

Around 9am we were in Los Arcos. Stopped here to eat breakfast of empanadas and tortillas. As we were exiting the town we stopped to peep into church and were quite overcome by the grandeur of the inside. Hand painted walls and gilded altar and side altars. Very ornate! We were quickly shooed out by a group of ladies who were cleaning the church, asking us to come back after 10am.

After 9k of endless straight pathways through fields, we reached Sansol. Another lovely little village. Everything, including the little village store, the pharmacy, etc close by 12.30pm. After siesta time, some things reopen for an hour or two in the larger towns…but not Sansol. The only open store would reopen only at 7am the next morning.

We had booked for the night at Palacio de Sansol. This turned out to be a very old building from the 1700s, restored by its owner and turned into an albergue with bunk beds and private rooms. The building was grand both on the outside and inside with a wide staircase leading up to the first and second floors.

We chose to have dinner at the Albergue. We shared a meal with 2 Spanish couples and yes, the meditating German. The meal was really good- a vegetable soup with bits of ham, the best tortilla ever and orange and flavoured yogurt for dessert. We also had two varieties of Rioja wine – a red and a rosè.

The albergue was owned and run by an elderly gentleman, with a wonderful smile! His gentle ways and demeanour reminded both of us of my dad! He used Google Translate to communicate with us and that worked well! We loved our stay here and would highly recommend it to anyone on the Camino route.

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