Showing posts with label Puente la Reina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puente la Reina. Show all posts

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Camino de Santiago 4 - Puente la Reina to Estella (Electric wheelchair style)

 

Many of the small Camino villages like Puente la Reina, have hung on to their formal historic departure gates and are grander than the towns where your exit is through developing urban sprawl. 

Through the gate and over the bridge starts a day of woodland into mixed agricultural landscapes and then vineyards as we approach Rioja. I enjoyed these gently sweeping hills and valleys with small villages like Cirauqui sitting on hilltops  

Hilltop village of Cirauqui


When travelling with a wheelchair there are many small obstacles in your way, even with the capability of my Genny wheelchair. This is an issue in most countries but generally its worse away from the more resourced urban centers in the west. It is easy to rail against the environment planners and builders for their lack of consideration. In the end it is down to the local building by-laws, government standards and the implementation of these mechanisms that make life accessible to those on wheels. With some diversions, my ability to get off and push and the assistance of others, the Camino de Santiago is a viable route for my 2 wheeled Genny Mobility wheelchair. 

There are probably a good proportion of the population right now who are stuck in their homes, unable to wage battle with the physical, practical and often economic difficulties that life with a disability can present. It isn't fair and its a tragic waste of humanity and we all suffer because of it. Our world is designed to work for the able bodied. The chances are that access or other sorts of issues will impact on us all sooner or later. I am very lucky in that my MS has not taken away my capacity and I can still maintain a good life, through work, relationships and activities and I have the means, motivation and ability to take on challenges like the Camino de Santiago  

As we enter the Estella the vineyards increase
 

Much of the architecture on the Camino is 12th centaury or even earlier. There are many instances of roman roads that still form part of the Camino route
  
Tourist Information office in Estella

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Camino de Santiago 3 - Pamploma to Puente la Reina (Electric wheelchair style)

 "Where the path of wind crosses with the stars"

After my night back in France I drove my van to Puente la Reina. I wanted to backtrack as far as I could so I took a taxi with my wheelchair to Alto de Perdón which is a prominent ridge about halfway between Pamploma and Puente la Reina. This iconic landmark sculpture by Vincent Galbete, depicts a group of 10 pilgrims in steel on their way to Compostela. the inscription "Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas" translates to "Where the path of wind crosses with the stars"
 
Photo moment with Francois and Andy

This windy ridge commands spectacular views and is the site of many wind turbines. Its a photo opportunity and everyone lingers here. The descent westwards however was described as steep and rocky so I detoured by road to Uterga, joining the route again and on to Puente la Reina

The church opposite the Alberge showed nest remains from storks
I loved this little town and reconnected with the people I had traveled with from the start. I stayed in the Albergue Padres Reparadores where the host was willing to keep an eye on my van that was to remain parked opposite for a few nights.

I shared food that night with a team that included a Canadian pastor, A bright young Italian whose mother I spoke to, an elderly American with stock market tips and a Frenchman
There always seems to be an ancient bridge leading to the next destination