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Setting out into empty early morning streets

Setting out into empty early morning streets

Puente la reina

Puente la reina

Jeanie enjoys the view after an early uphill push

Jeanie enjoys the view after an early uphill push

The hostel we were so excited for upon arrivallast night did not go quite as we anticipated. The heat of the day continued into the night, and was exponentially concentrated by the dozens of traveler bodies atop rows of bunk beds. The sweaty night had us both up in the five o clock hour eager for departure.

Our mood quickly turned for the better as we walked out into the cool and quiet morning air, the streets double illuminated under gentle yellow streetlights and an overseeing moon. We exited the little town via the famous Puente la Reina bridge pictured above. Jeanie had only had a rice cake before leaving the hostel, and therefore found herself a bit low going into the day.

We stopped for some snacks on an uphill climb before continuing on. As the sun rose behind us, the moon faded in the foreground and we continued onwards until reaching a picturesque little town whose hundreds of rooftops were layered one behind the other as the city progressed up a hill. As we turned the second street corner in the village we both looked at each other, an incredible morning scent filling our bodies. We had to find its source. Everything appeared closed, but we knew whatever we were smelling would be worth it. And so with no other guidance than our noses we deviated from the path and set out through town. We laughed as we imagined that the smell would probably end up coming from a house, to which we quickly promised each other we would still knock anyway and ask if we could purchase two of their breaded creations.

A woman stuck her head out the window to inform us we were going the wrong way for the camino. We assured her we were not, that our camino led to bread, and inquired if she knew where the smell was coming from. She seemed amused at our quest and gave us directions to the bakery a few streets above. We thanked her and set off, laughing when we found the store that ended up being further along on the official camino route. We enjoyed a morning croissant and then continued again, Jeanie being careful to continue monitoring how her levels responded to the combination of morning carbs as well as the uphill sections of the trail. This has been a tricky task throughout our camino. Blood glucose levels generally lower with exercise, but Jeanie has noticed a pattern of her levels going high when there are particularly high levels of strain caused by excessive heat, distance, or elevation. Although she was keeping a close eye, we are happy to report that is was a relatively uneventful day in these regards!

When we arrived at Estella, we were impressed by the scale of its giant stone structures, and enchanted by the various bridges arching over the local river. As neat as the little city was, we were more than ready to kick off our shoes when we reached our albergue, an older church building with a recently remodeled interior. We soon headed out to find some groceries for a dinner of ham, cheese, and crackers, a new staple for us along the trail. We will check in tomorrow once we make it to Los Arcos!

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