Stage 3: Arantzazu – Araia (17.7 km)

It is amazing how a good night of sleep can repair the body.  After eight hours of rest I felt ready for another day of walking.  After breakfast we were ready to go.

We warmed up our legs with a climb out of Arantzazu to a mountain pass at 1180 m.  We walked though the lush Aizkorri-Aratz National Park, home to the highest peaks of the watershed between Cantabria and the Mediterranean. on the way up. On the way up the mountain a local man showed us a fossilized scallop shell in the rock formation.  At some stage, millions of years ago, this part of the mountain was under the sea. I reflected that God has been at work in the world for millions of years.

Fossilised scallop shell

Fossilised scallop shell

Part of the trail today joined up with the Camino de Santiago Vasco (the Basque Way to Santiago). After connecting with the Camino de Santiago, we continued to the small village of Araia.

Sacha Bermudez-Goldman left us this evening to travel back to Madrid where he is writing his thesis for the Licentiate.  It has been good to walk with him over the three days.

The bus met us at Araia and took us back to the hotel at Arantzazu where we spent our second night.

We have set up a leadership group of Larry Naismith, Michael Bertie, Peter Walden, Helen Lucas and me which met this evening.  We realise that once Luis Renes and Fermin leave us we will have to do our own navigation.  Larry, Peter and Michael all have GPS devices and have studied maps.  One of the things I am most concerned about on the Ignatian Camino is getting lost as the way is not well marked.

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