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Saturday, 2 July 2016

Hot, hot and even hotter.

Yesterday we left our hotel in  the beautiful city of Zaragoza, with a feeling of reluctance in our hearts, and started on the 28K walk to Fuentas de Ebro. As you leave the beautiful inner city behind, you go through the outer residential sector before coming to the vast industrial zone which like all industrial zones is drab and boring, but the only consolation  being that perhaps the industrial zones revenue allows the inner city be be so well preserved. The first stop was a small village, come suburb called La Cartuja where we had some difficulty finding the right path. Once the path was found and we were back following the orange arrows it was finally time to enjoy the walk. This was a flat pleasant dusty path that followed the river Ebro on one side and the N11 on the other. The highlight of this section was the multitude of storks nests perched high on top of the electricity pylons,  groups of buzzards circling above us and the orchestral arrangement of feathered wildlife in the skies and bushes. Pleasant, relaxed walking indeed that brought us to the small village of Burgo de Ebro which was to be our half way mark and about fourty minutes in front of schedule. It was in high spirits that we entered a small cafe where we enjoyed toasted ham and cheese sandwiches with a cold drink. It never ceases to amaze me how everything can change so quickly during a hike. The second part of the walk, even though the path passed through open countryside, became memorable by the raising temperatures that soared into the 40's, yes, it was that warm. This part of Aragon has vast areas of arable lands that stretch into the far horizon. Farmers were out in force harvesting as we ploughed through the haze of heat that was fast draining us of all energy. The church tower of our destination, Fuentes de Elbro, appeared in the distance and momentarily raised our spirits until we realised that it was to be one of those Camino towns that get further away with each step taken. It was three, hot, weary walkers who made the final uphill road to the edge of Fuentes where the first bar became a paradise, a saving oasis. That cold beer, from an iced glass, will always be etched into my memory bank as one of the best drinks ever. It is remarkable even after such physical hardship how quickly you recover after a shower and a change of clothes. The village was small but there was a friendly atmosphere as we sat, with the locals, outside in the local plaza, enjoying a pre dinner drink. Dinner in the hotel restaurant that evening will be remembered by the food and watching Wales play great football.

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