In September last year my Scouse Spouse left St Jean for his own solo camino. He got as far as Estella where he had an accident and ended up in hospital with a fractured pelvis and a badly broken upper arm and damaged shoulder. I immediately jumped the first flight to Madrid, then got a bus to Burgos, stayed overnight (well, five hours) and then got the first bus to Logroño, local bus to Estella and a taxi to the hospital. When I arrived outside the ICU, my taxi driver asked if I needed a room, which I did, and she called a few places and organised one for me in the town centre, only 1.5 km from the hospital. I then stayed in Estella for two and a half weeks looking after my Scouse Spouse until he was well enough to be sent home. (Read more about it here: Accidents and Emergencies and don’t even think about leaving home without decent travel insurance cover!)
One year to the day of his accident we went back. We wanted to finish his camino to celebrate the fact that he had beaten his injuries, and also do a long walk together before my knees get too bad. This time the bus journey was a lot less stressful and we enjoyed watching the landscape as we got nearer Estella.
We stayed in Estella for a few sunshiny, touristy days, since he had not seen the town on his previous visit. We also walked up to the hospital to thank the nurses, doctors and our physiotherapist for all their help and care, gave them a box of chocolates and had pics taken for the staff who weren’t on shift when we got there. They seemed surprised and pleased to see us and wished us a buen camino for this year’s walk all the way to the end of the world. The lady at emergency admissions even gave us our first stamp!
I really like Estella; it is very pretty, just big enough to provide almost anything you might need and just small enough that you can sightsee most of it in a day. Oddly the camino bypasses the town centre and you have to choose to cross the river to visit the churches. It is well worth it though!
As it happened, my camigo David from ClearSkiesCamino was also starting another camino walk from Puente la Reina to Burgos at the same time, and we were able to meet up the day before we set off. We were hoping to meet a few times before he sped ahead of us, as we were taking it easy to see how Scouse Spouse managed carrying his own pack. I’d got him an Osprey Exos with a back frame that was long enough to lift the shoulder straps off his injured shoulder and packed light, so we were hopeful that he would be OK. If not, we had rooms booked so he could forward his pack and keep walking without it.
After a few lazy days we packed our bags for good and hit the road again aiming for Los Arcos. Only 661 kms to go …