Day 4: Free flowing free wine.

Just the facts
Day 4: Puenta la Reina to Villamajor de Monjardin
Distance: 20 miles / 32 km
Time: 7 hours
Total to date: 62 miles / 100 km
Aches and pains: one sore shoulder. No blisters.

Along the Camino there is a wine fountain for pilgrims. I made a point of visiting it.

For 23 years the generous owners of a winery in Irache have provided free wine to pilgrims who care to stop. This is nothing like wine tasting in Napa Valley. Of course you are welcome to buy wine but who wants to walk all day with a heavy bottle in their backpack. I suppose a pilgrim could start drinking at 8:00 in the morning and quickly lighten their load. That said, the wine fountain is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

When I arrived at the fountain a tourist (not a pilgrim) and her two young sons were ahead of me. After she had filled five bottles I had enough and told her she might go inside and buy her wine! I filled half a water bottle but was getting tired and ended up carrying my (lightweight) bottle to the abergue. I was so tired when I arrived that I forgot it was in my pack. Tomorrow.

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A Japanese man arrived at the albergue after first visiting the wine fountain. I’m still not sure how he found his way.

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On a sweet note:
I came across a father and his son today, each one carrying a backpack and a walking stick. The son was nine years old. He was enjoying the Camino and was “getting very strong”. He was also “hungry all the time and ate a lot!” This darling boy was a Camino volunteer, not a recruit. Can you imagine the stories he will have to tell his friends when he gets back to Boston.

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My room for the night. I’m sharing with Dutch, Hungarian, Korean, Italian and Swedish pilgrims. Men and women.

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Dinner was a communal affair with good food and good company.

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