Thursday, November 5, 2009

Estella to Los Arcos

Easter in Los Arcos

We were treated to a sunrise serenade by 3 or 4 musicians in medieval costumes. They seemed to be following a route and stopping and singing at designated locations-must have something to do with the Easter celebrations? Anyway is was a lovely early morning treat.
Leaving Estella we met up with Katherine, the young german lassie who 'blew' her knees on our epic retreat from the Cruceiro down to Argeguy and up the valley route and, as she was going to Los Arcos as well, we went together. Katherine is very bouncy and speaks German, French and Spanish-sometimes it seems all at the same time-what energy! Its no surprise when she tells us her favourite Disney character is.....Tigger! She gives us 'updates' on the group and we find out that S.A. Emily is actually a journalist writing an article on the Camino Frances- and when I come to think of it I do remember her assiduously taking notes as everyone chatted in the bar at La Posada.

Easter Procession Los Arcos

Arrive into Los Arcos in time for Easter mass and the very end of the procession that precedes the service- so got to see the palanquins of the life of Christ at the head of the procession. God knows what Katherine thinks because whenever she meets us she seems to get dragged off to mass by these 'two Irish ones'!
This service was a warm, local and familiar affair as beautiful, but very different from, the urbane restraint of Holy Thursday in Pamplona.
The Los Arcons were friendly and very inclusive, even though they were all in their Easter best and we were really pretty grubby.
Somehow Frances wrangled a place in the nave alongside the town dignitaries in their gorgeous aquamarine robe with black fur trimmings. I on the other hand, along side a cadre of small boys (obviously the towns 'live wires'), was consigned to 'the gods', a gallery opposite the organ with great views of the choir and congregation. I was a little worried as this elevated spot seemed to provide an almost perfect position for juvenile sabotage of the crowd below. Thankfully we were joined by a lady with a basilisk stare and, in her presence, the boys behaved as angelically as they looked.
They brought to mind the young pilgrim who had died up beyond Orisson-his little wayside marker is a memory I seem to carry with me to each place of worship. I light a candle or say a prayer for the unknown pilgrim whenever I can.
The choir sang their hearts out but it was only halfway through mass I noticed that each of the organ pipes had a chorister face painted on them, each singers 'mouth' corresponding to the air hole in the pipe and all apparently 'joining in' equal enthusiasm, Every one of the painted faces was unique in look and expression. How such a jolly conceit, and one that is so much fun to look at during service, was ever allowed I don't know.

Because of the day that was in it we treated ourselves to a Kinder egg each -but I did think about that gigantic Easter egg we had seen in Estella just once or twice.
It got pretty cold so we sat in the bar in the Hotel Monaco sipping coffee and updating journals-outside the kids were playing a game like handball and the mums and dads could keep an eye on them from the bar-so everyone was happy. Nice meal and warm beds-Happy Easter.

Congregation Easter mass Los Arcos

Palanquins of the Life of Christ- Easter Procession Los Archos

Looking forward to the walk tomorrow going via Torre del Rio where there's another centralised church like Eunate. On Katherines advice we plan to go to a Decathlon outlet in Logrono to try to get Frances new boots as, thought her current ones worked well at home, they seem to have 'turned rogue' once we hit the Pyrenees. Boots can be like that.
Wonderful dusk with the storks settling into their nests silhouetted against the sky.

Dusk Easter Sunday Los Arcos

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