(with apologies to Persian philosopher/poet, Omar Khayyam)
The Camino Frances is rich with intriguing surprises and delights. Today’s route was an exceptional example. Just outside of Estella, we reached the renowned Camino Wine Fountain, Fuente del Vino. It was built in 1991 and belongs to the Bodegas Irache winery. The adjoining monastery is said to have been the first pilgrim hostel on the Camino, and thus the fountain is meant to pay homage to the generosity shown to early travellers. The fountain is open daily between 8 a.m and 8 p.m. and is limited to a total of 100 liters of free wine each day (source).
A nearby sign reads:
“Pilgrim, if you wish to arrive at Santiago full of strength and vitality, have a drink of this great wine and make a toast to happiness.”
Although we were not travelling all of the way to Santiago, we were not ones to turn down strength and vitality (or free wine)! We filled up part of Richard’s small water bottle. The wine was surprisingly delicious….so much so that I accidentally left my hiking poles behind. Not a worry, the five-minute run back to get them (as Richard laughed underneath a shady tree…wine in hand) was totally worth it!
Because we were walking long days, without the vitality of youth, we (okay, maybe just me), did not always take full advantage of exploring many of the places of interest that each stop on the Camino offered. The Church of Santa Maria Los Arcos was the exception and is well worth a lingered visit, and a mention here. It was built and renovated between the 12th and 18th centuries and includes Romanesque, Protogothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture (source). However, even with little knowledge of these time periods or influences, the church’s intricate and breathtaking beauty serves to capture and humble even the most unsuspecting visitor who peers through its doors.
Church of Santa Maria Los Arcos, Plaza de Santa Maria, Tel: 948441004 – 649909514
I should approach Marc Lefebvre, the Mayor of Parksville, about having a similar fountain placed in our town. It would be great for tourism!
Casa de la Abuela
Plaza de la Fruta 8
31210, Los Arcos, Navarra
Tel: +34 948 64 02 50
Breakfast:3.50 euros includes coffee/tea, juice, toast, cereal, hard-boiled egg and homemade cake! Photo Credit: http://www.alberguescaminosantiago.com