La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653

La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653
La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653


PLEASE READ: Our Camino For Alzheimer's Awareness will begin on World Azheimer's Day, September 21, 2018 in Lodève, France about 130 kms west of Arles (underlined on the map above and circled on the route profile at the bottom of the page). We plan to walk together just over 800 kms to Puente la Reina, Spain where Annemarie will determine her next steps. It is, however, Geoff's intention to continue onwards a further 700 kms towards Santiago de Compostela. To put this into perspective, the total distance is about the same as from Victoria to Santa Barbara, California. As usual, we will accept the journey as it unfolds and we are appreciative of any and all support. If you feel moved to contribute to the Alzheimer Society please click on either of the really obvious RED BUTTONS to the right or at the bottom of this page and you will be transferred to the Society's fund raising site. We are paying our own expenses and all money raised will go directly to the Alzheimer Society.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ètape 29: Monreal - Puenta la Reina, 34 kms, Cloud to Sun, 25

A La Izquierda!

Up and away after a brief breakfast. Excited to transit the last stage of the Arles Chemin and Aragones Camino. A narrow path greeted us this morning with lots of fun parts. A real walker’s trail that put me in my happy place and Annemarie suggested a few times that the pace was pretty good today. I wasn’t really listening to the hints, which meant “please slow down!” Annemarie will tell you that I’ve paced really well this trip, but today I was lost somewhere in my head and I wasn’t paying enough attention early on. Getting lost in one’s mind is simply part of walking.

A few photos as we moved ever closer to our destination.

Following the Canal de Navarra in the early going.

The Alto Perdon is somewhere off in that direction as is Pamplona.

We passed a sticker car! I saw one of these in Japan as well and laughed just as hard.

We saw a castle today, but I’m a bit behind this evening so I won’t share all the details. 

Breakfast today was anything but filling, so we paused for lunch at Tiebas, a good decision as it turned out as there wasn’t anywhere else open today. Then it was onwards.

Then a nice thing happened. We found a field of vines with the grapes still attached! A little pilgrim shrinkage followed as we had to have a very small taste. Yum!

And while we found a post with our final destination... wasn’t really our true destination today. We had come to find a very special place from our first Camino.

Eunate. When we’d visited here in 2013 I had sort of suggested to Annemarie that it might be nice one day to approach Eunate from the traditional direction. That day arrived today. The approach took us through some lovely side pathes.

We had read that it would be closed at this time of year, opening closer to Christmas. It didn’t really matter. The strong memories of the peacefulness we found in this small hexagonal place during our first visit were just as fresh today. And it was perfect, all ours for a short time.

From there we skipped Obanose by staying on the highway and avoiding the short steep climb to town and shortly afterwards we had our beds in sight.

Even the pepper pickers were happy to see us!

And a new welcome sign too. At least we didn’t remember seeing this the first time.

We had arrived.

Endings and beginnings: As we were walking along early in the day our minds took us back five years. We have now joined up with the Camino Santiago just over five years after we started our first Camino. In reaching Puenta La Reina, which is the designated end of the Camino Arles and Aragón, I have completed my commitment for this journey. Puenta La Reina is near the beginning of the Camino Santiago, and we remember being full of excitement when we last visited here. Over the next few weeks Geoff will have the opportunity to revisit many of our previous Camino sights and experiences, and I have decided to walk for three more days to Logrono, to share in some of those memories. For both us, then, today marks both an end and a beginning. For people with Alzheimer’s there are also a number of endings and beginnings. The first is moving from a person without a diagnosis to being a person with a disease. There are endings in abilities, and beginnings of support services. Many of the endings involve some loss of independence, and the beginnings involve some level of increased dependence. We also suspect we will lose some of our independence as we see an increase in pilgrims on the trail...and if we happen to connect with some of them, our independence will be further decreased. Sometimes this is a good thing...I’m sure Geoff will benefit from the increased company on the trail after I leave.

You might have noticed a different map at the top of the page. The Camino Frances from where we are tonight, four stages from a common beginning place at St. Jean Pied de Port, to Santiago. During our first crossing 5 years ago we met, connected with and have subsequently become good friends with a number of folks; Ken, Neil, Sarah, Peter, David and Jennifer. I believe that they are all following along on our Camino For Alzheimer’s Awareness and we hope that perhaps some of the things we see and photos we post will stir some good memories for them. Many of our other friends at home have also walked this way and we wish the same memory stir for them too. It’s a well marked route now and it’s pretty much impossible to loose your way, though apparently some still do. So I feel comfortable carrying my old tried and true map guide on the right published in 2010 to guide me. It still has all the email addresses of the people we met along the way in 2013 written inside! I think Ken also used this guide. So a walk down memory trail for many of us, but also the second half of our purposeful walk to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s. I’ll keep reminding you about this:)))


  1. Hey you two, well done on completing this phase of the walk. It seems to have been thoroughly agreeable to you both. Great to see Eunate again and no doubt there will be many nice reminders in coming days. The sweeping hills and vales of this part of the country look wonderful your photos and very pleasant to walk through. Hoe good to have the time (and energy) to be able to walk on for a few days Annemarie. Buen camino!

    1. Not sure about the energy, but it is nice to be here and enjoy all that is Camino in Spain! Hope the rains have found you down under!