More Camino adventures: the fountain of free wine

A short distance beyond the town of Estella is the Bodega de Irache and a big attraction is the”fuente de vino”, a trailside spigot that flows fresh red wine for all who pass by.

Today we took a leisurely start from the Alda hostel in Estella and walked out by the church of San Pedro de Rua. It is one of many medieval buildings that remain from Estella’s past as an important city in the former kingdom of Navarra.

Church of San Pedro de la Rua in Estella where the ancient kings of Navarra took their oaths. It stands opposite a former royal palace.

We continued on towards the village of Irache. On the outskirts there is the Bodega de Irache and you can get a free sample of the local wine at the trailside fuente de vino. This attraction was a big hit with a group of Mexican cyclists who were riding the Camino. They were stopped there when I arrived and were all laughing as they filled their water bottles with wine.

Just up the hill from the wine fountain is the Monastery of Irache. Since we are doing a slow Camino we stopped and went inside. The church is a gem of elegant romanesque architecture, with simple clean lines, curving arches and just a few statues. I far prefer these churches to those filled with baroque and rococo gilded decor.

The path took us on to a small village called Azqueta where we stopped for a wonderful “bocadillo con jamon y queso” or baguette with ham and cheese. This part of Spain is still in the Basque region and all the signs are in Spanish and the Basque language.

The cafe bar Azketako where we stopped for a much appreciated lunch.

The next couple of kilometers wound through a beautiful forest of oak trees, then onward and upward past vineyards to the village of Villamayor de Monjardin.

This building covers a fountain that used to feed a pool where the horses of pilgrims used to be able to drink. Now the water level is much lower and can only be reached by steps.

Follow my blog to learn about moving to Portugal and daily life in a Portuguese village. And, check out my book, “The Power of Rain” available in Kindle or paperback from Amazon.


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