On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Uterga to Puente la Reina

January 9, 2012 — 6 Comments
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The Camino descended gradually past vineyards and farmland. I saw the first red poppy, and soon, there were splashes of red along the path. We arrived at Puente la Reina and were greeted by a large metal statue depicting St. James. Puente la Reina has catered to pilgrims for centuries and is best known for its magnificent Romanesque bridge. The town, whose name means “Bridge of the Queen,” refers to the queen in the eleventh century who commissioned the bridge to span the Río Arga… From Page 50, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days. We’ll get to the bridge soon, but first, we have a good morning walk ahead.

Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago, in the chapter, Day 3: Canadian Boy. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons). On my last post, On the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Pamplona to Uterga, I had a scenic afternoon and evening walk to Utegra, and had just beat a big storm by minutes. It rained all night and it was obvious that the weather had changed from the previous two days.

Typical rolling terrain of farmland, just outside Uterga.

Image of Rolling farmland outside Uterga, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

 At this point, 747 km to Santiago De Compostela seemed like a very long way.

Image of sign: Santiago 747km, outside Uterga, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The church in the village of Muruzábal was rather simple, but according to Gitlitz & Davidson on page 83 of their book, The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago, it has the circa 1500, Retablo de los Santos Juanes, which they declare to be a masterpiece. The retablo is the often ornate structure situated behind the altar. The church doors were locked and I continued.

Image of the Church in Murazabal, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The first vineyards, just outside Muruzábal.

Image of the first vineyards outside Murazabal, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

I was impressed with the stained-glass of the church in the village of Obanos.

Image of the Church in Obanos, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The Camino exited the plaza in front of the church through this portal.

Image of Portal in Obanos, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

 The rolling terrain outside Obanos. Even on a dull day, the contrasting colors were striking.

Image of Rolling terrain outside Obanos, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The poppies in full bloom would become an important feature of the Camino for the next couple of days.

Image of the first poppies outside Obanos, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

This recent metal statue of St. James adorned the entrance to Puente la Reina.

Image of metal atatue of St. James, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The Iglesia del Crucifijo at the entrance of Puente la Reina was a different style of architecture than the churches earlier in Spain.

Image of Iglesia del Crucifijo, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

Storks on top of the octagon bell tower stood on guard.

Image of Storks on Bell Tower, Iglesia del Crucifijo, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

 Calle Mayor, the narrow road that the Camino has followed for centuries.

Image of Narrow main road in Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The main square or plaza in Puente la Reina.

Image of the main square, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

Getting a good view of the Iglesia de Santiago proved difficult, due to the narrow main road.

Image of Iglesia de Santiago, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The tympanum at one of the entrances to the Iglesia de Santiago.

Image of tympanum, Iglesia de Santiago, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

 Ancient lock on a gate of the Iglesia de Santiago.

Image of an ncient lock, Iglesia de Santiago, Puente la Reina, Spain, Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

Looking back at the Calle Mayor and the Iglesia de Santiago.

Image of Narrow road and Iglesia de Santiago, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

As I wrote on page 50, “The price of the wine surprised me. One bottle was €1.65, and many were in the two to four euro range. It was too bad I couldn’t carry any.”

Image of a shelf of wine, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

 

 And so I found myself at the magnificent bridge, Puente la Reina.

Image of The bridge and Rio Arga, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

I took my time while crossing these bridges. I felt very lucky to have the opportunity.

Image of the bridge surface, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

A look back at the river shore, from across the bridge.

Image of buildings on the river shore from the bridge, Puente la Reina, Spain, Camino de Santiago, The French Way

 

The bridge at Puente la Reina is among the best on the Camino Francés, although I would find out later, sometimes, even the simplest of these ancient bridges had their own special charm.

Image of the bridge over the Arga, Puente la Reina, Spain Camino de Santiago, The French Way

I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop while marvelling at the grand bridge. On my next post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Puente la Reina to Estella, I walked along one of the most memorable sections of the Camino Francés, the Roman Road between Cirauqui and Lorca. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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6 responses to On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Uterga to Puente la Reina

  1. Love the pictures of the bridges and the churches! I hope to draw some of them next April. Did you use a camera or iphone for your pictures? It seems like you took a lot of them. They sure capture a lot of different aspects of the camino and I am finding them very helpful in getting a preview of what’s coming. Thanks for posting them and for taking the time to write the blog.

    • You’re welcome, Monty. This blog has turned out to be more than I had ever imagined. As you can tell, I keep my photos the way the Camino looked while I walked. I like to keep them real, just like the way I wrote my book. I used a Nikon point and shoot for my Camino Francés and also brought along a DSLR for my Camino del Norte. Actually, while I walked the Camino Francés, I never thought I’d be writing a book, let alone a blog in this manner. I wish I had more better photos and had better weather too. When I’m finished, you’ll get a very good preview all the way to Finisterre. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Hi Randall, I am residing in Singapore. How can I get a copy of your book?

  3. I have been planning to hit the road a year ago, im anxious though about the right time to do so and about shelters at nights hotels and alberques are they pretty much as described in the blogs because i am finding it really hard to pre-book any room with no date yet confirmed. appreciate your help and i loved your work 🙂

    • Hi Joelle. Except for the first night in St. Jean, I never booked any alberques or rooms. If you haven’t traveled like that before, it takes some getting used to. Otherwise, it’s too constraining to book ahead IMO. If you are walking in the summer though, you may have some difficulty staying in the best place or having the best bed, especially if you’re walking late in the day. I wish you the best. Buen Camino 🙂

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