We leave Araia by Presalde street and once we meet Santsarreka Street, we take a street on our left that heads towards the school and cultural center of the village. We arrive to a crossroads and we take the one on our right. We keep always the same road and on the next crossroads we take to the left. Another crossroads: we turn to our right and we go towards Albeniz. We can see the town in front of us and we go to it without loss.
We cross the road and we walk behind the church. We head to the train station, across the village and to our left. The station is at 500 m from the village of Albeniz.
We cross the railroad tracks and we turn right to find a paved road that leads to a bridge over the road A-1 highway. We cross it and we head to the town of San Román. We enter San Román and follow the main street which leads to a fountain at the end of the village. At this point we turn left and after 70 metres we turn right, arriving at a wooden cattle gate with signposts marking the GR-25 which leads us to Bikuña.
From here the road we are walking forks twice: the first after approximately 250 metres and there we take the left path; the second fork is after another 150 meters and once again we take the path leading left. Here we stop following the GR-25 and we take the road that leads to the Bikuña Mountain Pass. We always follow the same road which sometimes becomes difficult to walk along because of the thick layer of accumulated mud on the surface. We go through a cattle gate that we close behind us and continue our ascent. We come to a crossroads and we see a GR-282 signpost in front of us. We turn right and here the path levels out. We follow the GR-282, arriving at another chained gate which we have to close behind us. A signpost says “San Vicente de Arana. 17 km”. We follow the red and white signs, but proceed cautiously, especially on foggy days, because we are walking near a ravine. There is no road, only an indistinct trail in the woods, so we are constantly alert, looking for GR signs on trees and stones.
We arrive at the plain of Zezama. Here we stop following the GR-282 and we make a 90 degree turn to the left in order to pass very close to a cattle barn with wooden fence on our left. We follow the traces of tractor tracks. We cross the Zezama meadow and we head to a sheep barn that has a small wall by the door and that appears behind some trees. After this barn we turn right and head for a white, dirt road in good condition, some 150 metres above us. We follow it and cross a paved road. In front of us we see some cattle fences and behind them there is a trail which we take.We are in the Parzonería of Entzia and Iturrieta. We always follow the tracks of tractors. There are some arrows indicating the way but we have to go ahead carefully. The path is eventually lost in a field in which you turn right, climbing up to a white dirt road, which we take to our right. We reach the asphalt A-2128 road.We take it to our left and in 50 m, next to a weather station, we take the path that starts on the right. We walk down some paths trails and we try to maintain the same direction. After 1 km we come to a grassland where we turn to our left about 90 degrees and so we head down a road well drawn that leads us to the road of the Alto de Iturrieta.
Arrived at the A-3114, we take on our right 500 m to go up until we reach the Iturrieta High and a wide and well- defined road which goes off to the left. We take it and thus leave the A-3114. We go straight ahead without leaving the road and after 1.8 kilometres, arrive at Puerto Nuevo (New Mountain Pass).
Please note here: there are no signposts in the Alto of Puerto Nuevo, so we have to look out for when the road bears left sharply and we take the path going down pretty sharp. At this point we must continue straight on towards the Valle de Arana by means of path that is directly in front of us. A gate to livestock and white and yellow signs on it help us to identify the place. After 1.2 kilometres we come to cultivated fields and to a reservoir of water which we leave on our right. We walk straight on without taking any of the side roads, and reach the village of Ullíbarri. At the entrance to the village, on our left, we find the Hermitage of Santa María.
We go through the village and we pass Ullíbarri church to our right. At the end of the Main Street (Calle Mayor) is the Hermitage of San Cristobal. At this point, the road divides and we take a right to go directly to Alda, our final destination today.
Casa Rural Biltegi Etxea . Carretera, 3. Tel. 945 406 042 / 656 762 793. Phone first to make a reservation. Another option is to approach San Vicente where there is shelter for pilgrims or from there take a taxi to Santa Cruz de Campezo (see next stage). Some may choose to sleep under the stars. Each pilgrim will know what suits him or her best.
City Hall . Tel.: 945 406 006
Taxi y Autobus Juan Pérez (San Vicente) . Tel: 659 641 183 // 686 391 355
Taxi Elizondo (Agurain) . Tel: 608 871 820
Taxi Juan Francisco Gonzalez Flores (Agurain) . Tel: 945 301 113
We cross the valley that connects Vitoria to Pamplona and ascend to the Entzia mountains, the more western part of the Urbian and Andia massifs. This stage ends at the Entzia Mountain Pass as we go down to the Valley of Arana, a beautiful spectacle. Our accommodation problems remain: we should prepare ourselves to spend the night under the stars.
ULLÍBARRI: A small village, without services for pilgrims.
ALDA: A still smaller village, but with a nearby golf course designed by Severiano Ballesteros. There are no shops, restaurants or bars, so you have to think about bringing something for dinner and breakfast, or find a taxi to bring you closer to San Vicente de Arana. In this town you will find one shop and a restaurant but there is no accommodation available.
Notes: We insist again on the need to devote some time to reflection on the introductory prayer. Remember as well what Ignatius tells us — that “inner knowledge and inner savour” are more important than knowing much. So don’t be in a hurry. Today we continue our consideration of our Principle and Foundation.
Grace: I beseech you, Lord, to direct all my actions by Your inspiration, to carry them on by Your gracious help, so that every intention and operation of mine may begin always from You and through You be happily ended.
Reflections: The previous meditations reminded you where you have been in your life and that God has been and always will remain a faithful presence in your life journey. Today our meditation shifts focus. We reflect on the wider panorama, the bigger and fuller picture of your life, the meaning of our human journey through life. What is God’s plan for us humans? What is the purpose of our pilgrimage through this world? In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius gives a straightforward yet profound answer to those questions: “God created us to praise reverence and serve Him and in this way to save our souls. God created all other creatures to help us achieve this purposes.”
This statement is simple yet profound. God created us for union with Him (to “save our souls,” as Ignatius puts it). In this earthly life, we draw close to God by praise and gratitude for the wonders of this planet, by reverencing and showing deep respect for the persons and gifts God has created, and by serving God in our fellow men and women.
I attain full spiritual freedom when I am seized so completely by the love of God that all the desires of my heart and every action, affection, thought and decision which flows from them are directed to God my Father/Mother and His service and praise.
We begin by reflecting on the purpose of our lives: we know what a coffeemaker is for. What are human beings for?
Psalm 104. The God who calls me is the God who created me and who made everything else because He loves me.
Genesis 22:1-18. This text about Abraham’s faith and freedom questions my own faith and freedom.
Mark 12:28-34. My Principle and Foundation is the Love of God.
Final Colloquy: Sum up what has come to mind in your time of prayer, talking to Jesus as one friend does to another. Be honest with him about what you have discovered on this stage of your journey.