We leave the town by the dirt road that begins behind the houses near the town hall. At the first crossroads we turn left and continue straight until we reach San Vicente. We pay special attention to the huge tree trunk planted in a park at the entrance of the town: the “Pylon of Saint Vicent”.
We go to the village fountain and the 16th century church which is very beautiful indeed. We leave the village for Uriondo Street, just behind the church, turning right, following the red and white markings of the GR 282.
The two options of today take a different way from here: the pilgrim has to choose the best for himself. Both ways take us to Santa Cruz but one takes us through the village of Oteo and Antoñana and the other takes us through Orbiso. The final destination is the same. To go to Antoñana continue Uriondo Street and take the first road on the right, just at the end of the village houses. The other option goes straight on the same Uriondo street and will be explained later on.
The way to Oteo and Antoñana is not very clear at the beginning, but is well marked because is the 828 GR. We follow the red and white signs. We’re going through the fields to find a dirt road a little clearer in some meters. We’re up to our right until we find the A-2128, which is below us. We always follow the same path, parallel to the road. We reach a point that leads down to the paved road and we cross it. We follow the 828 GR signposts to Oteo.
Our path runs parallel to the road, but underneath it and leaving it on the left. In view of the village of Oteo we cross the fields to the other side to go directly to the town. We pass Oteo by the Abajo street and we take a dirt road that rises on the horizon. We follow the red and white markings of the GR. Soon we take a first fork to the right, following the way we are leading. A road joins from the right to our own way, but we continue straight ahead. Our path is well marked and we take no deviation until we came in sight of Antoñana. At that moment we take a deviation to the right that leads to the town center. We pass behind the church and turn right to approach the A-132 road.
At the road, we turn right to go up to the pedestrian bridge that leads to the old train station of the Vasco – Navarro train, recently restored. Some train wagons tell us that until we reach Santa Cruz de Campezo we are going to follow the route of the old railway. We leave the station on our right and we head to the paved road A-3136 which we took on our left. We go straight ahead and in 500 m we take a dirt road on our left that leads to a small bridge. It is signposted, but in the direction opposite to ours. Walking this way we reach Santa Cruz de Campezo.
Straight on the same road we come to a bridge that crosses the A-132. Continue straight, now with the road to our right. We arrive at a crossroads: here we meet the pilgrims who took the option of going through Orbiso. We are going in together to Santa Cruz by Arrabal street.
The way that goes through Orbiso, called the Alaveses Way, follows the paved road that leaves San Vicente de Arana from Uriondo street. This alternative is signaled by orange marks and bike tourism BTT signs. A road joins us from the left, but we continue straight towards the fields. We leave an agricultural farm on our left and we climb the well-traced road. At the end of the road we turn left and take another road that goes into the forest. We follow the marks of a Mountain Bike (MTB-13 www.paisvascoturismo.net) circuit that targets Orbiso.
We always continue straight without taking other paths that cross ours. We head straight to Orbiso. We pass through the village at Mayor Street and at the end of it we turn to our right and then left onto the exit road to Santa Cruz de Campezo.
At 200 m from the village, we leave the road in order to take a paved road that starts on our right. At the first fork we take a left. We left a farm on your right and we continue always straight along the same path. After some houses, we approach the A-2128 main road. We take left and we head to the roundabout at the entrance to Santa Cruz. Here we find the pilgrims coming from Antoñana.
We arrive at the entrance to the village of Santa Cruz de Campezo. We cross the A-132 and enter the village by Arrabal Street which leads to the main square. The church is at the rear. Our path continues beyond the village: in Yoar Street we ask for the “Senda de la Torca” (Path of Torca), a dirt road that takes us to Genevilla. A GR signpost and its typical red and white signs show us the direction we have to take. 200 metres from the village we leave the wide dirt road and take a less defined one that starts at a right angle on our right. We follow the GR signs through the woods without difficulty. After 4.5 kilometres the road bears right and we reach the paved NA-743 road, which brings us into Genevilla.
Taxi Juan Francisco Gonzalez Flores (Agurain) . Tel: 945 301 113
Taxi Carlos Pérez (en San Vicente de Arana). 686 391 355 / 659 641 183
Casa Rural El Encinedo . (8 people, apartment for rent). C/ Norte, 2.
Casa Rural Usategieta . (10% off for pilgrims). Tel: 649.851.602 / 948.378.926.
City Hall . Tel: 948 444 130.
Taxi . 931 780 030
Hostel Mariví . Herrería St, 7-9. Orbiso. Tel: 945 415 030.
SAN VICENTE DE ARANA
Restaurante Obenkun . Restaurante Obenkun 945406123 Bar Vito Etxea 945406065
San Vicente de Arana City Hall . Telf.: 945 406 006. They have just opened a shelter for pilgrims.
Taxi Juan Pérez . 945 406 064 / 659 641 183
SANTA CRUZ DE CAMPEZO
Casa rural Ibernalo . In the Hermitage of Our Lady of Ibernalo (1.5 km going uphill from the town) we find the Hostel Ibernalo (capacity 19 people), but there is no restaurant open throughout the year, so we have to bring our dinner and breakfast. Hotel Ibernalo. Ibernalo Hermitage, St. Tel: 945 102 271 / 647 911 484.
City Hall . Tel. 945 405 443
Taxi . 661 830 677
After the descent to San Vicente de Arana, it’s very easy to follow the road to Santa Cruz and rapid progress can be made. There are parts where you can travel along paths parallel to the road. At the crossroads at the entry to Santa Cruz we could follow the bike path to bathe in the river pools (2 km from this point). On leaving Santa Cruz and as far as Genevilla, we take the Senda de la Torca, a dirt road well marked in red and white and sometimes with white and yellow as well. We can find accommodation in the village of Orbiso.
SAN VICENTE DE ARANA: A small village. From May 3rd to September, in the park at the entrance of the village stands the “protector tree” of the fields. This tree originates from the top of the mountain. The village men ritually place on the trunk a wind vane that directs the winds in summer and stick a pair of scissors into the trunk to defy the clouds that want to bring adverse weather conditions to the fields. An embedded wax cross symbolises the effort and work of ordinary people fighting for their crops. To increase the protective power of the symbolic tree, the men tie around the trunk of the tree the previous Easter. The chairman in charge of guiding the whole ritual, Don Vicente, says that in the last 70 years there has never been a misfortune due to adverse weather in the valley. The church contains an impressive Renaissance altarpiece. A bar/restaurant and a shop are situated in the village.
ANTOÑANA: A small village belonging to the municipality of Campezo. Its forests are harvested and cultivated truffles. It was founded in 1182 by King of Navarra Sancho the Wise as a fortified village. Its urban structure preserves the historical presence of buildings in stone, like the Tower House in Arquillos street, attached to the old wall, and dating from s. XIII. The parish church of San Vicente Martir was built to replace the original church-fortress. The porch and the front cover are from the s. XVIII and the tower is neoclassical style. At the edge of town is the Museum of Vasco-Navarro Railway, linking the town of Estella with Vitoria. Today is a green route of about 25 km quite busy by cyclists.
ORBISO: Small Town with a golden age in the sixteenth century. Palace House with coat of arms Ochoa de Alda (1790) next to the church. Beautiful 1806 public laundry with a good source of drinking water. The parish church is in honor of San Andrés and has a beautiful baroque tower of two bodies, ovoid dome and topped by cylindrical lantern, which comes from the second half of the eighteenth century. The temple was made in the sixteenth century, and has inside an altarpiece dedicated to Santiago, which can indicate the passage of pilgrims and the natural sharing of their devotion. There are no services for pilgrims although there is an accommodation.
SANTA CRUZ DE CAMPEZO: Centereof a district which includes 5 different villages. The Campezo region was already inhabited in the year 18 B.C by the Várdulos tribe. In 823 the Arab general Abd-Al-Karín Campezo swept through the valley, destroying villages and burning crops. The valley was rebuilt during the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile. In the 12th century, the town was a fortress and was walled in. Because of its strategic location, the town was hotly contested by the kingdoms of Navarre and Castile. It was under the crown of Navarre until 1200, when it was conquered by Alfonso VII for the kingdom of Castile. In 1368 it was returned to Navarre, but in 1377 it was re-taken for Castile. Some remains of the fortifications may be found in the main square, but they were completely demolished in the Carlist wars (19th century.). The church of the Assumption of Our Lady is a Euskadi Historical Monument. Although the temple is Gothic (17th century), its first construction dates back to the 13th century. The front door is from the 16th century and on the capitals of its columns we see reliefs of St. John and the Virgin Mary at the burial of Jesus. The church choir is Gothic Renaissance from the 16th century. We can find restaurants, a supermarket, a bank and a health centre. Taxi service: 661 830 677.
GENEVILLA: A small town, but with a beautiful church dedicated to Saint Stephen. It was built in the 12th century and modified in the 16th century, with architectural elements of the Gothic-Renaissance style. The interior has a magnificent altarpiece considered one of the two best altarpieces of Navarra in its style. It was the Duke of Najera who gave money in 1549 to build this magnificent altarpiece and probably others, like the one in Lapoblación. With a little luck, in Genevilla we can enjoy delicious white beans, a typical dish of this town, prepared by local people in the traditional way. Still, be aware that there is no bar-restaurant or shop in town, so you have to take your food (lunch – dinner – breakfast) from Santa Cruz or take a taxi to Santa Cruz before returning to Genevilla to sleep.
Notes: We know already that it is very important to reflect on the introductory prayer. We should also bear in mind that we should not be in a hurry while meditating. Today we want to consider all the “means” that God employs to show us His Love, and the use to which we should put these “means”.
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: Today we reflect further on our human life and how to live in order to achieve its purpose well. Specifically we consider more deeply this sentence from the Exercises of St Ignatius: «The other things on the face of the earth were created for humans, to help them in pursuing the end for which they were created.» Here’s how Ignatius reveals some of the challenging implications of that sentence: «We ought to use these things to the extent that they help us towards our end, and free ourselves from them to the extent that they hinder us from it. To attain this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, so that we do not to seek wealth rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long life rather than a short one, and so on. Rather, we ought to desire and choose only that which is most conducive to the end for which we were created.»
Being ‘indifferent,’ in Ignatius’s words, means being ‘free’: that is we are free from being so attached, addicted, enslaved or bewitched by any created or merely human thing that it gets in the way of living according to our purpose. That is, we do not want to become so obsessed with living a successful earthly life that our life becomes about serving ourselves and not serving God and following His plan. We want to be free from anything that could prevent us from being free for our true purpose. We want to put the love of God above any merely human love. We want to live a balanced, ordered life: a life in which we have a proper relationship with other persons, with money and with things, so that we don’t become enslaved by an attachment to any of them. While created things can help us achieve our purpose, they can also distract us from it if we become focused on them rather than on our greater purpose. We shouldn’t confuse earthly ambitions with the purpose of life and allow them to take the place of God.
Make a list of people you admire in this regard. What is it that you admire in them? Maybe you can picture holy people of the past or people you know now, whose lives show this healthy balance and freedom. This is not the time to judge yourself on where you may be falling short (you will reflect on your own performance later). For the moment, we are trying to develop a clear sense of purpose, and a clear sense of the ideals we want to aspire to in our life.
Psalm 8. What is a frail human, that you should be mindful of him?
Romans 8: 5-6; 12-18. All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
Philippians 1:21-26; 3:7-16; 4:10-13. Here and now, how closely can I identify with the attitude of Saint Paul?
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.