Old friends

When does someone become an “old” friend? I guess for some it takes 50 minutes, for others 50 years to consider a friendship established. 

My high school friends and I have a 27 year old history together. After finishing high school we all went in different directions, both professionally and geographically. Being able to meet up has become increasingly complicated. However we have started to plan one reunion per year where we spend some time together away from our partners, kids and daily responsibilities. 

This year we stayed at a large rural house in the north of Navarra region. The house was located in the small village of Garralda. We arrived to the house late on the Friday evening and entered the living room and its lit fireplace. We felt very welcomed and after a light dinner with tapas, red wine and a long chat, we were ready for bed. 

On Saturday morning we put our trekking shoes and running tights on and went to the Irati Forest. We walked a 10 km route around the Irabia reservoir, then had the delicious menu of the day at a local restaurant for 15 euros. 

In the late afternoon we went to Roncesvalles and got smitten with the spirit of Pilgrimage. I think most of us have dreamt of walking the Pilgrim route and we began to make plans to walk part of the Camino de Santiago together with our families next year. 

On Sunday we went on a scenic drive to enjoy a beautiful view from the Mirador de Ariztokia and from there to the picturesque village of Ochagavia. I had previously been there with my parents and sisters as a child and was excited to return. I love the big white houses with red tile roofs and flower filled balconies and heavy wooden doors. The entrance to the older houses are beautifully paved with grey river stones. 

Today this is no longer allowed in new construction so as to protect the natural environment of the river.  

We took the opportunity to have lunch at the local Sidreria Kixkia, where we tasted the local cider directly tapped from the wooden barrel and indulged in the exquisite meat, peppers stuffed with cod and fresh salads. We had a feast!

We enjoyed a wonderful time in beautiful surroundings. Our weekend together adds more happy memories to the history of our friendship. 

I can’t wait to next year’s reunion! 

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