Distance: 23.2km, Steps: 33,904 Time: Too long!
Our longest day yet started off poorly. Both of us had very little sleep. I had been coughing through the night, Mr D was so worried I wouldn’t be able to continue on due to terrible sickness, he couldn’t shut his brain off & got little sleep as well.
We figured better to walk to Pamplona, the first of 3 big cities we go through. At least the Farmacia should have more variety if I need more medicine for my cold or if I did get worse, easy to get medical help or transport out.
So we packed & had a quick breakfast at the cafe on the way out. We generally get up 6am & like to hit the road by 7.30am. The queue was long & one bloke jumped the queue before us which got Mr D annoyed that he told the bloke “politely” off & got the darkest look from the man. We had a chocolate croissant with cafe Le leche & glass of OJ.
Another chilly cold start to the day as I rugged myself up extra today to keep warm. We passed through several lovely villages & the scenery kept changing. The first village out of Zubiri is called Larrasoana over the bridge off the Camino. There we bumped into Larry & Liz whom had stopped for morning coffee & were heading on. We actually needed a toilet but the only cafe there was a vending machine! Mr D asked a man at one of the Albergues whom very nicely let us in to use the restroom. The tracks were relatively easy with some road sharing with cyclists, cars & trucks. On the Camino, expect a lot of road walking which Mr D is not a fan of. Crossing & even thinking which side of the road to walk down is always tricky for us as traffic travels on the right not left & habit has us checking the wrong way when crossing. ( And there has been some scary moments! ) By midday it had warmed up too much & Mr D was clearly suffering. We stopped for a refreshing hot drink & small bite to eat at a lovely cafe by the river. Larry & Liz were already there as we joined them at the table. Lottie was there too picking off fresh grapes from a huge grapevine growing around the side. She offered me some as we munched on the delicious green grapes.
We started stalking Larry & Liz for the rest of the walk as it would seem as we would catch up to them, they would move ahead, we catch up again, they move ahead…. until the last stage into Pamplona when we were all so stuffed & exhausted. Larry gave up, threw his pack down, took his top off & collapsed on the grass by the river. Liz just sat on the bench & threw her hands up in the air. Poor Larry – today was his birthday! That would be the last we saw of Larry & Liz as we kept our tired feet going, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot…..
Mr D complained his feet were “about to explode” & my feet felt so hot & sore as well. Not only had we to push on through pain & exhaustion into the delightful “city within a city ” which was the old Pamplona, but then we had to find a room! And many places were full already booked out over the weekend. We had teamed up with the lovely Lottie & Hanne that we had caught up to just outside the inner city of Pamplona. Just prior to meeting them, we had passed THAT tiny lady & her husband. He had his backpack & all she carried was a set of rosary beads clutched tightly in her right hand. She must send her luggage through a transport company. We exchanged brief pleasantries & never saw them again. Phew! Well, Lottie & Mr D went around to find a place while Hanne & I sat at a bar drinking beer & chatting! Lottie is very good at finding accommodation, thank goodness for Camino magic, who knows where we would of ended up! It was a lovely Pension with so much old charm & character to it. The entrance door was HUGE & THICK & amazing just on its own!
Happy to finally remove boots from burning feet & freshen up, it could of been so easy to lie down for just a second & wake up the next day! But we all teamed up & enjoyed a great meal out, our eyes being bigger than our stomachs, we couldn’t quite finish the smorgasbord of food on the table.
We ended up departing here as Mr D & I need a rest day tomorrow to recharge our batteries. It is always sad to farewell new friends, but it is the Camino & anything can happen after all! It would be so nice to see Lottie again one day! Mr D needs to get a good 12 hours sleep, I need to rest as my cough & sore throat still linger. It is a good opportunity to explore this amazing city inside a grand fortress.