27 May Zubri to Pamplona
Fitful night’s sleep last night. Probably a combination of
(a) over-tired muscles,
(b) the rumblings in my tummy from another Pilgrim Menu, this time it was Spagehtti Bolognese (not very hot), a couple of small red peppers filled with something soft and mushy, and a small tub of mousse type ice cream washed down with a small beer’
(c) the night-time noises and snoring of a German woman and her daughter in the bunk opposite me
(d) and finally, the squeak of my bed every time I breathed deeply or coughed let alone dare I to move.

Everyone in the Albergue was ready to go fairly early, so off we went. Six minutes later some of us stopped wenting and went inside a cafe/bar for something to set us up for the first couple of hours walking towards our destination of Pamplona. As we entered I noticed an older guy sitting outside with a little brown Spaniel by his side. As I was ordering my coffee and pastry one of the Danes told me the old guy was finding it tricky to find places to sleep and eat because of the dog. She was buying him a coffee and was taking it outside to him so I cut my pastry in half and took that out to him too. A quick conversation using a mixture of German, Spanish and English we established that I was Scottish, did not support Celtic and was intending to walk to Finisterre and Muxia, he on the other hand was from Anderlecht, 80 something years old and had seen Celtic once play Anderlecht at football in Glasgow. Wish I had taken a photograph of him. Hope to see him again later.

It had rained through the night and was to continue doing so all day today with the only variations being drizzle, light rain, heavy rain and very heavy rain interspersed with dark grey clouds, rumblings of thunder, mists and low clouds. None of that spoiled the walking though my friends. First there were a few small hamlets to walk through.
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Then there were some promising views.
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Most of the paths were through hillside woodlands, valley floors, over hills and down again. For some distance I walked along tunnels of trees and shrubs through which the path snaked for hundreds of metres at a time. All around was a living blanket of full grown and blooming flowers, many of which I recognised but couldn’t bring their names to mind. Those ones will soon be vying with a horde of other flora that are only days away from sharing their still secret coloured wonder with coming Pilgrims.

At other times the path was a slippery muddy experience along steep hillsides. But, always with some flowers or shrubs to catch one’s eye.
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Aa is fast becoming a signature of this walk we all speak to each other, pass each other several times between cafés, and share a laugh or time with each other. This guy made me chuckle as he passed me when I was perhaps my wettest part of the day.
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Every now and then, for a brief teasing pause, the rain would look like clearing and some of of this part of Spain, hiding behind the mists would reveal herself.
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A few kilometres from Pamplona I saw this artwork on a wall. I think it’s all about making the world a better and safer place for women
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After three toe wriggling rests I was less than 30 minutes from my intended stop for the night.
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Walking through the streets of outer Pamplona, not really sure where I was, I heard my name being called for the umpteenth time in the last 2 days. I turned and saw the familiar long-legged shape and colour of John from the Netherlands waving at me from across the street. I could see he was with someone else who turned out to be Dieuwke a Dutch Lady. It turns her name means “strong woman” and I can believe that for she is one of the people I have seen walking very strongly, mostly from behind I might add as I get left in most people’s wake.

Soon we reached the Albergue Paderborn on the very edge of the heart of Pamplona and found ourselves in the reception where John and Dieuwke, both sitting here registered first with Ernst and Doris.
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This is home for the night.
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I’m in a room with 10 others, none of whom I know yet, but will do.

This being typed as we wait for our washing to dry before popping out for a bite to eat and looking at some of Pamplona. Bye-bye for now from a very happy man.

update for this evening
We (John, Diewuke and I) had a quick look at Pamplona as we searched out a Pilgrim Dinner, which is not as easy as it sounds because if you are not back here before lights out at 10 tonight, we would be out.

Here ‘s what some bits of Pamplona look like, although to be fair I have to say that this place looks much better than my photos can give a feel for.
First, here’s the guy from Anderlecht I gave the pastry to this morning, unbelievably we met him again this evening in Pamplona.image

Then I found the old city walls, or at least part of them.
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Then I looked inside part of the the old city walls.
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Then we found a Pilgrim Menu for 10 euro. Here is my dinner in stages.
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Then Gerhardt from Stuttgart joined us because he was on his own and we shared our wine with him.
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Then we did some very limited touristy happy snaps.
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Zoom in and check out the clock face on the cathedral.

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Then check out the man-boobs on the pilgrim wannabe bull fighter.
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Got back to Albergue and set about finishing this post off. Had a quick chat with Renate from Obersdorf and showed her my IPad because she seemed interested. Here’s Renate and another guy who’s name I can’t for the life of me pronounce.
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Ok guys and gals it’s 9:12pm and way past any civilised Pilgrim’s bed time. Tomorrow I’m not sure where I’ll be but rest assured that sometime during my walking tomorrow you will be in my thoughts.

Steps today 36123

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