Day 4. Zubiri to Pamplona

22k, 38843 steps, 35 euro.
I wouldn’t say it was a good sleep but I feel refreshed. The dorm was a huge barn like structure and there were two lights left on all night. I was a good 3 metres from anyone else and it was peacefull. A big rainstorm hit about 3am and the drumming on the roof was a real symphony. Thanks to sis Catherine for the little travel pillow which is worth it’s weight in gold.
I was woken by the church bells which appear to be rung twice a minute apart because it happened again at 7.
I sit in the kitchen typing and with the phone charging. A few pilgrims come and and use the vending machine.
I give my feet a good going over and I do have a blister on the corner middle left. The one I bandaged. I’m amazed I couldn’t tell without looking. Out with the sewing kit and another bandage.
Chatted with Fiona the Irish cyclist who insisted I find a big screen Saturday week for the Hurling final between……. We’ll I’ll just have to watch it.
Head out of town but something is wrong. No scallop shells. I turn around and see a few walkers going out the way I entered town yesterday. At the corner shop I stop for a vacuum pack chorizo, a big peach and a bag of eucalypt lollies.
A quick photo op on the bridge and I’m off.
The paths are fairly gentle and I mostly have them to myself.
Today my knees, feet, and thighs really ache but shoulders are good.
After 30 mins I spy a big boulder by a gate and stop for brecky. That is one delicious peach. While I’m there the Longuevillians pass followed by Fiona on her bike and both stop for a chat.
A little later I decide to stop again as my feet are really hot so I take boots and socks off for 5.
After a bit there’s a low wall so I stop again to pin my damp clothes to the back of my pack. I hear a “hay John how’s it going” from a group passing by and at the back is a beaming Jean-Pierre who stops for a chat. In French. Lots of nodding from both parties.
I swap to my sandshoes and there is an immediate cooling benefit but now I can feel every rock through the soles. I walk non stop for two more hours mostly alone but seeing a few familiar faces.
I pop out of the forest at Zuriáin where there is a cantina and so it’s a lunch stop. A can of Coke and a banana is added to my chorizo. Old friends J-P and the Longuevillians are there and Dianne stops for a chat about the difficulty of the first few days. They all leave and there’s a young group left with one Aussie in it I haven’t met before.
Steve and Sue from Sonora just showed up I’ll stop for a chat on the way out.
Steve has such a great laugh. I told him about the floor and he asked if I was carrying padding so I slapped my bum and said “only the natural kind”. His guffaw included a “yes but that has nerves”.
One hour of walking in boots and I’ve got to stop my feet are so hot.
New socks and back to runners. Nice rest on top of a wall in the shade.
Up and off again with feet much cooler. I’m in a quandary with the boots as they performed beautifully over the Pyrennes but today is hot and my poor tooties are on fire.
There’s a water fountain but it has a no chlorine warning and I’m low on water. I buy an apple from a donation stand but it’s a bit dry. I have to gulp more water to get it down. After a long walk I enter a village and ask a guy where’s the water “dondè esta la aquar”. Turns out he’s from Tennessee and was looking for some too. More walking along the flat on a concrete road. There a stream running beside and I so want to jump in.
I go through a tunnel and up a rise and there’s a roadside rest stop with the young group collapsed in the little shade. The Aussie is Charlotte from Perth on holiday. I drink a lot from the basin and fill the bottle right up. It’s still 8 km to Pamplona.
I spy the Sonorans st another shelter but they are heading for the water so off I go.
After a steep climb followed by a descent the path flattens out and I manage to step it out a bit. I can feel the sinews stretching in my legs and I notice I’m able to climb better but the descents are knee killers. I catch up with a known party and they offer me dried apricots which I thank them for but then keep going.
Two Germans go by lookng pretty fit.
After a long march another tunnel under the road and a steep climb to a sign that points left. It’s not the Camino but a path to an Albergue.
The Sonorans catch up and I offer them a eucalyptus lollie each and after a brief chat I’m off down a long tar road. At the bottom is a roman bridge which makes me think I’m in Pamplona but it turns out to be Arre.
I call Ali and it’s very late. I must remember to call at 1 and no later.
I’m standing looking at the bridge and talking to Ali and something catches in my throat. Emotion is something I usually have better control of.
I cross the bridge and sit on a bench and Strve and Sue stroll bye. Steve fixes me about the location and they head off. I cool my feet for a bit and then do likewise.
What follows is an incredibly long tramp through the hot streets to Pamplona, broken only by a short soujourn on a shady bench where I polish off the rest if my Chorizo. I finally arrive at the Magdelene Bridge and a Spanish gentleman goes out of his way to wish me a Buen Camino and also pitches one over my shoulder. I look and there is the Sonorans.
I’m now shuffling and creep up to Paderborn Albergue. Big blow. It’s full. I go in and knock on the door and ask can they find me a room.
Heinrich gets me to sit down and pours a glass of lemon water and reaches for the phone. I talk to the guy and he’s got a space but I can’t walk another step so a cab ride later and I knock on the door.
I’m in a room with the Germans Marko and Norbert that passed me earlier. Marko kindly let’s me have the bottom bunk and takes the one above Norbet.
I shower and change then crash. It’s hot but I fall asleep as does Norbert.
I’m awake and shiveringdespite it being hot at 7 pm so struggle out if bed and go downstairs for a cup of tea. I sit and do a bit of journaling.
Marko calls out that they are going to a restaurant so I ask to join them and we have a little adventure finding the Palace Estella. I accost a Pamplonan on as scooter with my poor Spanish but he points and we are there.
Fantastic meal of Consommé, veal and creme caramel with beer and coffee for 11.50 Euro.
Again the favourite topic for Germans is Australia’s dangerous wildlife.
I navigate our way home, make three cups of tea, chat in the backyard and now it’s washing followed by bed. I intend to have a short day tomorrow to see some of Pamplona and give my feet a rest.
Buen Camino.
The bridge at Zubiri

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Resting at Zuriáin

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The floor at Zubiri

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with Norbert and Marko at Palace Estella

IMG_0100.JPGNorberts best smile

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