Woke before dawn with my knee still tender. I think I slept well. About 6 and I the boys begin stirring. They go down for breakfast so I get up brush my teeth and descend myself.
Orange Juice a slice of ham and cheese and black tea is breakfast. I also down a paracetomol.
I sit reading for a bit and first Marko and Norbert depart followed shortly by Max and Marie-Lynne.
I head out with my walking stick to Mass at Cathedral Santa Maria.
It’s tough going but I’m there in time. It’s a big cathedral but only 40 or so for mass which is held in a side chapel with a spectacular golden retablo of three levels.
The priest is very animated with eyebrows, hands and speech. I can pick up about every 20th word but the gist escapes me.
At the singing of the “Our Father” he sings it just like ours.
There is a organist operating an impressive instrument and leading the congregation often overpowering the priests words. A few pilgrims are also here.
After mass I wander around the internal space. There are many small chapels along the side walls and three big retablos in the Apses behind the main alter. At the crossing are a virgin and relics bounded by a cast iron railing.
After mass I call mum to let her know all is ok.
I’m off to see the citadel or fortress. Along the way I find a pilgrim shop and stop to buy a caribiner to replace the one I lost. There is also a little shop open run by Koreans and I buy a bar of soap and a peach.
The peach is eaten. I love Navarran peaches.
I call Ali to catch up and she reminds me that it was she who suggested the bike from Burgos and not the Celts. She is my guardian angel, looking after me.
As I’m crossing Padre Moret I hear a “Hola John”. It is the group from Friday that hailed me while I stopped to change shoes. They turn out to be Dennis, Martine and Katerina and are returning to France tomorrow. I tell my sorry tale and with good wishes we part.
The Citadel is a pentagon fort constructed under Felipe II beginning 1571 and took 70 years to finish. I discover that the way in is also the only way out.
I try to by an ice cream but no luck.
Back to the hostel and laundry time followed by a cuppa and journaling. It’s 2 pm.
Asleep till 6 and shower followed by
more laundry. I head out to dinner alone. I can walk without the stick but it’s slow. I make it all the way to Calle Estella only to find it is closed. I pop around the block to check out the post office that I will visit tomorrow morning to lighten my load.
A man approaches me looking for the English plaza but I can’t help.
I turn into Avenue Carlos III and there are a lot if people strolling in the balmy evening so I stop and take a selfie.
Next stop the pharmacy where I try to get some tiger balm but end up with an expensive Spanish cream.
Next stop dinner at Bar Gallegos. I’m the only patron sitting out back but the bar has what looks like a collection of locals busy recounting the day.
I introduce myself and Louisa recommends Pulpo and asks if I want half or entire. I go for the lot and it is delicious after not eating since breakfast. Actually I’m having a little difficulty finishing.
A coffee is offered which I accept and I discover the vino tinto is nearly done. I study the map for the route out of Pamplona tomorrow. Suddenly typing is becoming more difficult. I hope I can use the key to get back into my room.
Time to pay and go.
I fumble the key in the lock and upon opening the door am faced with the Celts tearing into a bottle of Spanish red who enquire en masse about my knee. After admitting to a slight inebriation, I make a cup of tea and ask to join them at the table. Hilary, Denise and Keira have had a wonderful day out walking parts of the Camino and the conversation crosses many paths from the lives of saints, copyright, working in Bolivia and generally getting around. What a delightful trio out experiencing life, friendship and new experiences. I say goodnight and ascend painlessly to bed with no shared guests and a bit of typing. My knee feels pretty good but I apply the expensive cream just to be sure. Tomorrow I’m back to walking.