Day 3: Larasoana to Pamplona (before the bulls start running) then onto Cizor Menor
Yesterday a friendly Korean bloke sleeping in the bunk next to me told me about cafe in town that served brekky at 6am. After wandering down and enquiring and then finding out the lady baked her own bread I was sold. So this morning I rocked up at 6 with a whole bunch of others only to find it not open. So the morning started without breakfast – good thing I had a snack bar with me.
Today was great walking. While I still felt stiff and sore I was in the zone. I started off walking with my Korean mate and we wandered alongside a forest stream. Water gurgling, birds chirping and ugly black slugs on the path you had to dodge. What more could you want?
From the forest I pushed ahead, my groin problem is slowly fixing itself (thank god for boxer briefs bought on the way) and even though my thighs, calves and feet hurt it was that good hurt feeling you get which helps concentrate the mind.
I stopped off for breakfast of cafe con leche and bocadillo huevos y jambon (ham and cheese baguette) with a mixed French and Canadian group that I are trekking in the same rough pack as me. The height of the conversation was calling me skippy…. gotta love that show …. 30 years on and everyone still remembers it. The little town of breakfast dated back to the xii century and, as with many towns in this Navarre region a rough stone bridge over which you walk to enter.
The town was buzzing and every shop had displays of red and white in preparation for the running of the bulls in a few days time. I wandered around saw a few sites, stopped for a drink and then, before I knew it was out of the old town and into the new. I had thought about staying but it was still morning and I was feeling ok to walk.
I wandered out of town, past graffiti calling for Basque Freedom, through the University of Navarre up a steep hill and into the town of Cizor Menor just before twelve. A good day’s walk and at the end I was delighted to find a great Albergue, with a garden, smallish dorm rooms, washing facilities and, best of all, no massive queues for the showers so I could have a decent shower. So this is what heaven is. The Camino soon reduces life to simple things 🙂
After showering and washing and just general chilling a german guy and I went for una cana (draft beer) at the local bar. Man did that beer go down well! I wandered through the town a mixture of centuries old buildings and newer developments but even the newer developments felt village like, often centred around a little plaza or square.
That evening I went with some fellow travellers to the local bar for the pelegrino meal. Wow, was that a mistake. The day had been so good that I guess I was due some bad (the yin and the yang if the camino, as it were). The meal consisted of a half centimtre thick piece of beef, fat, bone and gristle cooked, baked and grilled so that it resembled my trekking shoes. This was then served by the unhappiest waitress in Europe. Everything was too much trouble and a request for extra water was met withmassive disdain. Despite all if this my companions and I had a good laugh about it all, at the end daring each other to ask her for her number. An unpleasant meal but a pleasant evening.