Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

Day 3: Zubiri to Pamplona. Ups, downs, Thievery and Peace

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The day started very early. We were so dog tired we fell asleep by 8pm. This meant we were awake by 4:30. We eventually strapped our feet, packed our bags, checked our straps and, once we knew we were ready, strode out into the morning at about 6:20.

We decided to walk the road awhile so the level path would reduce the damage to Cheeky’s knee, which will recover, and her toenail, which is doomed. We hit a steady pace and watched the dawn splutter to a start. Hugging the side of the road, holding hats on tight as huge trucks rolled by we attacked the days walking with gusto.

Along the way we became thieves. For the third time I might add. The first but of thievery, some might call it the Camino providing us what we need, was toilet paper for leaky noses. The next theft was tea tree oil for aching muscles. It was just sitting there … and it was only a small bottle … and it was in a first aud box left for peregrinos…and there was at least one other bottle there… it asked to be taken. Theft maybe but we’ll just assume it was the Camino providing what we needed. Like it provided us with juicy plums from several farmers trees. The plums fell into our hands.. with a little help, granted, but they still fell.

So we trudged along happy with the sweet juices of stolen fruit dripping down our chins. We stopped awhile for brekky and the rejoined the camino where we ran into people we’d been seeing since before the winter on the mountain top.

The trail meandered awhile and the day got hot. The ups and downs became tiring and our joints began to creak. I began to feel like the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz … all creaky and needing oil. Oh yes, I just remembered we do have oil, tea tree oil 😛

And so tired hot, aching we trudged up the city walls of Pamplona before arriving at the city refugio at about 1:30pm. Our best day’s walk yet…

Pamplona is beautiful. Lovely cobbled streets, city squares and big gates being erected so as to better ensure that visitors to the city in 2 weeks time will get gored by bulls before the bulls themselves get put to the sword. The city is gearing up for San Fermin aka the Running if the Bulls and all the shops are going red and white and big gates along the running path are being erected.

We visited the cathedral and were awestruck. It dates back to the 1300’s and is ornate, intricate and downright beautiful. What stood out most for me was a little stone chapel with three simple benches and a couple of old wooden statues. We just sat there awhile listening to some Gregorian chants playing and a wave of calm just washed through my aching body. Like a mental massage is the best way I can think of describing it. It was a good way to end a day of ups and downs and a day of thievery.

— Posted from my phone







Written by backpackingteacher

July 2, 2011 at 4:37 am

Posted in Camino de Santiago

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