Day 4: Pamplona to Orbanos. Another day of bravery and a change to our Camino
Whilst Pamplona was a highlight it’s Albergue certainly wasn’t. What with kids running around unfettered, twenty somethings talking nonsense on their phones at all hours and rampant bed creaking from all the tossing and turning I doubt anyone slept well. We certainly didn’t so we got up early and walked through the streets of Pamplona as dawn broke.
Today was an eye opener for me. Normally I just power ahead when i’m walking keeping my eye on my individual goals for the day. I’m clearly goal oriented and I walk that way. Today Cheeky showed me how to smell the flowers both literally and figuratively. She slows to observe the world around her. She notices the little things, the birds nests and errant sunflowers lost in a field of wheat, she smells flowers and picks fruit, she examines trees and stops to place stones on cairn markers. Cheeky may be struggling in her walking as her body takes a beating but it is clear to me in just three days that she knows much more about how to walk than I do. Walking 800km two years ago does not make you a good long distance walker, stopping to smell the flowers does. Thanks to Cheeky my Camino this time is much more vibrant the last.
The walk was tough today as it was up hill all morning and then a very sharp descent. This completely buggered Cheeky’s knee and she slowed to a hobble. And that’s how our day went for about the last 12km. By the end we were spent, Cheeky clenched her fists pushed back tears and just walked and walked. I’m a lucky man to have such a determined and strong woman as my wife.
We’re now in Obanos because we could go no further. It’s about 22km from Pamplona. We’ve decided to change our Camino. Cheeky’s knee is far to sore for long walks and may be too sore for anymore walking. Tomorrow we’ll try a 10km or so walk and see how it goes. If that works we’ll do short walks from here on in. That may mean we have to skip some stages (the Mesetas springs to mind) as our flight to Paris leaves Santiago on the 1st August. If Cheeky’s knee stats bad or worsens we’ll have to call of the camino and re-assess.
Today I feel emotionally exhausted. It’s tough to walk alongside someone you care for and see how much pain they’re going through and yet they stoically push on and you walk alongside helpless. This in the same day when I stopped to smell the flowers and revelled in the sheer beauty of the early morning walk. Truly a day of ups and downs.