Today was interesting for a number of reasons – the people we would meet, the physical challenge and the distance we would cover yet again. Last night I had difficulty sleeping due to the not too distant fiesta music gently floating in through the window, combined with the general feeling of malaise associated with a slowly developing something. I had on and off fever and body aches throughout the night although surprisingly my muscles and feet felt magnificent! Even elite athletes have their down days.
The day I walked into Pamplona last time is etched in my memory for the pain. I had to stop every 50 or so metres at the end to regain my composure and continue on. Not to be deterred by illness or memories I sent on a couple of kilos of winter woolies to relieve the stress on my body for the day. Had a cup of tea and piece of toast with our fellow pilgrims and then off we went!
Whilst on the topic of things in my pack I thought I’d share a couple of thoughts on my pack contents and confirm how glad I am to have included them.
1. The sleeping bag is a much debated item on the camino – especially in summer. I have an extremely light sea to summit traveller and am glad I have it along with with the silk liner. It was cold in Roncesvalles and a little cool in Zubiri – especially when my fever turned to shiver once or twice.
2. 80gm sarong – excellent as a sheet in St Jean and Pamplona and used it as a towel when I thought I’d left mine behind! (It was hidden in the bottom of my pack).
3. Half a block of lush soap – so far so good but not sure how long it will last.
I’ll share some more on stuff as I go but please just ask if anything is of interest. Oh and I forgot to mention my hat. I had been umming and aahing about whether to purchase a cap with shade panels back in oz. I wasn’t sure whether it would feel claustrophobic so I held off. Well in the pilgrim swap bin in Roncesvalles there it was. Shiny and new and just what I had been looking at. Sometimes the sun comes from all angles while walking and full brim hats can be difficult with packs – so I’m giving it a few days trial and we’ll see how it goes. (You can see it in photos below)
So we headed off into the slightly chilly morning knowing that a brisk walk would warm us up. Not too far down the track I decided my lightweight icebreaker jumper would help me feel a little more comfortable so we stopped 450metres from the hostel out the front of a cafe so I could put it on. As I looked up the young russian girl who had been camping up the mountain said hello and we had a chat before heading off again.
The day started warming up, (or I did due to the flu,) so I had to stop again and take the darn thing off. Anyway we missed the first stop for second breakfast because we couldn’t be bothered adding to the journey and it was a few hundred metres off the camino. As luck would have it we had saved our energy as the Aussie we had met just before it said all the shops had been closed so it was a wasted visit into Larrasoana.
Eventually we wandered through a lovely forested area with a small river with little waterfalls and nice rest areas beside it. Unfortunately it was too early in the day and a little too chilly to take advantage of it so we kept walking until we reached a bar teaming with people.
We walked in and headed to a table up the back and fortunately an injured American was not enthusiastic about moving his leg off a chair to let us through to the stairs. I say fortunately because just past where he sat was a bunch of american, canadian, irish and aussies who had been entertaining us at different stops along the way. Of course my beloved was greeted like an old friend after having spent the night in Orisson drinking too much beer, telling jokes and embelishing long forgotten truths!
The stop was an opportunity to call ahead and secure a bed in the nice albergue I had stayed in last time called Plaza Catedral. As I wasnt feeling well we opted for the twin room with the share bathroom so we could relax a little and provide a little isolation for others!
We had an orange juice each and shared a tortilla patata and bought a ham and cheese sandwich to have for lunch. It was a pleasant stop but we really wanted to get on the way so we donned our packs again and off we went bouncing down the road. (Well I had a little spring – not sure about my beloved).
The day dragged on and we walked neck and neck with a group from Taiwan for a while, then wandered the rest of the way with Mario from Tanzania
Eventually we also hooked back up with Telma and all walked the last few kilometres through town to the old city and through the French Gate into the old city of Pamplona. Quite frankly I was thrilled to have made it to the outskirts of the city without anyone asking if i needed a medico! You see that’s what happened last time at the exact same bridge. This time I was almost star jumping!
The day wasn’t particularly difficult given the last 3 days but it was long! The last few kilometres went more smoothly as we had others to talk to but by the time we arrived at the French gate we were all ready for some serious rest!
But alas rest doesn’t come easy on the Camino. We showered, made our beds and then headed out in search of a pharmacy. Thankfully we located one up on the main square just 15minutes before closing. We acquired some supplies (cold and flu tablets) and headed to the nearest bar for a snack. We then thought we’d head back down nearer our albergue to locate some of our friends and see how their day panned out.
Our new Canadian bunkmates called out to us from where they were sipping G&Ts up on the square. We then had a funny afternoon doing a bar crawl looking for food.
The first bar said no food till 7 (it was just after 6) the next bar said none til 7.30 then it was 8 then, we finally meandered through a bunch of partying young people on the street up to our albergue when the final bar said no food until 8.30. It felt like we were in a Seinfeld episode and the soup nazi was following us!
We did stumble across an impressive flamenco performance at the front of the town hall and we also hooked up with Ernst from Germany.
Whilst we were waiting for food a bunch of friends arrived and we were thrilled to be entertained by the multitalented Irish Yoga Master who had located another talented Irish lass and together they demonstrated a particular prowess in singing Irish hymns. Ill see if I can provide an exhibit with this limited internet.
At least we ended right out front of our hostel because by this time I was feeling really tired and I was aching all over. Off to bed drugged up on cold and flu tablets!
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Go he Irish lassies 🎶💕
Hoping you are feeling better at this time! This stretch was particularly hard for us as it poured rain on us until Pamplona. You’re doing an awesome job and it seems your body is doing much better this time. Keep posting I love reading and am a little jelly not with you. Buen Camino my friends!!
sounds like you are having a great camino !! Love reading your blog -keep it coming .Sorry we didnt connect again before you left .i went to melb etc etc .Now in Singapore waiting for my connecting flight to Colombo.Have 8 ladies for me tour !!will be fun
Finally I’m catching up with the tales from the Camino! Love the singing. Love the photos. So so sorry you had to have a bloody virus – BUT even that can’t compare to last time… what a difference. Amazing. Your prep is being proven! Miss you! And now I fancy a G and T xxx
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After 25kms today so do I!