Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 3: Zubiri - Pamplona (20.7 kms)

I realize that it is about time I walked alone.  After breakfast at 7:30 am, and more relaxed preparations, I start my walk at 9 am.

I feel very relaxed and content, walking at my own pace, looking around me, and stopping to take photos as much as I want.  I meet a man out walking his hunting dogs and he tells me that he left some walking sticks beside a shell sign, and that I should take one if I need it. I thank him and take one walking stick right where he said he left it and then continue along an uphill trail.

I am getting a bit worried as I had not yet seen the next sign after about a kilometer up the trail. When I reach near the top, 2 big dogs run towards me and start barking threateningly and I know I am on the wrong way.  I run back down where I remember the last sign was. Andrea, one of the German girls I had met at yesterday's hostel, is just passing by and she tells me that there is always an arrow pointing the way under the conch shell sign. My lesson, don't just look -- see. I ponder this thought as I walk along alone.

It is a nice trail going up and down hills and I am happy as the sun shines on my face.  Now I take every opportunity to take in the sun after having been diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency which can cause all kinds of maladies, such as, for me, an unexplainable difficulty in breathing  as well as a touch of depression.  And it turns out that all one needs is 15 minutes of full exposure to the sun. Not so easy to do in a European winter, though, but easy enough it seems, in sunny Spain!

I pass by Trinidad de Arre, stop and rest a bit, and now, it is a walk on main asphalted roads to Pamplona.

I arrive at Pamplona at about 3:30 pm.  On the entrance to Pamplona, I mistakenly choose a wrong fork which I thought was a shortcut, and end up high at the city walls. Lesson learned: there are no shortcuts on the Way.

A man I stop to ask goes a little way back with me and from high up on the city walls points out the elevator I need to take and the right way to the pilgrim house Casa Paderborn.  It is a really nice pilgrim house run by German hospitaleros. I check in and get my stamp at 4 pm.

I walk a bit around Pamplona with Kirsten, a German kindergarten teacher, also staying in the same place.  Pamplona is famous for the running bulls of San Fermin. We stop by the Catedral which was luckily open at 7 pm.  Most of the churches we pass are actually closed, and open only at certain times for rosary, mass and the like.  We have some tapas and beer at the Cafe Pireneos.  Cena, or dinner, at this place starts only at 9 pm. We later have a churros con chocolate. Back at the hostel at 9 pm. Time to rest.

Walking sticks -- how could I have gotten lost here when the yellow arrow was so clear?
A pleasant, peaceful walk beside a river

A picturesque bridge along the way
Signs to Pamplona

Up a hill
Skirting the hillsides

Trinidad de Arre Bridge

Almost at Pamplona

Ended up high at the city walls of Pamplona -- someone points out the albergue Casa Paderborn where I plan to stay -- a little dot down there

Pamplona Plaza -- the famed Cafe Iruna is where Ernest Hemingway used to go

Tapas at the Cafe Pireneos -- the Pamplona chorizo is great!

No comments :

Post a Comment