From Zubiri to Pamplona and beyond

I have discovered that waking each day and preparing for the day’s walk involves both a sense of excitement and apprehension. What new country will we see? What new friends will we meet? How will I feel walking 16+ miles for the first time? How will the forecasted 90 degree heat affect me? And so on, until the walking begins and you settle into a (plodding for me) rhythm.

I really shouldn’t use the word “plodding.” It is true my pace is slower than almost everyone. But I have discovered the important thing is not how fast you go but whether  you are headed in the right direction. And, of course, that you are actually making the effort to move forward.. And so, I tend to see people several times in a day.  When we start, when they pass me, when I pass them at their rest stop, when they pass me again…and so it goes.

We have seen our French friends for perhaps the last time. One, however, is studying to be a Deacon and has given us his Paris address. Perhaps we will meet again. If not, the time we have spent with them has been a blessing.  Such is life on the Camino.

Our diet today has been interesting.  We decided to start early and have breakfast at the first town we entered. Since this town had no open bars/cafes, we just continued, eating apples we had bought for just such an occasion. By the time we got to a place that offered food it was almost lunch, so we had a snack and continued. I won’t bore you with all the details, but my food intake today ended up including a piece of pizza, a slice of some torte, two Cokes, a bag of peanuts, a monstrous ice cream cone and two cups of coffee.

I am looking forward to dinner.

I forgot to mention when we entered Spain. With no fanfare, it was shortly after leaving Orrison on the second day.  First impressions of Spain? Clean, beautiful white houses with lots of flowers in the villages. Beautiful sun and colors for watercolor painting. People nice but, just as we felt with our Italian friends, seem to speak Spanish very rapidly. Our encounters with individual Spaniards have all been positive. Let me give you one example. When we entered the town where our hotel was suppose to be, we couldn’t locate it. Turns out it was in the next town over.  By the time we got there, we were up to 18 miles and 12 hours on our feet. And yet it was not apparent where the hotel was. I flagged down a passing car and asked him. He ended up pulling over, looking up the address on Google maps and THEN offered to drive us there. I have other stories like this and wish I had the time and energy to write them down.

But I can’t help mentioning one other group of fellow travelers. A father, mother and their SIX children comprised a group we keep running into. Very nice. They live in Barcelona and decided doing the Camino as a family was a good idea. The father is Swedish, which explains the blonde headed children. The children appear to range in age from 15 to 6 or so.

Our last leg to the hotel went very slowly as John was trying multiple approaches to preventing a blister plus taking a phone call from Chrissy. Will know tomorrow how successful he was with the blister.

But we finally got here…triumphant and exhausted.  The heat today actually got to 93!

Since I have been writing this all day at various points, I am going to post it and then, when I have time, add the pics for the last two days.