Early morning rain spattered down on Pamplona’s cobblestone streets, so John and I had another coffee at the alburgue. Annabelle, our hosteleria, wished us a buen Camino as we finally departed at 9:00 am.
The old portion of Pamplona was fascinating but the modern suburbs with its roaring traffic was not so interesting. Walking out of a large city takes time, and in this instance sapped some of our enthusiasm for the day or maybe it was taking the zero day made us lazy wishing for more tapas and wine. At any rate, we found the 19.9 km walk challenging.
Today, was a significant climb up and then back down with about 1000′ elevation gain. The top of the ridge had huge windmills as well as the iconic pilgrim sculpture featured in Camino movies, particularly The Way. In that movie, Martin Sheen undertook the Camino when his son died during the traverse of the Pyrenees. As it turns out, crossing those mountains is not without its real dangers.
News travels fast along the Way, and at our Pamplona stop, I heard about a woman who fell coming down the slippery trail between Orisson and Roncesvalles; she broke her leg in four places. As I walked today, I chatted with a woman from England who added that one group had to be rescued off that same portion of the trail when they became disoriented and cold in the dark; another lady had fallen and hit her head and had to be evacuated to a hospital. Legs get wobbly after hours of hiking down rocky, slippery slopes and John and I take it very slow on those portions.
Today we stopped short of the main town of Puente de la Reina and are staying in a brand new albuergue in Obanos. The little cubicles look comfortable and I anticipate that the hot showers, actually separated into men’s and women’s, will be fabulous. Our only problem is that the town is so small, we are not sure we will find an open cafe. Well, worst case we drink the aubergue’s San Miguel cerveza and eat our chorizo and manchego cheese from lunch. Actually, not so bad! -K