It rained off and on during the night, but we were safe under cover, so the sounds on the roof were soothing. Our morning started around 7:00… Up and at me for a 7:30 breakfast. Our Pension gave us a lovely meal of toast and homemade preserves, juice, cafe con leche, cake and mueslis…. When we commented that there were no bowls or milk for the cereal, our host proclaimed that the Spanish put it in their coffee!! I drank down my coffee leaving a couple of ounces in the bottom of my cup and tried it… It was excellent!!!
After breakfast we had to depart from our haven…and head out into a very light rain. Back again we went, down the path to the closed hotel from last night…and then beyond… The walk today was very pastoral, fields of wheat ripening, ponies with their colts, spring flowers bursting in the woods. I saw my first wild Hyacinthus… They were beautiful!… But clumsy me, took a little spill on the wet and muddy path… Nothing hurt but my pride!.. But I got to carry an extra few ounces of mud with me the rest of the day!
After 3 hours of walking (on extremely sore feet and legs) we decided to take a break in a little town just before Pamplona. It was a very small bar/cafe and we were debating outside when a young Pilgrim from NY came out and told us that the food and coffee were both excellent and cheap… We were sold do in we went…. I must say it way extraordinary value for what we received… Only €2.60 per person for a caffe con leche and a panini sandwich that had cheese, roasted pepper, prosciutto and a fried egg… All warm and fresh!!! Upon leaving the cafe, we bumped into Natalia from Poland… We met her on our first night, and the 4 of us carried on together.
Revived and refuelled we were ready to tackle the next stage …Pamploma… As we walked along the outskirts we were greeted by the locals calling “Buen Camino!” At one point we saw a man with his dog who was seriously enjoying a large puddle… When the man saw us, he suggested that we take the path along the river ( coincidentally the exact one we were looking for, and which wasn’t marked)… Off we went on a very pastoral river walk almost all the way up to the gates of the old city… Interestingly, anytime we came to a crossroads, a local would instantly point us in the right direction with a heartfelt Buen Camino!
Up to the old city gates we went, entering through the arches that had greeting pilgrims for many centuries… Once in the city, we saw a mix of old world charm with a bright and vibrant culture. The path took through the old city, where we stopped to get our Credentials stamped at the tourist office and then the the Square which celebrates the running of the Bulls…
At this point our legs and feet were pushing us to find our rest for the night, so we pressed on through the rest of the city and then to our final destination of Cizur Menor, and our Albergue Maribal Roncal… What a lovely spot! We quickly got settled (Dan and I both got lower bunks!!), showered and then Dan was off to se Maribal… The blister wizard! And wizard she was… She drained, disinfected and bound his feet and then asked to see his boots…she then taught us how to place our foot in the boot and an intriguing way of tying them so that your toes stay back in the boot, yet the ankle is not too tight… I’ll be happy to give lessons when we get home!!!
… Looks pretty cushy, but we’re still sleeping 12 to a room… Dan and I were the first in room four… Then came in 4 Irish men… Fortunately 2 other couples booked into this room as well… Or else I’d be The only woman in the room… All fun!
Maribal also has booked us into an Albergue in Puete de la Reina for tomorrow night… We will even have a room to ourselves… Pretty rare for hostels only €16 each and this includes a buffet breakfast! It’s the Alberque Puente.
In the meantime we had a terrific Pelegrino meal across the street with Sandra… It took one pitcher of water and 2 bottles of wine to ease the pains of the day, but I think we’ve managed!
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