The trail is fairly benign and we breakfast (again.. toast and coffee don’t really cut it) after another 4 km purchasing tortillas (omelette) wedges and a bocadillo (sandwich) for the road. As we walk Sue and Jerry tell us about their “albergue” experience. Apparently where they were staying, the Bell tower to the church or town hall chimed every quarter hour on the dot until midnight, and their apartment was a perfect location in which to get the full effect of the bells. So maybe being able to do laundry was not an equal benefit to our pool and beer experience. Onward we walk. Stories continue to flow. Pamplona beckons. This time we have gotten smarter and have secured a place near the Cathedral for the night, so the need to press hard onward is not such a necessity.
We enter the outskirts of Pamplona and walk over an ancient bridge. We are still amazed at the engineering marvel of these bridges. We lunch in a park and notice that the city appears “asleep”, as it is siesta time and not much is open. Traffic is sparse and we cross one of 4 bridges built in the 1200s across the Arga river specifically for the Santiago pelegrinos. This one leads to the (at the time) only entrance into the fortress city of Pamplona.
We cross the functioning drawbridge and wander the streets of Pamplona looking for our albergue.
We locate it next to the Cathedral of Pamplona where the Roman general Pompey stayed before a battle in 74-75 BC. Since then, this area has changed hands more times than a Las Vegas card dealer on New Years Eve. We walk the streets where the loonies who think it’s ” muy macho” to run with (actually from) the bulls is held. No way in hell would we ever do something so idiotic (even with alcohol).
The streets are narrow and there is no place to hide or escape to. Your best bet is to trip the guy next to you in hopes of slowing down a bull or two. I would rather spend my time in Spain drinking their wine and eating their Tapas, which we did tonight.
Things like this make me want to ditch the U.S. I can think of no place in the U.S. where you can get a $6 bottle of wine and sandwich snacks at $2 a piece besides your local 7-Eleven, and where’s the ambiance in that? (There is NO comparison…really).
Before discovering the Tapas and wine, we “pre-snack” on bite sized salami and parmesan cheese chunks from what we would call an artisan butcher shop. I swear to God, I will probably (if not gain a few lbs) break even with regard to my weight on this trip no matter how many miles we walk a day. I don’t understand how they stay so slim in Europe, as their everyday food is waaay better than ours. In Pamplona, near our albergue, is a Camino pilgrim’s shop, that sells just about anything one would need whilst walking the Camino. Paul purchases a new pair of shoes (Columbia) as his Altras are starting to hurt the top of his foot, as they did mine. For some people these shoes work great. For others, not so good. We are of the “not so good” group. Our good fortune, however continues with finding good shoes for Paul. In no time it is time for bed.