Pamplona Is For Sleepers – No Bull

Dear Fodenvensel Subscribers,

We are a bit discouraged that you were not notified of our last post chronicling our French illness. We would like you to know that despite our limited blogging we have been trying to move on and live our lives in the wake of this disaster. If you are curious to know more about our experience of this very exotic French cold, be sure to check out our previous post for all the snotty details.

On Wednesday we awoke at 6am sharp in Roncesvalles, Spain when the overhead lights were abruptly switched on without warning. Although we had laid in our dormitory beds for over 9 hours, we managed to get about 2 hours of sleep between the two of us. It was a symphony of snores and coughs as we shared the third floor of the refuge with 58 other pilgrims (that is what they call the Camino-ers). We headed onwards down the Camino with our Northern Irish friend Alistair. The day was mostly downhill with lots of mud and slippery places. We stopped in a little town called Zubiri and rested in an albergue (which is similar to a refugio, but private and often a little more expensive).

The next morning we hobbled in the drizzly rain toward Pamplona, arriving through the city’s fortress drawbridge with damp spirits. After two or so hours of rain the water had found its way into our socks, collars and sleeves. We were dragging and giving each other frowny looks as we struggled to find the stylized shell icons that mark the way. We had passed up the municipal refuge because the name sounded a little intense for our taste and so came to the edge of the old city without a place to sleep or an idea of where to go. We found a dingy hostel with a private room and David slept for 11 hours straight.

We decided to rest our achy feet, knees and shins for an extra day in Pamplona. We relocated to a slightly cheaper albergue near the drawbridge. We slept in very cozy pod-like beds where, in an earlier era, horses were once housed. We spent the extra day in Pamplona relaxing, washing clothes (day 93 of our trip), drinking coffee, sitting in the Plaza del Castillo (outside of Ernest Hemingway’s old local hangout, Cafe Iruña) and talking to friendly pilgrims.

Today we made it over a ridge west of Pamplona, past 40 gigantic wind turbines and down a lovely foothill into Uterga where we are now. It’s a cute town small enough to somehow not have a food market. The sun is out today and the weather forecast looks promising for the next few days.

20130511-193138.jpgPamplona via Roncesvalles.

20130511-193400.jpgTL: A waymark to help pilgrims navigate through cities.

20130515-184251.jpgWalk, walk, walk…fish.

20130511-193540.jpgWalk, walk, walk…sit.

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4 thoughts on “Pamplona Is For Sleepers – No Bull

  1. Great to learn about your pilgrimage. As a concerned older I’m inclined to transmit a lesson on walking, it will start now right after the colon: There are mainly two correct ways of walking, you put the right foot ahead of the left – or vice versa. Don’t move both feet forward at the same time – it is not efficient and will confuse the spectators. Remember: not all people in the audience have a good sense of humour. We shall at a later stage return to more strange ways of walking (so called subways!) like for example walking backwards.

    Keep on the good spirits you two !!! Lise & Gunnar

    • Gunnar and Lise,
      Thank you for your wisdom when it comes to life and walking. Truer words may have never been spoken. We’ve been making sure to walk in a variety of ways to use many different muscles, joints and ligaments. We’ve considered walking on our hands to improve our upper body strength and for circulation reasons. I’ve heard of a man in India who rolled his way hundreds of miles to a pilgrimage site. We are trying walking first, then maybe rolling or somersaulting on our next adventure.
      -David

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