Today’s distance: 21.3 km
Total distance: 71.1 km
Elevation gain: 522 metres
Weather: Sunny and warm
What a difference a day makes! My bad day (Easter Sunday) was followed by one of the best. I was disappointed on Sunday because I didn’t get as far as Larrasoana. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to stay at the beginning or end of the stages in John Brierley’s guidebook but, instead, in towns that are mid-point. They are less busy.
If I had carried on to Larrasoana, though, I would have gone straight there and not stopped at the Parish Church of Santa Lucia between Zubiri and Larrasoana. I nearly passed it by this time, too, which would have been a shame. The building may have been built as a fort in the 12th century and later converted to a church in the 13th century. The property has recently been bought by former pilgrims with the intention of saving the church.
I keep running into the group of four friends from Nova Scotia (Shelly, Jean, Deb, and Monette) who were my room mates in Orrison. Today they told me Shelly gave me a name: “Blogging Judy.” They also told me they have a name for Shelly: “Naming Shelly.” Well I came up with a name for them too: “The Four Musketettes. What will they think of that?
It was pleasant having many people to chat with briefly and sometimes take each others’ photos. They were from Oregon, Slovenia, Mexico City/Arizona, Australia, as well as Jaycee from North Vancouver who I fell into step with for the better part of an hour. Her Camino has been organized by a travel company and she is staying in hotels the whole way.
When pilgrims think you have gone the wrong way, they call out to you and point in the direction they think is right. They didn’t know there was a worthwhile detour you can take in Zabaldika to visit the church and ancient belfry. You can ring the bell once to send your prayers out over the valley. The albergue here is highly recommended.
The Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart were welcoming and gave me “The Beatitudes of the Pilgrim” which they wrote this year. A person doesn’t have to be Catholic or even religious to appreciate the meanings of many of these points:
- Blessed are you pilgrim, if you discover that the “Camino” opens your eyes to what is not seen.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, if what concerns you most is not to arrive, as to arrive with others.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, when you contemplate the “Camino” and you discover it is full of names and dawns.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, because you have discovered that the authentic “Camino” begins when it is completed.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, if your knapsack is emptying of things and your heart does not know where to hang up so many feelings and emotions.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, if you discover that one step back to help another is more valuable than a hundred forward without seeing what is at your side.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, when you don’t have words to give thanks for everything that surprises you at every twist and turn of the way.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, if you search for the truth and make of the “Camino” a life and of your life a “way,” in search of the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
- Blessed are you pilgrim if on the way you meet yourself and gift yourself with time, without rushing, so as not to disregard the image in your heart.
- Blessed are you pilgrim, if you discover that the “Camino” holds a lot of silence; and the silence of prayer; and the prayer of meeting with the Father who is waiting for you.
The highlight today was the old walled city of Pamplona. What a vibrant city! I easily found and check into the Jesus y Maria Albergue as recommended by Dennis. (You know who you are!) It was part of a 17th century Jesuit church and adapted to provide beds in cubicles built into the naves. It was only 9 Euros and is centrally located.
At 6 o’clock our expanding “Camino Family” of about 25 people showed up at the City Hall for a tour. Carolina, a fellow pilgrim and resident of Pamplona, showed us around her city: the route the bulls run during their July festival and bar hopping, Spanish style. Those pintxos lived up to their reputation. Delicious! Even those mysterious wormy things some of us had were good! We ended up at the Cafe Iruna which was Ernest Hemmingway’s favourite hangout!
Some pilgrims had a mischievious side, but we don’t know Spanish well enough to know that what we did was prohibited! Uh-oh!!! 🙁