Today’s distance: 21.6 km
Total distance: 92.7 km.
Elevation gain: 621 metres
Weather: Mix of cloud, sun, and rain
Highlight: Dinner with six countries
I was in no hurry to leave Pamplona this morning. First of all, I love it and I was having a good time wandering around the streets and plazas when all was quiet. Second of all, I needed sustenance for the hike to Zariquiegui which is the first place to stop for a bite to eat and coffee after Pamplona. Most shops were still closed as it was just past 8 AM, but I finally found a place to get a jamon y queso bocadillo (ham and cheese sandwich) toasted. Then off I went in search of the Camino.
It was easy to find! Up ahead at right angles to the direction I was walking, a steady stream of pilgrims were on their way. As soon as I merged with them I saw The Four Muskatettes ahead. We keep crossing paths which is great! It is easy to recognize people from the back by the clothes they are wearing – always the same. I hooked up with Jean and together we hiked the 11.1 km to Zariquiegui.
After what was advertised as the best cup of coffee in town, I was ready to climb the Alto del Perdon (Hill of Foregiveness) at an elevation of 790 metres. This is where we find a wrought iron representation of medieval pilgrims, heads bent to the west wind with an inscription: The way of the wind crosses the way of the stars.
I would have waited for Jean and the rest of The Four Musketettes at the top, but it was windy and cold so off I went, down the other side. I was afraid I had veered off the Camino trail and into a dry riverbed for awhile. At least it was heading in the right direction. Down!
The skies had been lightly overcast but just before I reached Muruzabal the rain started. El Jardin is an albergue at the entrance to the village and has a beautiful garden. If only it wasn’t raining! The photo taken of El Jardin shows how it looked the following morning.
There are seven bunk beds, lockable cupboards, and the best shower I have had so far on the Camino. I don’t suppose you should have pet peeves on the Camino, but I do. My pet peeve is constantly having to press the water controller to keep the water flowing. It isn’t easy washing with one hand! I guess it is not good to waste water when wanting to keep the accommodation so affordable, speaking of which the cost of accommodation, breakfast, dinner, and a load of wash (my first one in a machine) was only 30 Euros total.
The day’s highlight was dinner with people from six countries: three from Korea, two from Romania, one from Australia, two from Spain, one from U.S.A., and me from Canada. So many people from all corners of the world have this common interest: the Camino.
The following video is a recap of the first part of the journey from my arrival in Bayonne and St. Jean Pied de Port and the first five walking days on the French Way.