Cloister in Los Arcos on the Camino de Santiago

Cloister in Los Arcos on the Camino de Santiago

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day Seven - Adios Pamplona

DAY SEVEN May 22nd Adios Pamplona

Pamplona to Puente La Reina – 24km, 26km adjusted for height.

The Murray Pilgrims at the University of Navarra, Pamplona.

Daniel is carrying his rucksack – as usual. I am sporting a red neck tie in honour of San Fermin which I bought as a fashion accessory – later in the week it becomes a savior from the mid-afternoon sun.

It is early on Sunday morning and the burghers of Pamplona are sleeping soundly in their beds when we leave the party city and head for the broad fields of Navarra and the Rioja beyond. Within five minutes the others have disappeared into the distance and Daniel and I are left to bring up the rearguard. We take a detour past the University to get a special seal or stamp. It was here that five years ago Barry and I eventually got our Credencial having waited for half the day at the cathedral for the person responsible to sleep off the effects of too much tea the night before.

Mercifully the day was overcast and we made our way to Cizur Menor where we stopped for the first coffee of the morning, not counting the coffee in the hotel Eslava... Then began the part I had been fearing – the ascent to the Alto del Pardon. Five years ago, much younger, much fitter and much more hung over I had climbed and scrambled up the hill only to admit defeat at the top and take a taxi into Puente La Reina.

Fraser checks his watch, again, at the Alto del Perdon.

We arrived at the top without drama. I was almost disappointed by the lack of drama. I had arrived – no problem. There was an entrepreneur in a white van (in the photo) selling sandwiches and soft drinks for a reasonable 3.00 euro. We had gone to the market in Pamplona the previous day. I had bought two oranges and some cheese. Fraser had bought some chorizo more expensive than truffles and Pat had bought the entire fruit market.

It was so exciting - Pamplona lies behind and rolling ahead of us are the fertile plains and inviting paths of Navarra. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

The stunning view from Alto del Perdon

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