Posted by: knitknigel | May 9, 2009

Back Where We Started

Today was a great day for walking – only 21.5 km in lovely weather, cool enough to keep my fleece on, but sunny too. Right now it´s about 21 degrees C in Pamplona where I arrived at 1:00, just in time to join the line for the albergue which opened 6 minutes later. Mind you, I had to stand in the line for almost 45 minutes before I got to the front, even though that meant only 29 people were ahead of me. I´m bed 30, which is a lower bunk again. I like that.

This was where Geordie and I started our camino together in 2004. Tomorrow I will walk the same route we did back then to Puente La Reine which has a beautiful arched bridge over the river. It will be wonderful to walk it again and enjoy the day.

Yesterday was beech forest, today was pine forest. Lots of different ecosystems to walk through yet. The accompaniment today was the ever prevalent birdsong and a gurgling river we got to walk along and over a couple of times on Romanesque or Gothic bridges (I mean both types). We walked over 4 beautiful stone bridges, single arch, double arch – lovely. And other wildlife? Slugs! They are all along the way, on the gravel, stone or dirt paths we traverse. Most of them are black about 4 inches long, but I did see a lovely 6 inch one two days ago which was russet brown. There are a few butterflies, and lots of wild flowers – even more varieties today, including some wild geraniums, orchids, wild columbines and myriad others I don´t recognize.

Now the bad news! I have a BLISTER! Note the exclamation marks! I got a lovely one within the first 5 km of the walk but stopped to treat it right away at a little village where I also got a coffee. Put on a blister bandage, which did not keep it from developing. Later I added a regular bandage to attempt to hold the other in place but that isn´t working any better. I went out for a lovely lunch and then hobbled back, to rest my little feet after I check the damage. I have to decide how best to treat it now. Oh well, what did we expect, I´m not a saint like Geordie.

For those reading these message just to hear about the food, I had a great menu del dia today. I wandered into one of the busy main squares of Pamplona and found a place with a 13 euro menu – not bad. Even better – the food was great. I started with a Risotto con funghi y parmesana – Mushroom risotto with parmesan. Then for my main course a delicious Bacalao con puerros y bacon, Salt cod with leeks and bacon in a gorgeous cream sauce. There was also a lovely crusty roll (I had two) and a really nice red wine (I had two glasses). Mm mm. Or as the French say, Miam Miam (Just say it!)

And now, off to treat the blisters then knit in the gorgeous patio of this old church turned Albergue. It´s quite new, and everyone seems very happy with it. The best part – you aren´t allowed to leave before 6:30 so all those early risers will have to wait, or go somewhere else.

And yes, I found my ear plugs last night and was deaf to all the snoring. I hope my snoring wasn´t too bad for everyone else.



  1. Am I the only one who laughed aloud about the effect of the beans at dinner? There should be a rule that prevents serving beans to large groups who are going to sleep communally – but where would that leave the Boy Scouts?

    Really sorry to hear about the blister. You have to get on top of that quick, quick. The women who gave the talk at Calhoun said they spent half an hour each morning bandaging their blisters before they set off each day.

    I love the descriptions of the countryside that you walk through. Just thought I would mention this so that the blog doesn’t become a food column exclusively!


  2. Hi Nigel, I’m enjoying your blog. The bridges sound interesting. And orchids! You are making me wish we were on the road too – except that we expect a grandchild shortly. I have just finished a tiny jumper (sweater) for her. What are you knitting?
    buen camino


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