Thursday, May 22, 2014

Progress report: Pamplona

Howdy, everyone!
We made it to Pamplona!
Day 1: Over Route Napoleon, facing increasing headwinds the entire way...well, worse, gusty increasing headwinds. The last 3 km we think the gusts were near 60mph. The trekking poles paid for themselves. (I didn´t fall off the mountain, in other words.)
Stayed at the monastery of Roncesvalles. Lovely, modern dorm facility, we were on the top floor. Ate the pilgrim menu, which was a lovely HOT! potato soup (and I was so ready for hot soup) and sweet pimiento peppers stuffed with chicken and to finish off, flan.
Day 2: Storms, rain, hail, wind. Feet got wet about 8 am and stayed that way. Arrived in Zubiri and called it a day. Feet sore, blisters, but what can you expect when you walk in water and get water dumped on you etc. etc. Saw more gorgeous flowers (between the raindrops) than you can shake a stick at.The trekking poles paid for themselves again, while we walked over slick wet caliche covered granite rocks sticking up in the paths in more than one place.Also the poles came in handy when crossing little creeks by way of the cube shaped concrete stepping stones, I planted the poles on the next stone and stepped across the little gap.
Day 3: Light rain on and off, got to Pamplona and got a hotel room for 2 nites. Ate the world´s most wonderful squid a la plancha. Bought a bottle of Tempranillo wine for Euro 1.99 and it´s very good. (We´re sipping on it.) The food is wonderful here.
My sweetie bought a great map of the city, with 3D sketches of some of the buildings and enough streets so a person can find things.Also--it´s been pretty cold--we bought a fleece sweater for me at the shop Caminoteca near the Cathedral. (It´s a pilgrim supply shop, hiking gear, guidebooks, hat pins, etc. etc.)
Went to the Museo Navarra and it was great. Loads of historical art work to look at. Some modern stuff too, but I´m not so into the modern stuff.
Went to the Cathedral and its museum and oh my goodness it´s great.
Tomorrow we´ll leave really early and probably get to Puente la Reina.
More news in a few days, possibly from Burgos.