Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hello, everyone.
When we left Pamplona, it was very early in the morning. (Actually, it was very early in the morning almost every time we started walking. That let us get in a serious chunk of walking, yet still be done walking by about 2 pm most days. We weren't trotting down the road calling ahead for reservations, so getting where we were comfortable stopping pretty early was important.) It was so early that we got to the next little town over, Cizur Menor, before we encountered an open bakery to buy some food to eat. And that was a croissant, I think. Plus "cafe leche para llevar" as they say--coffee with milk to-go.
Then we went on down the trail, preceded and followed by the usual scattering of other peregrinos. (On the Camino Frances, whatever the case may be on other routes, one is rarely completely alone.) The day was cloudy, but then we'd been walking in clouds whenever it wasn't rainy thus far. We didn't think anything of it.
The trail got more steep, as we approached the Alto del Perdon. There was a lovely little church along the way--San Andres de Zariquiegui, the sello says--and we stopped for a moment. My sweetie took a picture.
  I was sitting on the bench outside (doesn't show in the picture, it's off to the left) and I looked around at the sky and saw weather coming in.
I was so discouraged. I could feel my feet shriveling up at the very sight of the onrushing bank of rain clouds. Shortly after we resumed walking, it rained. And then it hailed.
But! This time the hail was short-lived. It was only windy and rainy when we got to the pilgrims' monument at the top of Alto del Perdon.

And here is my sweetie:
See how he's petting the bronze dog?
The path down the other side of the mountain was a pile of jumbled up rocks, very unstable, looking to me like a trout stream deprived of its fish-and, fortunately, most of its water.
We slept at the albergue of the Padres Reparadores that night, in Puente La Reina. And that was where I lost my really-cool, pencil-sized flashlight that my son had given me. Though I didn't realize it until a night or two later! (The mind doesn't work the same way on an a trek like this, at least not if you aren't used to it. I had tied it--the flashlight, not my mind!--to the bed frame in case I needed to go to the pot in the night, the string slipped down out of sight behind the corner of the mattress, and apparently I didn't do a proper job of clearing the space on our way out.)
Tomorrow I hope to post the first stork picture of the trip, from Puente La Reina.