Day #4: Pamplona to Puente la Reina, 24.1km


Today was a longer day of walking because I didn't go all the way to Cizur Minor yesterday.  It added 5km to what would have been an easier day otherwise.

It started out flat and slowly climbed 350m to Alto del Perdón (Hill of Forgiveness) which has some amazing views, along with wind turbines up and down the ridge and a monumento peregrino, a lovely celebration of the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrims who walk it.  I had lunch up there and ran into Justin & Tali from NZ and Ninka as well.  I also met a couple of kids from Boston on a "gap year", biking to Santiago.  It was a nice break, good to see familiar faces and finally meet some other Americans!  We are few and far between on the Camino.

The descent off Alto del Perdón was BRUTAL!!  I have  been doing okay on the downhills, but this was about 7km of a really steep grade with big rocks and crappy trail.

Just outside of Uterga, I stopped to assess my feet.  This is a daily ritual for most peregrinos.  I was thinking I would add some Compeed to a hotspot and be on my way.  Verena, a German pilgrim I had run into a few times, stopped and offered to do some Reiki on my feet, which I gladly accepted.  I have had it before and it really does help.  This time was no different.  I was able to finish the day in Puente la Reina because of it.

As I was coming into Puente la Reina I ran into Joani and found out she was staying at the Albergue I was planning to stay at.  We went to dinner together later at a bar down the street.  There were three folks from the Seattle, WA area (actually Lopez Island in the Puget Sound) at the bar.  A family of three, actually Emme the mom, Robin the son, and Theresa the son´s girlfriend.  (Please forgive me if I misspelled names!)  We had a nice time chatting and it was good to have some people from "home" to talk to!  I had paella, some chicken (which was rather dry), and french fries (anyone seeing a theme here?).

Before dinner, I went to the mercado to buy food for the next few days.  It's always fun going grocery shopping when you barely understand the language!  Myself and another woman got into trouble because we touched the fruit.  They pick it out for you and weigh it and then give it to you in a bag with the price marked on it.  Very interesting!