Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1st June - Puente La Reina

It´s hard to describe the beautiful landscape we have walked through the last three days.  From Roncesvalles we started off in woods of beech and oak, through undulating farmlands with white cows and black faced sheep in the fields, to high scrub and fyn-bos and then steeply into Zubiri - the´town of the bridge´crossing the medieval bridge into the town.  Legend says that if you walked your cattle three times around the main pillar of the bridge they would be cured of rabies!  Our albergue was called El Palo de Avellano (Hazel Stick - probably names for the hazel twigs that people used in the old days to clean their teeth!)  We had a wonderful four course meal there for 11 euro - salad, soup, a Regional rice cake in tomato sauce and then either fish, meat or omelette and a fresh lemon mousse.  Real pilgrim food!
The rouite from Zubiri to Pamplona is a roller coaster of ups and downs with a lovely approach to Pamplona through Trinidad de Arre, the park and through the old fortified wall into the city.  Passing through Arre I tripped on a speed hump in the pavement (to slow down cyclists) and went down heavily on both knees.  I am grazed and bruised but no other injuries.
Our Pension in Pamplona - Sarasate - deserves a mention.  It is right around the corner from the Plaza de Castillo, 3 minutes from the bus station, spotlessley clean, comofrtable beds, en suite bathrooms, tv, wifi and the kindest, most obliging host.  Please support him if you are planning a stay in Pamplona.  35 euro for a single, 45 euro for a double.
Today Janet, Eugeni and I left Pamplona at about 7h30 and stopped in Cizur Menor (about 5km) for a coffee and toast passing Roy and Kay and then Linda a Pam.  Then on through gently rollong farmlands - wheat, barley and millet - to the Alto de Perdon, a high ridge with a line of wind turbines and a series of metal pilgrim sculptures with the incription, ¨Where the path of the wind crosses that of the stars.¨ It is a long, hard slog up to the top and the wind was cold and howling when we reached the summit.  Janet joined us soon after and we descended the other side down a steep, twisting ankle snapping river boulder path to Uterga where we met up with Kim Frances, Roy and Kay.  Eugeni, Kim and I decided to take the detour to Eunate and we spent a bit of time at the lovely church before continuing on to Obanos and then to Puente La Reina.  Just as we were starting to feel really weary the Hostal Jakue appeared before us and we soon checked into our rooms.  This is a gorgeous, up market new albergue and hotel with the best 11 euro pilgrim menu you´ll find on the camino - a buffet feast with soup, salads, hot afood, many different deserts and wine and bread.  Yummy!
It is now 9:25pm and I am drooping at the key board.  But, I am a very happy pilgrim.  Next time I´ll tell you a bit about how the group is working and where we are going tomorrow.
Over and out for now,


Antoinette said...

Hi all,

Sounds like you guys are having a fabulous time - definetly more luxurious than your trip from Lake Geneva to Rome. Syl watch where you walk, cant afford any more injuries as you have a long way to go. Kathy, if you stick with Rayna, you will be a beer drinker by the time u get back! Liquid lunch! Lots of carbs to get u up the next hill! Enjoy! Antoinette

Anonymous said...

Syl, Great to bump into you at Johannesburg Airport on route home to the UK following our Namibia tour, just when you were heading off to Spain! Sounds like you're doing a great job and having a wonderful time. However, watch those knees and try not to droop at the keyboard. I know the feeling (the keyboard droop, not the knees!). Happy walking. Enjoying your blog. Richard Furlong.

Keith Pellew said...

Loving the blog - brings back memories of my walk in 2004. Ive been toying with the idea of doing it again this year starting in August and it may just happen. Good to read of other South African's experiences. Buen Camino amigos!

Anonymous said...

Hello Kathy

I am enjoying your walk it looks so exciting.


Linda said...

Hi Syl and gang
As usual, thoroughly enjoying reading your news of the trip, so keep it up. No more falling please Syl. Take care everyone and enjoy. Luv Lin