Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday - Pamplona to Puenta la Reina

We left Pamplona this morning at 6:30 a.m. It was still dark, so we followed the Camino out of town by spotting the metal medallions embedded in the sidewalks, bearing the sign of the scallop shell (the symbol of the Camino) and gleaming under the still glowing street lamps.

After we left the city behind, the sun rose and the day's climb began. In the distance, we could see a line of wind turbines along a ridge. a light rain began to fall.

We kept climbing, the grade getting gradually steeper and the rain coming and going. Sun would break through while rain would be moving in on the next wind. As we emerged from a sheltered lane, the vista opened up and we could just see the beginning of a rainbow. As we stood there, it grew stronger and developed into a full arch.

The trail grew rocky and Dad and I were glad we'd stopped into a sporting goods store in Pamplona and purchased another pair of walking sticks. Now, each of us has two sticks giving us improved balance and shifting some of the load off our knees on the steeps.

We were climbing up to the ridge with the windmills and, as you might expect, the wind picked up and kept us cool.

We arrived at the peak - called 'the point of pardon' because in earlier days, pilgrims who reached this peak and were unable to go on, were given a pardon from finishing and granted their compostela. As it happened, while we were standing on the peak admiring the sculpture there (a metal silhouette of a line of pilgrims) some people arrived from below with the news that a woman had broken a leg on the trail. Other pilgrims had the necessary phones and language skills to call for help. we are told that the EMTs arrived about 15 minutes later. Apparently, she was someone who attempted the walk without being fit. (A pilgrims staying at the albergue with us tonight is a doctor and was there on the peak at the time).

We, in the meantime had headed downhill -very cautiously. This descent, we decided, was a mere class 4. It only lasted about mile and a half. Then we had relatively level going all the way into Puenta la Reina.

We arrved at about 4 pm- nearly ten hours after we started put

Arriving in town at about 4 pm means that there are no more spaces at the first albergues you come to. Today, the albergue with space was on the other side of town and we were worried they would fill up before we arrived; so we pushed on as fast as I could go. We arrived to find that the albergue was at the top of a steep hill.

I was lagging and other pilgrims were coming along behind. I could go no faster and within two minutes found myself watching as Dad left me in his dust. He trekked up the hill as if the hike was just beginning. When I dragged myself to the door 15 minutes behind, a grinning German couple informed me, "Your fasser hass already arrieft".

Later, as I was leaving the showers, a woman stopped me to ask if I was Linda. When I answered in the affirmative, she said, "I've heard a lot about you. you and your father are famous on the Camino."

Quelle surprise.

Again, photos cannot be posted in order. you have to guess where each one fits in the story.


  1. Just read the post and looked at the photos. Harold, you look great!

  2. I was just thinking the same thing. Thanks, Linda!

  3. To Harold: you are amazing! To Linda: you are, too; for you are famous! Actually, we're all amazing, come to think of it. Yesterday,I was just looking at my hand and thinking about what all goes into it, down to the subatomic level. It was crazy amazing.

  4. Linda thanks so much for sharing this adventure with all of us! Absolutely no surprise at Harold being a "superstar.". We already knew that! God's speed and many blessings. Can't wait for the next report.

    Martha L.

  5. Linda, thanks so much for writing this blog. My daughter and I check in every day, in anticipation of the next instalment. I used to go on walking holidays, but cannot imagine two months of it at 70, let alone 82. You are obviously enjoying it, and I hope you and Harold are abundantly blessed by this journey together. Barbara Gardiner

  6. This is so amazing! Thanks Aunt Linda for keeping the blog!!! I'm so proud of y'all. Love you guys, please give Papa my love as well!

  7. It's a rocky road you are on but who better to be with than your Dad.

  8. Thanks for sharing all this, Linda! It's inspiring!
    I'm Christine btw :)