Day 3, 18 April 2013, Larrasoaña to Uterga, 34.5 km

First of all I would like to thank everyone who has made a comment on my posts. It is great to know that you are sharing my pain and joy. Please keep them coming, even if I don’t have time to respond. And also, I have amended the previous post to include photos. I have some catching up to do with my blogging. We have walked such long days that it is difficult to keep up. I will try to do better! (Written Saturday 20.04.13, please read on for day 3 post)…….

Today started with 30 people walking through my bedroom to do their ablutions, some a great deal less considerate than others.

My merry band set off at 7:00, stopping at the fountain to fill our water bottles.

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The start of the walk took us on a track alongside a beautiful river and was very pleasant.

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We stopped of breakfast after about 8 km. They were serving tortilla español sliced through and filled with a slice of ham and cheese in the middle. A great idea, but the omelette wasn’t good.

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We continued through a pretty village with the sun behind us and I saw a great photo opportunity on the ground in front of us.

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When the track led us up above the river the views opened out to the fabulous green landscape.

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After 16 km we the crossed the wide river on the outskirts of Pamplona, and once in the city we did some lunch shopping and made our way through the modern suburbs and into the old section which was very characterful.

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We had a short rest in a park before leaving the city and heading to Cizur Menor (21km) where we found some grass to sit on, take off our boots, and eat our lunch. We tried many times to phone ahead to the albergue at Zariquiegui, 7km on where we planned to stay the night, but there was no answer. So after lunch we set off first having to tackle a huge and never-ending hill where the path was alongside a busy road, and eventually into open farm land where the camino wound ever upward towards the village of Zariquiegui. The plan was to set off fresh the next morning to attack the enormous climb to the Alto de Perdón and then the steep descent the other side.

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However, when we finally located the albergue, we were horrified to find that it was closed and there was nowhere else to stay the night. So at the end of a long day’s walk, having already covered 27 km we found ourselves having to continue for a further 6.5 km over the most difficult climb, rising 200 metres in 2 km and then dropping 300 metres over the next 4.5 km.

We all stoically picked up our rucksacks and got on with it. I was amazed at how well I coped and reaching the top was worth the effort as the wonderful iron figures came into sight at the peak of the climb sitting between two rows of enormous wind turbines.

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It was extremely windy at the preak and quite cold so after a few photos we staggered down the other side and into the village of Uterga, where we found that the only albergue was full and the only option we had was to stay in private accommodation at 50-€ per double room. We were all very peeved at having to pay such a high price for the rooms and felt that we were being taken advantage of, but as we did not want to extend the walk, we had little choice.

We finally completed 34 km of difficult camino and were exhausted but ended up having a good meal in the albergue with plenty of wine.

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About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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9 Responses to Day 3, 18 April 2013, Larrasoaña to Uterga, 34.5 km

  1. David Wolfe says:

    You seem to be making a lot more progress than planed. I think you are fantastic. The pictures are beautiful but being biased I would liken to see a few more with you in. Please get one of the others to take a few more of you. Love you lots and don’t forget keep walking and the blogs coming David xxxx

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  2. Cindy Jones says:

    Wow you deserve lots of wine after that long day!!! Cindy and Graham xx
    Yes agree with David would love to see more photos with you in them!!!

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  3. Lyn Harrison says:

    Could we also have photos of some of the accomodation? Hard to imagine this bed outside the gents, for example. You’ve had more than your share of bad luck with the overnighting so let’s hope it’s time for some good luck. Read the latest installments during coffee after a long lunch at Steen and Lisa’s. We all think you’re fantastic too! Fog and rain here today so you’re not missing much. Love, Lyn

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  4. Francine says:

    Maggie, your blog is incredible even though 8 month have passed since your journey started. 50 Euros…..interesting that so few albergues are available and wondering if this is going to be a problem if walking in May. Does anyone sleep in the open, or is it too cold and not safe?

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    • magwood says:

      Yes, we felt well and truly ripped off in Uterga. I think most albergues are open by May. We found two of the albergues that we planned to use were closed at the end of April, but would have probably been open in May. Some people camp, but it would have been very cold this year – not for me at all, I was already way outside my comfort zone sleeping in mixed dorms.

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  5. Francine says:

    Pamplona is a city I want to explore. 🙂 I’ve seen many pictures of the iron figures and now I “know” someone who was actually there!

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    • magwood says:

      Pamplona was very pretty but we only walked through. We didn’t actually stop to sight see in any cities. Although I normally love mooching around ancient cities, on my camino I much offered to be in the countryside and the tiny villages were stunning.

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