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.
The start of the walk took us on a track alongside a beautiful river and was very pleasant.
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.
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.
When the track led us up above the river the views opened out to the fabulous green landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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.