I have walked 68 kilometres so far! Maybe that does not sound like much to you, but why don’t you come walk the same 68 kilometres through the mountains and then we’ll see how you feel!
Today I woke up when people around me started making noise. I haven’t set an alarm yet, and I don’t want to disturb others by doing so. Plus, people always make noise when they’re leaving.
So, about a 6:15 start. I wasn’t sure whether to take the actual Camino or walk along the road to the next town. My guidebook suggested that if you detoured off the Camino to Zubiri, you should just take the road. I asked others, and they all said they were taking the Camino. I decided to as well.
I began hiking out of town and things were uphill right away. In fact, once we got far enough up to see well, it was obvious that the road stayed level the whole time while the Camino went up a mountainside to go around some sort of quarry. I wrote yesterday about my attitude toward going uphill. Once again, I needed some help from God for a change of attitude. Which he did 🙂
I was hiking alone, and had a morning filled with meadows of wildflowers. Poppies, Queen Anne’s Lace, daisies, those light blue flowers that are everywhere in Ontario too… I wish I knew more flower names. It was beautiful, and my heart was filled with joy at God’s creation.
I was meditating on Psalm 23, reciting it to myself and then considering it line by line. Last year, he makes me lie down in green pastures was the line I really needed . He leads me beside quiet waters was a line that really stood out. Then I realized I was walking beside more or less still waters – there was a babbling brook nearby. I walked past waterfalls, brooks, a stream, all morning I kept basing different waters and God kept reminding me of this line. I wonder who brought it to mind in the first place!
Around 11:30 I made it to the edge of the Pamplona suburbs. (Yesterday I met a girl who was planning to walk all the way to this suburb! That’s 17 kilometres farther than I walked yesterday! Oh my.)
It was strange to be back in the city, and a little stressful. Out in the countryside, there are not a lot of things that can prevent you from noticing Camino signposts. In the city, there are a million things competing for your attention! About 1 kilometre in, though, signs were much more obvious. Maybe people complained! It was also weird to be around so many people at once, too, and all non-pilgrims. But many of them gave a nod and Hola, or a Buen Camino, or even a blessing. That was very nice!
I found my way to old Pamplona and up through the old city walls – and made it here by 12:30. My albergue tonight is a former church – actually I’ll have to check that, interior might still be used as church – but the edges along the … nave (I should know my church architecture better) have been transformed into cubicles with beds. And there’s free wifi! So a nice post from my phone, meaning pictures! Once I’ve laid on my bed for long enough, I’m out with some friends to explore Pamplona.
Tomorrow is not a long walk, but it’s up and over a mountain again. It’s the Alto del Perdón, where there’s a famous pilgrim monument. I’m looking forward to seeing that, even if it’s uphill all the way to it!
Oh – and update for those who are worried (Amanda): I haven’t had any light-headed spells and have hade enough food and water. Oh, and I did slip while going downhill this morning, but my pole stopped me right away without injuries. If you’re praying for me, it’s working! Don’t stop!