Monday, June 02, 2008


Wet, wet wet! Strangely enough I don´t mind the rain as much as some others do, as I have walked a few wet days in New Zealand bush in my lifetime! But the mud does get fairly tricky and you need to concentrate.

Met a group of young Spaniards en route today and we shared a few snacks under the shelter of a church porch. Like most Spanish churches, the church itself was closed, but the shelter in a little village suited us fine. They were impressed by my few words of Spanish and I was impressed by their good humour and sharing.

Walked most of the morning beside the river which was very high after all the rain, spreading out to cover tree trunks that would usually be on the banks, and it was very full and fast-flowing.

Am suffering from city-shock this afternoon, with arrival in Pamplona! I realise that over the last two weeks, I have been in many small villages where pilgrims were quite a ´normal´part of the landscape, then in the mountains. When I arrived on the outskirts of Pamplona with my muddy boots on, lots of people were out taking their Sunday walk. I got the feeling that I looked like some kind of alien from outer space!!!!

However, the walk into the city of Pamplona for pilgrims has been very well planned, and I felt very much like a pilgrim of old. We crossed two old bridges, and when I entered the city walls via the Francia Gate, complete with drawbridge, I felt very much part of something centuries old. I used my minimal Spanish to get someone to take a photograph of me as I entered.

Then followed a slightly manic walk through the city streets, part of which I realised was through what must be a night-time clubbing district. Lots of people, including huge groups of children, are out on the streets. It is a shock to my spirit which I guess is still residing somewhere in those beautiful mountains I crossed!
The Cathedral is closed at present as it is Sunday, but I think there is rosary at 7.30 so I guess I can go and get a lookie then. Tomorrow morning I have another shorter mountain to climb so will need to leave earlyish.
PS Did get to the rosary, which was followed by a procession around the church, complete with some very beautiful Spanish singing. So at least had a lookie.

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