Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Puente la Reina

Enjoyed my night in the Jesus y Maria Albergue, with no great snorers nearby! Set off earlyish as wanted to do 25km to Puente la Reina if I could, and knew there was a bit of a ´mountain´to climb and descend. It was great to look out this morning and see that it wasn´t actually raining.

I was concerned I would get lost somewhere in Pamplona, but the signs leading you out of the city are very large and well positioned so made it safely out. Passed lots of interesting parks and buildings that would be well worth a day or two of exploration, but maybe that can happen another time: for now I need to get as far as I can across northern Spain before it gets too hot! The inner city was basically still asleep as we left town just after 7am, so it was peaceful walking there. When we reached the outskirts of the city, there was a sign saying you could get your credentials stamped at the university (where they do Jacobean studies), and several of us did that. Then followed a walk beside a busy road until we reached Cizur Minor, with the morning ´rush hour´of pilgrims before and behind me. (Before long they are usually mostly ´before´!)

On today´s agenda there was a climb up to near some windpower turbines, then up to a sculpture at Alto del Perdon of some pilgrims, where everybody inserts themselves and takes photos! So I was hoping for some sunshine to get a photo of myself there, It has been a fond dream. And now it is a reality! It was a bit of a climb up to the top, that would have been very easy compared to the Pyrenees climb, except for the mud. Mud mud mud. The views at the top were great and I got to eat lunch up there with quite a few others. Then came the descent. Rained a bit for that. Had a snack at Uterga in renewed sunshine, with quite a few others, then walked on to reach Puente la Reina. Haven´t explored yet.¨Raining again! Storks are nesting on top of the nearby church steeple - young quite large now. But haven´t got a photo of them, as they disappeared with the rain!

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