One Bridge Too Far

Yesterday was another great day on the Camino for this duo. We walked from Pamplona to Puenta La Reina which is just over 23km or 39,289 Fitbit steps.

Our day started as usual it seems with poor sleep, too many pilgrim body sounds recalled from the night prior, some white toast and jam and very strong coffee. The life of these pilgrims so far but we are still loving it!

We left our humble abode at 8:15am and commenced the day with a 5km walk though Pamplona. Along the way we had our cameras ready to capture a few sights:

When we hit the next town Cizur Menor we had already added another stamp to our Pilgrim Passport (thank you Universidad de Navarre), discovered how amazing and light you feel switching from boots to runners, and had a few laughs. Not bad for 5km!

When we hit a section of path that required boots, we would take a welcome break and switch them up. We were light as feathers with our sneakers – ok not really light with our packs still on but that’s what we kept telling ourselves. Especially after we ate our bananas about mid morning and further lightened our load.

Around 930 or so the proof of the ‘there is a big climb after Puenta La Reina’ came into view. This was all the talk at the albergue (hostel) and we were a bit confused. Sure the elevation map looked like we had a high blip but so much talk was a bit much especially when you compare anything to the climb of day one. As came around a bend in Cizor Menor we saw the windmill hill we were going up and over. It was a good one for sure and worth some pilgrim chatter but nothing these two pilgrims couldn’t handle.

Up and up we went over some amazing trail, largely across or beside farmer’s fields. Many that were wheat already harvested but some were all sunflowers. Had we walked maybe a few weeks ago I think it would have been a sea of yellow but by end of August, the sunflowers were scorched from the sun and not quite as picturesque. I felt for them – I was feeling the same way in the hot Spanish sun!

The highlight was coming over the ridge to find one of the most photographed pilgrim monuments on the Camino. We were pretty high up at this point (about 900m) as high as we had to climb that day. The wind was harsh and the wind turbines were all around us loud and looming. Once in a while you had to brace agains a gust of wind. But this did not prevent a photo opportunity for us gals! Including a reenactment of my favourite part of the movie, The Way. If you have see it, you will know instantly this scene. If you haven’t seen it, it’s amazing and you should!

The afternoon was down hill literally for the most part with some small ups – but generally easy walking and the weather continued to hold off any rain and give us long pockets of sunshine!

Mid afternoon when the tummies where grumbling for chow we stopped in for a couple of coffees in a town called Uterga. Well it turned into a massive lunch (I finally got some eggs and served with fries, come on! yahoo!) and a small ice cold cervaza. Mmmm

We walked the last 6km into Puenta La Reina maybe a little slower after that amazing meal but it was fun all the same! As we came through towns we took some pics and as we came by churches I took a peek inside. They are a welcome break from the heat and give you a peace boost!

Following a short back track (couple blocks) as I read the map wrong we were at our albergue. This is my second time in a week messing the map – not bad for being tired in mind and body and distracted and excited by all the new stuff around me. Not sure our feet agree lol

An evening of showers, journaling on the amazing terrace in the evening sun, a cold pint and some pilgrim’s food wrapped up the day for us.

We have a twin room tonight – so just me and Lana in our little individual twin beds with an amazing little balcony. So we will get much needed sleep (that’s so exciting I may not sleep) and a chance to air our ‘smelling like backpack’ clothes in the evening breeze.

Another amazing day on the Camino.

Buen Camino!
Brande

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