04 Push to Pamplona

When I think of Pamplona I think of the running of the bulls. Apparently Pamplona is not the only town to have this same festival. I can’t help think this is a natural way to cull the human herd. What possess’ people to feel the necessity to engage in this absurd event?

….and so it goes.

My day begins with a sumptuous breakfast, at least by Camino standards, and out the door before 8 am. A cool start to the day, but a promise of sunshine and temperatures in the low 20’s. Nice walking weather.

The pain in my knee and hip were much abated when I woke this morning. Things are looking up.

On the way out of Zubiri I pass a “Pilgrim’s Necessity” shop, and drop in to see if I can purchase some new walking poles. The one I repaired in Roncesvalles is starting to wiggle, and the tape used for the repair is just not holding. I find a very nice carbon fibre, cork handles, shock absorber poles…. but when they turn out to be 50 Euros reach I reach deep down, and try not a cry like a baby in front of the store clerk. Another fellow comes in looking for poles as well, and suddenly the clerk finds more poles under the counter. Total cost for these poles 19 Euros. Canadian marketers should take a note from this store. Obviously the pilgrims who need something are quite desperate and will most likely be willing to pay more than a careful shopper. Only when asked will the alternate product (less expensive) be found.

Out the door I go with my new walking sticks for 19 Euros. That’s two for 19 to be clear…..

The day is spent generally best described as much more gentle than the previous days. The trail is following beside the River Arga with some altitude changes in the moderate categories. Walk slowly up and down hills taking frequent breaks.

Less than an hour out in a small village called Illaratz is an amazing little church I happen to have a fondness for (Yeah, me….fondness for a church…ha) a tiny church called The Abbey. According to the people there this was founded July 1st, 1150 AD, and was purchased from the Catholic Church  by Neil Le Roux and his wife.  These two have struggled tirelessly against every obstacle, including legal battles with various govenernment bodies to keep this important relic, and their dream alive. I was so fortunate to have met with Neil today. He explained the original alter was revealed after thieves still the wooden alter. Just as important are the Pagan and Christian symbols combined in the fresco. I would like everyone to be aware of this project. This church has specific Camino Pilgrim significance.


This is a real David and Goliath legal process Neil is involved with…and I hope after you learn about this you may even support him.

The rest of the day was long and under the direct sun, starting to feel very warm. I am trying to remember how cold I was 2 and 3 days ago.

Arriving in Pamplona I checked into a private Albergue where each Pilgrim gets a sleeping compartment, just like on a train. A very neat arrangement to say the least.

Ian and Janet, a couple from Peterborough have asked me to help them find a shop for hiking boots. Janet’s boots are less than 2 months old and are falling apart. We were successful getting the boots, visited a hidden Hemingway Statue in a hidden bar….no kidding…you have to know where this is located, you’lll never accidentally find this thing.

BTW…according to my research, WordPress no longer supports messaging? I think I will look into this a bit more……

Tonight I will stay in Pamplona of course, and tomorrow?….I’m outa here.