05 Alto Del Perdon

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Not feeling great this morning. I’ve got a bit of a low grade headache, and I’m sweating as I pack everything up. My bed in the Albergue turned out to be very comfortable….but we had another snorer in our midst.

This gentleman made my Korean lady look amateur in every respect. The first phase consisted of a low grade snore,  followed by an operatic performance around midnight. I was so tired I was able to sleep through his performance, for the most part. When I got up to use the bathroom at 3am he was in full flight….luckily I have a deaf side, and simply laid on my good ear. It was so loud I could actually still hear him snoring……but finally manage to drop off again.

In the morning, walking out of Pamplona we passed in front of the Municipal Hall, small, but still quite impressive. This building is one of the few not joined to other buildings. It appears all the buildings in Pamplona are joined together.

Pamplona is a walled city and has been an important centre for centuries, For quite a bit of it’s history it has had 4 walled sections inside the main walls. I hope I have this correct…..but one section was for the Francs, one for the Jews, one for the Moors, and one for the Spanish. Eventually this was ordered out of existence, and the city was unified.

Out of Pamplona the path is inevitably up. Challenging at times, constantly going up hill. The sun was direct, and unabated by any cloud cover. This was to be a full exposure day. From time to time there was a merciful breeze, but never enough to cool the pilgrims down.

Finally at the top I was able to take my pack of and get my feet out of my boots. My hip and knee have been aching, but much better than previous days. Is the painful part over?

At Alto del Perdon I was able to purchase an Aquarius (type of Gatorade) and some nuts. A perfect snack with another 17.4 km to go.

While I was putting my shoes on a woman I have seen before, and what appear to be her 2 twin sons walked past me. The boys look to be about 5 years old. I had seen them in Roncesvalles, and did not think they were pilgrims. Turns out I am wrong. Here they are, bold as life. Astounding.

The walk down off the Alto is one of the most treacherous on the Camino. It is very steep and strewn with large rocks. Footing is precarious at best. I had a major slip but miraculously did not make contact with Mother Earth. An Australian gentleman was not so fortunate. His feet went out from under him and down he went. I stopped to make sure he was un-injured and he said he was fine. He was blaming the “new knee” he received 11 months previous as being a destabilizing factor.

The rest of the day was a major march. Today is 24km route…and at many times I was thinking I should just hold up here….wherever here was.

Finally I came to Fuentes la Reina and decided to stop at the same Albergue I stayed in with Bene 4 years ago. We had stayed in the “dormatory” section with bunks jammed together. There are however private rooms with 3 and 4 beds, a private bathroom, and TV. One of the people I met while walking came in at the same time as myself and I asked him if he wanted to share this room, and I would try to find another person. Anton from Copenhagen agreed and I paid for the extra person.

Shortened story…..never found another single…paid 12 Euro extra…worth every penny. (Substitute Euro)

This Albergue is attached to the Jakue Hotel ad they offer a full buffet for a dinner menu. Salads, soups, beef, fish, baked potatoes, and deserts. An amazing feast.

All-in-all a long, but good day.