Camino de Frances, Camino de Santiago, Personal stories

Day 6 — Cizur Menor to Puenta la Reina

[Thursday, June 19th]

Dawn over Pamplona, as seen from Cizur Menor:

140619 01 Dawn over Pamplona

Our hospitaleros in Cizur Menor:

140619 02 Hospitaleros in Cizur Menor
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Today’s Plan:
Hike to Puente la Reina 18.7 km. [About 12 miles]
Stay at [albergue] Padres Reparadores.
Host says hike up to Alto de Perdon very gradual. Hike down very steep.

Love, Tom
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Hiking out of Cizur Menor up to Alto de Perdon:

140619 03 CM up to Alto de Perdon
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Poppy flower along trail:

140619 04 Poppy flower along trail
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Rebecca on the way to Alto de Perdon:

140619 05 Becca on the way to Alto de Perdon

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Here’s what I learned from a Skype call ending at 5:37 p.m. Spanish time:
Rebecca is in the best shape of the seven pilgrims. This is the first day her feet have hurt. “I’m the only one without physical ailments,” she said. I (Cathy) told her to appreciate it :). Tom looks well. They are going to Mass soon.
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[After arrival in Puenta la Reina:]
We like to go to daily mass, but there is a scheduling problem. No restaurant opens for dinner before 7:00 pm or usually 7:30 pm. Mass seems always to be at 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm. So there is no way to eat before mass unless we have our own food.

Only at Roncesvalles was there a pilgrim mass at 6:00 pm, which was perfect.

Today mass was at 8:00 pm, so about 6:30 pm we ate cheese, bread and fruit for a snack, plus some sodas or drinks from a vending machine in the albergue common area. The mass was in a church with a beautiful, elaborate altarpiece containing four levels of niches with statues of saints and all covered with gold. Then everyone else went out to a pilgrim dinner but I was not hungry so I went back to the albergue. My clothes were all dry except for my socks which were still a little damp.

Kelsey is a little disappointed in this albergue because it seems to be full of Americans. She thought she would be mixing with Spaniards or at least Europeans. Becca is having fun talking Spanish with the locals.

Tonight we can stay up later because we plan to get up tomorrow at 7:00 am in order to leave the albergue at 8:00 am, hike 50 meters to the church for 8:30 am mass, then go to a cafe for breakfast, and finally hike 300 meters or so to the albergue at the far end of town. Check in is supposed to be 11:00 am there. They have a pool.

Today was a tough day. We had breakfast of coffee and bread with butter and jam at the albergue, then started hiking about 7:05 am. It was a long hot hike to the top of the Alto de Perdon, where we ate a snack and took pictures. We had bought sandwiches at a store in a town on the way up [Zariquiegui]. We got to the top about 10:45 am.
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Alto de Perdon panorama (click to enlarge; back arrow to return):

140619 06 Alto de Perdon panorama
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Tom with pilgrim sculpture:

140619 09 Tom with pilgrim sculpture
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Coming down the other side was even more rough, because it was steep and the path was covered in fist-sized gravel, probably to prevent erosion. It was great when we finally got down and started hitting the last three towns before Puente la Reina. One of the towns had an albergue-cafe right on the Camino that looked really inviting and we probably would have stopped there if we hadn’t had Rosa waiting for us in Puente la Reina. We bought some sodas and ice cream bars at the cafe. That was about 1:30 pm.
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Sidewalk Camino marker in Obanos:

140619 07 Camino marker Obanos
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Tom through the pilgrim’s gate in Obanos:

140619 08 Tom pilgrim gate Obanos
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We finally got to our albergue in Puente la Reina about 3:20 pm. Everyone [was] peeling off shoes and socks and letting feet rest.

Love, Tom
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[Email exchange:]
Me (Cathy): How are Jill and Rosa?
Tom: Rosa took taxi here and reserved our places. Don’t know about her feet. Jill hiked with no pack and came in legs and feet totally pooped. Many people’s feet are sore. Current idea is to take a rest day tomorrow and check into a hotel in Puente la Reina so that people can rest their feet.
Me: Okay. Sounds good. How are you?
Tom: Tired. Sore feet. Blisters on inside side of big toe both feet.
Me: Hang in there!

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