Day 3 : Zubiri to Pamplona

Steve: The municipal albergue in Zubiri is a splendid place. We checked in and put the gadgets on charge (spare sockets are highly valued on the Camino) and did the laundry.

Camino life has this rhythm: walk, arrive, check-in, plug in the gadgets, shower, laundry, food.

Note to self: explain to our dear readers the mindset that allows pilgrims to leave literally thousands of pounds worth of phones, iPads , cameras and the like in an open dormitory whilst they wander off for a few hours of eating and site-seeing.

And so we set out to find some food.  Some veggie lasagnes and a pizza later, we stood in the river and cooled off.

Then back to the albergue to fight with wifi and technology to try and get a donations page up on this website for our non-UK readers (hello to you all…).

Early to bed. SNORING. Up at 5:30am and off we go.

Zubiri albergue at 5:30am
A quiet start, the road outside the albergue

The air was cool and pleasant as we set off up the hill out of town.  After about 3.5 km we were watching the morning traffic jam…

Traffic jam #1
Traffic jam #2

…when I realised I’d left my watch tied to the bed rail in the albergue. A very bad thing. So, as H and J waited at the side of the trail I walked as quickly as I could back to the albergue, passing bemused peregrinos as I went.  What a waste of 6 precious km….

Today’s trek was some 22km through lush old-growth woods.  Occasionally a green and pleasant view would appear in a gap between the trees.

But, but… all was not well with Hamish’s right foot.  He sprained it badly a year or so ago and it seems that his excellent Salomon boots weren’t sufficient to prevent a stabbing pain from returning.  Progress slowed considerably as various bandages and strapping were applied.

Bandages #1

The first town we arrived at (Illaratz) seemed completely closed up.  We were ambling down the main road when a man gesticulated that we’d taken the wrong path (this is very common, the locals are always correcting the peregrinos wayward sense of direction).  Following some Spanglish to-and-fro where we explained we were looking for a cafe, it turned out that he ran an albergue and asked if we wanted breakfast.  Coffee, toast and cake (always cake for breakfast) and we were on our way.

Bandages #2 in the friendly local’s kitchen

Eventually we limped into Arre, about 4km from Pamplona.  We sat in the square and ate every single vegetarian item that the cafe sold (all 3 of them…) and tried to come up with Plan E.

No matter what Plan E held, we still had to get into Pamplona.  That would be where the doctors were and the buses that might help up get to the next town.  It took H a painful couple of hours but he made it to an excellent albergue just a few streets from the cathedral.  And, as it happened, almost directly across the road was a physio/massage place offering discounts to peregrinos.  Hamish booked himself the 6pm slot and waited. J and I did the usual shower and wash clothes routine.  We also did the first bag triage.  Jen and I took my Salewa shoes, both Rab rain jackets and a few bits and pieces (books etc) around to the Post Office and sent them home to Britain.

Jen warned me about the literal pain of too much stuff.  She was right…  Travel light!

Around 7pm Hamish literally bounced in from his foot-doctor session.  Much joy.

To celebrate we awarded ourselves a slap-up meal of bread and cheese from a supermarket and sat in the square, watching what we think was the local literary festival.  You have to like a town that has a literary festival buzzing with people.

Bread and cheese in the square
Literary festival in Pamplona

Day 3 : Stats

Zubiri to Pamplona

  • Steps: 42,310
  • Distance covered, according to Brierley
    • 20.9 km direct, 22.7 km actual walking
    • 710.6 km to go
    • 0.36 km overall vertical climb
  • Other Fitbit stats
    • 38.08 km walked (based on 0.9m stride length)
    • 412 ‘active’ minutes.
    • 5,872 cal burned.