Sunday, April 10
Pamplona to Puente la Reina
24 km / 15 miles
Oof. Good morning. Not hungover but tired. Gotta love when people turn the albergue lights on at 4:30 AM and make a ton of noise getting ready. And then leave the lights on when they leave…
This morning was freezing! It’s 32* F and I was so cold. I left Pamplona at 6:30 AM, a bit sad but only because I really enjoyed this city. And leaving the city, there were still some drunk partiers and lovers on the streets. Onward to Puente la Reina!
Leaving Pamplona in the south side, there were incredible views of some mountain, windmills, and yellow fields of flowers (rapeseed fields used to make Canola oil). I couldn’t get over how green and yellow the fields were and how blue the sky was; it was so beautiful. I slowly made my way up the mountain, taking in the fields and farms around me, as Pamplona got smaller and smaller in the distance. Truly one of the most beautiful days so far.
At the top of a hill was “Alto de Perdon,” large metal sculptures of pilgrims. We took pictures up there and a much needed rest before traversing down an awful descent of large rocks and gravel that killed my feet.
And this was where my day took a turn. It went from so beautiful to painful and long. My feet, legs, knees, and shoulders were in so much pain I had to stop and rest pretty often. I tried to remind myself why I was here and to have gratitude for this moment, even the pain. But the long stretch to Puente la Reina had about 4 small towns in between, making the hike seem never ending.
I arrived to Puente la Reina around 12:30, after 6 long hours of struggle, 38,000 steps, and 24 km (15 miles). I am staying at Albergue de Los Padres Reparados and spending the remainder of the day sleeping, relaxing, and resting my feet. I don’t have energy for anything else.