Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jan 3, 2013 Pamplona: Slowly feeling stronger

We stayed at the Pension Usoa last night along with Harry, our Korean friend, and an explosives engineer who was going to oversee a big shoot tomorrow at a magnesium carbonite mine 15 kms from Zubiri. He explained the mine is very special and is one of the few in he world that yields this mineral. It gets crushed at a plant adjacent to Zubiri. He added that 90 percent of its production goes to China. Our trip off he mountain went quite well with the usual huffing and puffing during the climb out of Linzoain. The weather improved from cold rain, to rain showers, to partly cloudy and dry at the end. Temperatures ranged from 30F to the high 40's. We walked in a kit consisting of capilene 2 t shirts, capilene 3 mid weight base layers, and an Altus poncho to start. Robin added a light down jacket to begin with. We both wore Mountain Hardwear mountain light waterproof pants, gaiters and boots.

Coming down from Roncesvalles
Gear is not the problem, energy level is. It seems as though we are running just a bit below normal (and perhaps even more) in the energy level department. Robin has been nursing a cold, and I am simply two years older. We are getting the job done but it feels as though we are just a bit off our game. It always takes some time to adjust to the demands of the Camino, so we shall monitor how we feel and adjust accordingly. We were tired upon arrival in Pamplona, but were walking strongly along the final kilometers. A quick weather note on todays's walk, clear skies, 30F to start, 63F as we walked into Pamplona. Tomorrow will be a 24 km day to Puente la Reina. The weather looks favorable and with each passing day we get stronger. So we shall just see how it goes. We ran into some of our Camino mates as entered the city, and have arranged to gather for wine and pintxos at a bar near our hotel (yes, we opted to stay at the hotel Europa where we spent a night on our way to St. Jean.) There will be albergues aplenty for us as we make our way west (just not tonight). Robin is happily soaking in a very hot tub as I pen this missive. Two glasses of wine from the hotel bar are easing our aches from today's efforts. Robin and I are blessed in so many ways. The Camino, rigors of the road notwithstanding, remains one of the greatest.

Shedding ponchos en route to Zubiri
The Way
Passing etiquette on the Camino
"Poopers! I should remember not to follow you the next time....not that I have a choice ....
Robin and I on the bridge at Zubiri
Robin leaving Zubiri
En route to Pamplona
Trinadad de Arre
Suburbs of Pamplona


  1. Some great photos today! God Bless you guys..

  2. Am loving reading your blog, and seeing your photos. I am not surprised you are tired after your long journey getting there. Chances are your bodies are somewhat jetlagged and would rather not be walking when you want them to. But that winter sunshine I can see in Pamplona will hopefully soon have you right!

  3. I will be following your journey from a sunny Cape Town... Your photographs bring back wonderful memories - I will be checking in every day! Thank you for sharing your journey in this way, I wish you both all the very best!