Last nights room consisted of 7 bunks and 14 people. None the less it was the best sleep yet. But at 5:30 the stirring started. I refused to get started in the dark so I stayed in bed as more people got going. The albergue required we be out by 7:30 so I eventually got started, had a cup of machine coffee loads the pack and started, one of the last. It was just starting to be light. I took a picture of the place as I left.
The morning was cool and very quiet. I left the small village and the trail went along a small stream.
After about 3km I arrived at a small cafe by the stream. I had a coffee con leches and a tortilla (scrambled eggs on delicious bread). I continued on as the terrain continued to change. Forest to rolling hills. I passed through several cute old villages.
Slowly I approached the out skirts of Pamplona. I’d been walking alone but as I approached town I caught up to a group of three. I walked with the for awhile. The daughter was about 50 from Bellingham and she was with two elderly men, one her father about 75. He was a farmer in the Okanagan Valley of BC. He had raised apples and other produce. He was very knowledgable about the wine industry that has grown very fast there. Eventually they stopped to buy a SIM card. We were now firmly in the suburbs.
I then walked the rest of the way into town with an Irishman that was a retired principal. As we approached town we came to a nice park so I stopped and say by the river. It was about 11:00. At noon I walked in to the old city and stopped at the first private alburge, one I had read about. I was greeted by Ceasar and very enthusiastic Spanish man. He helped check in to a very clean modern place. It reminded me of hotels I’ve heard about in Japan that are very small bed rooms.
There was storage for our stuff but we had to put our packs downstairs.
I did the routine, the facilities were great, I even splurged and used the washer dryer for 6 euro. I rested, I read, I napped. Very nice. Later I walked around old Pamplona. It was a very European old city. Cathedral, squares, shops, cafes and bars. I ran into one of the Irishman from last night and a woman I met the first day. I sat with her (ate her French fries) and talked about which pilgrims we’d seen. Later I stopped for tapas and wine before heading back to the Albergue. I had great wifi so I face timed with Carolyn, mother and Kathleen. I don’t have to leave until 9 tomorrow and breakfast is provided. I’m seeing a slow start to my day.