Day 5, Oct 4 Pamploma to Puente la Reina

Everyone is waking up with sore muscles. I woke up with a cold sore. Sophie’s foot is swollen and her knee pain kept her awake all night. Sarah G have problems with her foot yesterday. Where everybody usually gets up before me my alarm went off and everybody stayed in bed. I think Camino weariness is setting in.

The German fellows that run the albergue–an old house kept in good shape on the shores of the river with a small private away-from-the-city hussle–play the Gypsy King to wake us up. There’s no way that Sophie can walk. We look at options: she can stay here another night but she has to leave the albergue and come back this afternoon. We look at the bus options and see that the bus takes 21 minutes. If we walk without stopping it’ll take us five hours but that’s not counting the mountain we have to go over and the steep bone-jarring descent we have to navigate slowly. It will take us six or seven hours.

Sarah G decides to join her on the bus giving her toe time to heal.
Half of us decide to take the elevator up the hill the (honest, an elevator!) the other half will take the traditional route that takes you around the ancient thick protective walls of the city and up through the main gate.  We arranged to meet for coffee in the middle of town.

After excellent boccadillos filled with chorizo sausage we hug them goodbye and we are off.After a short downhill, it is up and up and up. A good 10k up and the sun started to heat up. Even under my umbrella it is getting too hot. 

At the alto, we are at ‘the place where the path of the wind meets that of the stars’. And we are truely at the top of the world.  We can see all the way to Pamploma and on the other side, our destination Puente la Reina. 

There is a chocolate brown lab, and it takes me a minute to realize it is Muffin and appearing over the scrub along the path was Tobias.They joined us for our picnic of olives, aged cheese, baquette, dried kiwifruit, and clementines.Muffin, loves cheese and getting his feet massaged each evening with a foot lotion.

The way down was long, steep, and it hurt!We dragged ourselves into Puente la Reina arriving to the cheers of our fan club: Sophie and Sarah, who apparently gave everyone the same enthusiastic greeting.

Kilometers walked: 26.4 (about 4k too long)

Food Highlight: olives stuffed with anchovies eaten on top of the world.

Highlight of the day: Sophie bought a surprise for us today…a pastry roller! And she rolled our legs.

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