Pamplona to Puente La Reina

Day Forty Six. 13.7 Miles, 22.1 Kilometers.

Written on June 4, 2012.

We are leaving Pamplona to begin our walk through Cizur Menor, pass Alto del Perdon and into Puente La Reina. There are many Pilgrims walking this morning. Almost right away I see something that I have never seen before:

A Pilgrim smoking a pipe.

Not far from Pamplona we saw Pierre as he stopped at the bakery to buy his breakfast. We took a quick break and started the long climb to Alto del Perdon.

Vern and Nancy at the Medieval Pilgrim sculptures.

Just after Alto del Perdon it is possible to look out over the valley and see four villages in a row.

We keep moving today. It is tempting to stop for coffee in a village but it is important for us to get to our room. I knew that after climbing the Pyrenees I would be sending home any cold weather clothing that I had left with me from France. I will get my package ready to mail.


Rest Day in Pamplona

Day Forty Five.

Written on June 3, 2012.

Knowing that today we will just stay in Pamplona and take care of ourselves, we got up just long enough to find a cup of coffee at a local bakery and walk around for awhile. Very few people are on the is 8:30 a.m. As we walk we hear the sounds of some bakeries opening up. It is Sunday and very few businesses will be open until the restaurants and bars open on the plaza for dinner.

It is time for me to explore some of the areas that I was too tired to check out yesterday.

Street performer in Pamplona.

A bicycle tour through the City.

Pamplona isn’t just a place to have a party, Pamplona IS a party. The activity is never-ending.

An incredible sculpture depicting The Running of the Bulls.

Peder, Vern, and Reidun.

This evening we left our room to eat dinner. We had found a good place to eat on the Plaza. We saw two Pilgrims from Norway and asked them to join us. We had a great dinner and fun talking about where we have been and what we had done since we saw each other last.


Roncesvalles to Zubiri

Day Forty Three. 13.6 Miles, 21.9 Kilometers.

Written on June 1, 2012.

We slept in the original medieval hostel, Itzandegia. There are 55 bunkbeds in one room, sleeping 110 people. There is a newer, modern facility that was full when we arrived.

The middle row of bunkbeds at the medieval hostel in Roncesvalles.

The lights went on at 6 a.m. Everyone started to get ready to leave. A woman was drying her clothes with a hairdryer. The downstairs area where clothes were hanging was damp.

Me standing at a sign near the hostel showing the kilometers to Santiago, Spain.

1-1/2 miles down the road we found a cafe open. We had coffe and ordered two sandwiches. There are many Pilgrims leaving Roncesvalles. Most Pilgrims have walked from St. Jean Pied-de-Port. We met a couple who left their home in Paris and started walking on April 2nd.

A group of bicyclists from Italy.

Vern on his way over “stepping stones”.


St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France to Roncesvalles, Spain

Day Forty Two. 15.6 Miles, 25.1 Kilometers.

Written on May 31, 2012.

Breakfast is served starting at 6:30 a.m. at L’Esprit. I get up to get dressed and organize my backpack, a routine that I have been doing for many days. I sat down, reached for the orange juice and was overwhelmed with emotion. I tried to breathe and sit at the table for a few moments but I clearly had to “sit” with my emotions for awhile. I left the kitchen and went to the Meditation room and lit a candle.

A boot garden at L’Esprit.

After a time of sitting quietly I realized that I was being “called” to acknowledge to myself what I had accomplished to this point. Embracing me, who I am, is part of my journey. Accepting and loving myself with all of my brilliancy and with all of my so-called shortcomings.

From the time we left Le Puy on April 20th I have been challenged on every level. The people of France and the Pilgrims who we call friends have made every moment a time that I will treasure. Their compassion and acceptance of us has shone more brightly than any struggle or inconvenience.

After some time alone I was able to continue with my breakfast. I felt refreshed, renewed and ready to walk into Spain.

Nancy, Gary, Kelly, and Vern.

We met Gary and Kelly last night at L’Esprit. They are from Washington State. We are hearing a lot of American “accents” here today in St. Jean Pied-de-Port.

A couple taking a moment during the several hour climb in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Vern and our friend, Pierre, who we have known since Marsolan, France.

Vern and I had reserved two places at Refuge-Auberge d’Orisson which is located 5 miles up into the Pyrenees from St. Jean. When we arrived at 10: a.m. we decided to have some coffee and talk to the owner about the possibility of canceling our reservation and continue to Roncesvalles.


The border marker between France and Spain.

Ostabat-Asme to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Day Forty One. 13 Miles, 21 Kilometers.

Written on May 30, 2012.

It is not easy to be quiet when walking on a floor that is hundreds of years old. It seems like the boards are still creaking after your foot has left them. We left at 6:00 a.m. today and tried to be as quiet as we could.


Owner of Chambre d’hôtes-Auberge Ametzanea.

A Pilgrim family.

Gregory, Isabelle, Bernard, and Mary.

The four Pilgrims shown have been a lot of fun for us. We have seen them many times. They are always cheerful. They have a quick pace so we see them when they are passing us. We will miss them. They are going home from St. Jean Pied-de-Port.

After hundreds of miles of walking we are now seeing signs for St. Jean Pied-de-Port! We will soon be at the Pilgrim’s “Gateway” to Spain and to what will be referred to as The Camino de Santiago.

We walk into the walled section of town to find Albergue, Gite, L’Esprit du Chemin. As soon as we topped the hill it was a wonderful sight! A line of soon-to-be Pilgrims at the Pilgrim Office to obtain their Pilgrim Passport.

As we entered L’Esprit we saw familiar faces. Vern and I had stayed here in 2009 when we began our Camino for the first time. It is an Albergue that is not only a place to sleep and to be fed, but the intention behind it is to nurture and support Pilgrims. There is a Meditation Room and wonderful terraced garden area to find privacy.

We quickly left our backpacks and walking sticks and headed to the Post Office. We had arranged to have two packages mailed to ourselves at this post office. We picked up “broken in” boots, the Spain book, and more supplements. Vern had more items he wanted to mail home so we organized a package to mail.

We are in the room facing the street. It is a great way to be a part of the excitement of soon to be Pilgrims and the excitement of Pilgrims starting the next phase of their walk into Spain!