Friday, October 2, 2009
Pamplona To Uterga Via Alto del Perdón
The weather was perfect the next morning, clear skies, and the sun was beginning to paint the sky in pastels as I headed West out of Pamplona. I had to keep eyes and ears open, so I would not miss the signs showing the way out of town. At a corner on the outskirts of town I ran in to two German ladies - Monika and Ewa, who were just starting their Camino walk from Pamplona - and we struck up a conversation and walked out of town together, while chatting.
It was nice to get out of the city, and at the first little town of Cizur Menor I stopped for a much desired café con leche and ordered a cheese bocadillo for my breakfast, and a chese and dried ham for my lunch. When he brought them out they were HUGE!! One would certainly have sufficed, so they actually lasted me until the following day!
The trek up the low Mount Alto del Perdón with all the windmills was a long, hot walk, but the rocky, steep downhill was even worse, and really hard on my knees!
On the top there was cut-out iron statues of pilgrims - and a supply car offering cold drinks and coffee. I got an orange juice to fortify me and give me stamina for the last downhill stretch, and then I braved the steep slope.
I had already decided that the next town of Uterga was going to be my stop for the day, and so had Monika and Ewa, so we reached the private Auberge Rte Camino del Perdón at the same time. They still had beds available, and soon we were getting unpacked, waiting for our turn to shower and do laundry. As we were waiting another woman I had seen on the Camino came in, Sarah from Wales. She later joined us outside where we were sitting chatting, writing notes and I did a bit of painting. We had dinner together as well, and we had a blast with the 4 of us communication in English and German, with me translating when it got to tough for one or the other to understand, as I was the only one who spoke both languages fluiently. I am certainly getting my German brushed up here on the Camino!