We have unloaded some of our pack weight and intend to send it forward to Logrono. That is 4 days walk away. Up early, some last minute emails and blogging, we prepare our packs and bid Pamplona farewell. Goodbye to the good life, hello aching limbs.
Leave by 9.15 and walk for 30 mins. Decide to stop for coffee and pinchos. Fortified we walk on. Past the Navarre University grounds and parks and on to Cizur Mayor 5 km away. Arrive at a very inhospitable aubergue hoping for a toilet break, no go. Walk on across the wide and windswept plains aiming at the Sierra del Perdon and it’s great wind turbines. A quick water break at Zariquiequi and the romanesque church, refilling bottles and up hill to the sierra. At the summit (780 m) there is a sculpture depicting ancient pilgrims. There is a gale force wind forcing us to take shelter on the lee side where we lunch on bread, tomato, cheese, orange and wild blackberries that grow everywhere.
We take the long descent down to Uterga and my calves and Achilles tendons have been playing up. Stop to replenish water and I cannot resist taking off my shoes and socks, dunking my feet and legs in the freezing water. Dee of course thinks that this is hilarious as she seemingly can walk for hours with nothing more than a little soreness. We remain light hearted and continue past a new aubergue that looks really hospitable. It has a great garden and many pilgrims are taking time out.
On to Murazabal passing beside ploughed fields, the wind gusting, it is dry yet the views in every direction break the monotony of brown quiltwork. Puente de la Reina is approx 3km away via Obanos. We arrive at a new aubergue, the first building in town, and stop to get our credencials stamped. Many pilgrims have made this there final stop for the day but the inhospitable girl at reception motivates us to walk the kilometre into to town in search of the Calle Mayor and a hotel. Puente de la Reina is an example of a sirgu (one street village) and we find the Hotel Bidean on the Calle Mayor. Reception is manned by another sullen girl who is obviously disinterested in her work. We get a room. The hotel is quaint with very small rooms and low ceilings. It has a central glass elevator and new glass front doors. Pilgrims and tourists have commercialised the Camino to some extent. We decide on showers, that saviour to wipe away a day of aching legs and sore feet. An exploration of the old town and we walk over the old bridge and find the Iglesia de Santaigo with its dilapidated exterior and resplendid interior. Gilt statues reach to the vaulted ceilings. A mass is about to commence, we take our leave, the town folk say their prayers. For us it is a glass of wine and dinner (included in the 90 E price tag). Dinner is disappointing compared to the delights of Pamplona and we have to endure TV playing children’s shows on nickoladean (pay TV). The comida is filled with adults and in spite of requests to replace the TV with music , they just ignore us. One gets the message that Hotel Bidean, Puente de la Reina, really does not like people. Strange for a place that is involved in the HOSPITALITY industry. We resolve to stay in more friendly surrounds such as with Nacho in the Hotel Bearan, Pamplona. Today we covered approximately 25 km.
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