We left the hotel at 5.30am as we wanted an early start for what would be a long day of walking – about 27km. I left my bag in the hotel to be picked up by a baggage service that would drop it off at the Albergue Puente where we had a booking for the night. With a light bag filled with snacks, on my back, I could now keep pace with John!!
We followed the pilgrim path into and out of Pamplona. We had missed the fort entrance the previous day and were glad we got to see it! As we crossed the drawbridge into Pamplona, we couldn’t help thinking of how many times this had been pulled up to prevent enemy armies from entering Pamplona! You could almost imagine soldiers and horses falling into the moat!
The walk though the outskirts of Pamplona past vast parks and the University of Navarre, was beautiful. It was fairly flat land and we made quick progress. No cafés were open yet.
The next town is Cizur Menor with a 12th century Church of San Miguel with a fortified tower. All cafés closed.
By the time we hit the next town Zizur Mayor, we were really in need of coffee! It was 7.15am. Seeing a board for a cafe we entered the town and looked around but found nothing. Just as we were turning back, a kind looking local, sensing our caffeine deprivation, gave us directions to the only open cafe in town! I believe in angels!!
Strengthened with coffee and juice and tortillas, we hit the path again. Then, steep climbs for a few kilometres, walking past wheat fields and farms.
On then to the top, we climbed the Alto del Perdon or “Hill of Forgiveness”. 770 meters on top, overlooking the beautiful landscape is a pilgrim monument that consists of different silhouettes in sheet metal representing pilgrims from various eras. Makes for a great photo-op.
The next 8-10 km is steep descents and mild ascents as we pass the villages of Uterga, Legarda, Muruzabal and Ubanos. Exhausted, we finally reach Puente de la Reina & Albergue Puente. My bag was waiting for me when we entered.
Five stars to Michael and Albergue Puente. Comfortable, clean and well stocked, it was the perfect place for us to rest after a tiring walk.