Left Larrasoana a little after eight in a misty rain. It looked like an instant replay of the day before. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out the same way. We covered some pretty easy Kms heading mostly down hill in the direction of Pamploma. We knew we had a couple of 300 ft hills to go over but we were ready in our minds. A lot of this hiking thing is mental. We were not ready for it yesterday. We were today.
The hills came and went. The rain never came and we could undo our parkas. Many ancient pilgrim bridges and soon we were in the outskirts of Pamploma, a city of 200,000. The next largest city we have seen was Le Puy with 27,000 souls. We had been warned to prepare ourselves for a big city hike. We were concerned about pickpockets and crosswalks. Our magic batons warded off all of those problems.
We were told to just follow the trail markings. The folks in Pamploma have outdone themselves. There are signs on the light posts, painted symbols on the sidewalk and really cool stainless steel shells all the way for some 9 Kms. It was a noble effort.
Replenished our supplies of baby aspirin and glucosamine for the rest of the trip at a handy pharmacy where they patiently went through their inventory to find the right dosage. With drugs in hand we continued to walk the streets. Crossed a number of bridges before reaching the 17th Century fortifications that were built when Navarre and Pamploma were under French control. Impressive stonework and a working drawbridge.
Walked through the ancient part of the city with the tour bus crowds and spotted a bar with pinchos and tapas. Had a little sandwich-omelette looking deal and a glass of beer. It was just after noon. Went by the strange cathedral and decided against a tour with our backpacks and sticks. Saw the street where the bulls have the chance to gore a drunk. No bulls or drunks at the moment. Continued through town following the signs and plaques. Reached the outskirts and crossed highways and another ancient bridge. Reached our Alburgue right around 1:30.
Charming place and management. Took showers and did our laundry in a machine. They have wifi that works. We will share our room with 8 other folks. All adults, no high school kids. Good, but old people snore better. Have ear plugs. They have their priorities right in Spain. The vending machine charges one Euro for a beer and 1.50 Euros for a Coke.
It is still cool but the sun shines intermittently in the courtyard and we are feeling fine. Probably head for a tapas bar for dinner to avoid having to wait until 8:30 to find an open restaurant.