Camino Day 2 - Weds 29/5/2002:
La Trinidad-Villava (Pamplona)

36.5 km today
63.5 total
Bull Running

Was woken up at 5:30, when nearly all of my 30-odd fellow pilgrims were rising. The idea is that you walk during the early morning when there's sunshine but little heat, reach your destination by 12 or 1 o'clock, and then take it easy during the afternoon heat.
Had shower, cut myself shaving while using the surface of the tap as a mirror (try it sometime!) Left Roncesvalles at 6:45. It was very cloudy with quite a bit of drizzle -- I had to use my poncho. Walked along a path shaded by trees (though at this hour of the morning, there was little need for shade.) As we were still relatively high in the Pyrenees, the path wound its way gently downhill most of the time, with some precipitous clambering downhill every now and then. Not for the first time, I was glad of my walking stick...

Shady path

at dawn (720x960, 61K)

Roadside shrine

(720x960, 67K)

Viscarret (Biskarreta)

I think. (960x720, 83K)


"Village with a bridge" (960x720, 56K)

Had breakfast at Zubiri ("The village with the bridge" in Basque) at 11:30. Not bad going, 23 km in just under four hours. Asked in the little cafe for chocolate con churros as recommended by Mar, but had to make do with un café solo y un croissant. According to Raju, the bridge was known as el puente de la rabia because any animal that crossed it three times was miraculously cured of rabies.

I continued walking through the by now bright heat: the drizzle and clouds were long gone. Luckily, there were plenty of fountains where I could replenish my water supplies.

Nicely shaded

(720x960, 103K)

Tumbledown house, Eskirotz

with cat (960x720, 85K)

Santiago garden gnome

outside a house (960x720, 49K)


(960x720, 49K)

Kept walking, noticed that my left leg - in particular, my knee -- was getting a bit dodgy. Nothing to do but walk through it. Distracted myself by taking photos of interesting-looking houses.

I arrived fairly knackered at the refugio in La Trinidad-Villava at 3pm. Villava is a suburb of Pamplona (Iruña in Basque), scene of the famous bull-running at the festival of San Fermín in July. Waited in the shade for the hospitaller to return, and got talking to a very interesting chap from England ("John from London") who -- in his spare time during the camino "season" -- drives his caravanette up and down parts of the camino helping out any pilgrims who need it. I mentioned that I had to be in Madrid on June 25, and he said I hadn't left myself enough time, though if I kept up the same pace I should be OK, though the going got tougher. I was pretty tired and very sore at this stage and so was wondering whether I'd be able for it...

Cool farmhouse

with swimming pool! (960x720, 73K)


Trinidad de Arre, (720x960, 45K)

Refugio at dusk

Trinidad de Arre, (960x720, 71K)

The hospitaller came back and showed me the refugio. He asked me whether I snored: if so, I would have slept in a special "snorer's room", which I thought was an excellent idea. For 5 euro, the facilities were excellent; including a washing machine which I made use of. Got postcards and stamps ("Sellos para Irlanda") at an estanco -- a state-run Tobacconist. Limped along to a pharmacy and got given some Voltarén Emulgel ("The Hiker's Friend" -- basically, Spanish version of Deep Heat without the pungent smell.) Arrived back in the refugio and, while treating myself, listened to a philosophical discussion between the Canadian priest and a couple from Cape Town.

Limped to a local bar where, while munching a bocadillo, I scribbled my corny phrases on the postcards ("The only bull running here is from my pen...") I then wandered around like a fool asking people where I could post the things. "Errr, por favor, dónde está un buzon de correos?" usually met with blank looks or even hostility, as if I'd insulted the listener. Evidently I needed practice.
At any rate, I eventually found one, and knowing what they look like -- think yellow -- it was easy to find others. I was put off by the prominent Deutsche Bank logo next to the box; it turns out that Spanish Post Offices are DB agents.

Returned to the refugio, chatted a bit with Dave Dalglish from Toronto and was asleep by 11. Slept like a log.