Day 3. Larrasoaña to Pamplona. 15.6km.
Day 4. Pamplona to Puente la Reina. 23.8km. 25.5km with elevation climb from 450m to 750m and back down to 350m.
Pain. I think little could prepare me for the pain. From muscles throbbing in my legs and thighs to tender feet swollen under the weight of my body and that of my pack, my lower body aches. At any moment it feels like my knees could buckle underneath me and I’ll tumble down the steep unsteady rocky decline. Stoping to relax is enjoyable but moving to get-up takes a great deal of energy, as my body enjoyed, for perhaps too long, the luxury of the waiting bench. Like an old car engine fumbling to start, it takes a few attempts to stand and begin walking again. The walk continues, one stiff foot in front of the other.
Enjoying our shortened walk from Larrasoaña, yesterday we reached Pamplona with ease, arriving well before 11am to find ourselves in an orderly and well maintained German hostel. Greeted by warmly people, we found comfort in resting our legs in the near by creek. We soaked until our bodies were numb, it was the only way to wash away the pain. This thriving populous provided more than enough attractions and beckoned us all to explore until our curfew.
The ancient cobblestone streets of Pamplona held a wisdom many centuries old, yet welcomed, warmly, the change of time. Shops, restaurants, and tapas bars cropped up along the many twists and turns of the alleyways and byways. This city is home to Kings and Queens, Cardinals and Bishops, Hemingway and Picadors, and all who drink in its allure. As you sip and enjoy wine and ponder life watching people pass by and accordions play songs of the past, filling the square with a rhythmic energy that pulses through each soul, this town invites a mystical presence that calls upon days of old and beckons for tomorrow.
Today, we passed Alto del Perdón, the peek where the famous pilgrims cast in iron point the direction to Santiago. Their medieval journey follows that of an ancient story—one written in the worn, well traveled paths. St. James marked the way and countless others soon followed, heading towards the sea. We walk carrying our own stories as we write our footprints in the path for tomorrow.