The Adventure Begins
Day 5 - Zubiri to Pamplona
WEATHER: Perfect warm day (but not too hot)
HEALTH: A few have blisters, one sore knee and one swollen ankle, but we soldier on!
5 am and I’m woken by my fellow pilgrims who are trying to be quiet. Why is it that the quieter you are trying to be the louder you become? The art of the pilgrim squirrel 🐿 takes some practice. Lol
I get up at 5.30am and make a coffee whilst watching John, Hayley & Debby finish packing. I felt like a mother who was dropping her kids off at nursery for the first time as I waved and hugged them goodbye. I was concerned that their first cafe stop was at least 6 miles away, so it would be at least 1.5 hrs before they could have breakfast. I gave myself a talking to! Julia, they are adults and they are quite capable!
7 am - The rest of the team are up, dressed and packed. Today, we introduced “slackpacking” to Caron. Aka: the luggage transfer system. We also sent on Rachel’s pack which housed a few of my things to help lighten my own load and ease the pain in my ankle. Life is good when you are slackpacking!
☹️ My ankle is strapped and I’m dosed up on pain killers.
🌷 last week a networking buddy passed away (Mitch). I had painted a stone before I left home with an "M" on one side and RIP on the other. Today, I laid the stone on a prayer mound at the foot of a gorgeous waterfall. I had a little moment, said a prayer for a few people and took some time out just for me.
💗 Within a few mins of leaving this little spot of contemplation, I received a text message from my mum. The note said she was thinking about me and to make sure that I take some time for myself today. I love my mum. Xx
I spent a lot of time walking with Rachel today which was lovely. She’s enjoyed walking and reminiscing about the Camino, but I think she is more looking forward to our holiday in Dubai in a few weeks. No walking, no rain, just pure luxury!
⛪️ We stopped for a stamp at a little church that was being renovated. The church assistant was a guy from South Africa who gave us lots of tips about the Camino. I learned lots of new things as well! Such as the little unknown route to take when we reached the picnic area, which we did. I saw new waterfalls, parks, villages and towns that I’ve not seen before which was great!
🚶♀️ Today’s Walk was just magical. No mountains, just a lovely stroll that followed the river to Pamplona. We meandered through quaint little Spanish villages and chatted to other pilgrims on route. There were a few steep declines on the slippy rock but in general, the walk was fairly easy going.
👬 We walked for many miles with a father and daughter from Florida. The dad is an adventure enthusiast and he likes his challenges. He’s climbed 6 out of the 7 biggest summits in the world and will do Everest next year. The pictures he showed me on his phone looked stunning and in my head, I was plotting my next challenge!
Today was all about being in the moment and taking things slowly. I took time to pop into any church that was open, read little cards at mini memorial sights, had long breaks at the cafes, took lots of photos, admired the buildings, the weird doors and just enjoyed myself. I’d had location messages from the A team and they were making good time.
2 pm - We walked through the large drawbridge that guided us into the old city of Pamplona. You can just imagine this city in medieval times. We collected our bags and the real me just wanted to find out apartment, check-in and have a shower, but I reminded myself that today I’m enjoying every moment. We sat in the cafe in front of the Cathedral and ordered wine and pintxos. We chatted with a lady from Canada who was here on a works conference but loved backpacking. She is now inspired to walk the Camino! We watched the world go by and pilgrims going into the cathedral and I felt alive and relaxed at the same time. I could have sat here all day in the warm Spanish sun, but we needed to get to our apartment. I plugged the destination into Google Maps, it was less than a 5 min walk! Result.
3 pm - Wow! We found our apartment which is still a bit of a building site on the outside, but inside is just amazing! Very posh and the height of luxury.
We all had a few hours of relaxing, chatting and reflecting on the journey. Real friendships have been born, some healing has begun and the Camino magic has once again sprinkled some magic on the lives of some fabulous people.