Day 4 : Zabaldika to Zariquiegui
Last night we were simply grateful for a bed but I reflected on that this morning. In reality who am I kidding… we are walking across Northern Spain, complete with high tech clothes, a smartphone and a credit card. We had the luxury of calling a taxi and booking into a hotel… and I felt kind of guilty when I considered all those people sleeping out in the cold without the mod cons. We moaned as we walked how we wanted to do this “correctly’… no booking ahead, no deviating… and so on… but if we really believed that we would have left the phone and the credit card at home. My only consolation is that at least I see the hypocrisy of my moans.
But anyway I slept really well last night in a little room for four. Lucky for me I was given a spare bed in the cooks room. I also learned that the two young Spaniards also in my room got married yesterday… they slipped into a little church along the way and after the service simply continued walking… what an amazing wedding day and how crazy that me and the cook shared their room last night !
So we shared a very convivial breakfast with our wonderful hosts before setting off. The sky was blue and the air was cold and a mist hung over the hills… it was a beautiful camino morning… and what song popped into my head…
I would regret that song chouce later… after the 47th time of singing it.
On we walked and we felt surprisingly good. Before we knew we reached Pamplona. We weren’t stopping, just passing through but we had a few hours to wander the streets, visit the cathedral and Cafe Iruna and wander the streets that later will become the famous bull run… and we pondered that as we left a few hours later.
As we are walking up the hill we did our usual split. Left to my thoughts my mind wandered back to previous walks. I know this path but it is different too. Familiar and yet still so much still to discover. I remember all the people I met walking up this hill and the conversations we had. I remember meeting a Norwegian couple on this bend… the Americans over there… I chatted with the German here… said goodbye to Cathy over there… I ate blackberries from these bushes and rested my blistered feet on that rock. I know this path and I lost myself in those thoughts.
Today we had reserved three beds. We were heading to Zariquiegui… partway up the big hill to the iron people on Alto de Perdon. We walked an easy day, just shy of 20kms. This little albergue is perfect. 18 people… brilliant hot shower… washer and dryer… jolly hosts… and great food. What happy lucky pilgrims we are.
We shared our dinner with Kelly; a Kiwi who moved to the UK in the 70s. He was great company and one of his many stores was of a day when he was walking with a French friend… he explained…
We were sat enjoying the sun after our walk when a German chap cycled in after a hard day on his bike. Kelly explained that the German liked to express how far he had travelled and how difficult it had been. Kelly”s French companion looked over his glasses across at the German and quietly said… “but of course you have been sitting all day”. Apparently the German pilgrim had no words to reply.
And so we finished our meal and left a very noisy and slightly boozy French contingent and returned to our beds. There are more hills to climb tomorrow and more memories to revisit.Happy May Day everyone.