Monday, December 27, 2010
Achy Breaky Groin, A Heart for Joan, and Knocking the Horns Off Innocent Bulls
Friday, September 24th (day 3 on the Camino): 10.6 miles to Pamplona
This was a relatively short day…but for me, it was a killer nonetheless. The ol’ groin muscle was getting worse and worse. We crossed the Arga River 3 times, so we did a bit of up and down walking. Up a vertical 100 meters, down a vertical 100 meters. Up a vertical 100 meters, down a vertical 100 meters. What am I saying – that pretty much sums up our first eight days of walking.
Half way through the day we re-entered civilization, aka Pamplona suburbs – if you want to call them that. This doesn’t look much like an American suburb, does it?
Right about here, we met up with Alex from Charlotte again. He had picked up a walking buddy. He had also decided that it was time to ship some of his backpack’s contents home. Smart move, Alex.
Here is a heart sign just for Joan! The saying means (we were told) "Keep smiling!"
By now, walking was shear agony for me. Kathie told us to sit down in front of this door for a photo – I thought that sounded like heaven…
until I tried to stand back up.
Finally, we came to the old part of Pamplona. This is the Puente de la Magdalena.
On the other side is the old walled city.
Here’s the town hall. In front of this, we met some folks – from Argentina, weren’t they, Kath? Friendly pilgrims.
Sitting down again to rest the groin muscle – just blocks from our hotel this time – I took this photo of where the bulls run in to the square in which we were sitting.
Looks pretty tame without the little rascals stampeding through, eh?
Finally we found the Hotel Eslava, which was hiding from us in a construction area. While we were checking in, Kathie lay down her walking stick in the lobby. That was the last she saw of it. Weird – that lobby was not all that busy. The stick musta just walked off by itself.
By now, I was seriously considering taking a bus the next day to Puente la Reina because I didn’t think I could walk one more kilometer. (Just to give you an idea of the significance of this, I once walked to downtown Columbus from Kathie’s apartment on Michigan Avenue – only because I was too shy to ride the city bus by myself.) In her usual patient and caring way, Kathie had me lie down and take some ibuprofen while she and Kathleen went out to see a little of Pamplona and scout out a restaurant so I could do a minimum of walking to dinner.
A word of caution to pilgrims visiting Pamplona! Restaurants there do not serve dinner before 9 p.m., which is not good for starving pilgrims who need to be up and hiking early the next morning. Thank goodness for Kathie’s GPS…and Kathleen running up the stairs to a 2nd floor restaurant to see if they were serving yet. I think any one of us could’ve just knocked the horns off an innocent bull passerby.
Tomorrow, on to Puente la Reina with Count Vicodin.