Sunday, May 9, 2010

Slow progress.....

Pamplona lies behind me, just about, just 5km behind me. What day is today? Sat.., Sunday? On Friday I was hell bent on Pamplona. Leaving Zubiri the sun was shining and I had almost(!) a spring in my step. The pains in my legs and achilles heel were almost gone and though at first it was still so cold that little clouds formed in front of my face, pretty soon I was taking off my jacket and my fleece. Then, I lost my way...., just a bit, in the middle of a massive magnesium factory, but it was pretty annoying. The path at this point were big slabs of stone in concrete which are very hard to walk on - I think I know now how a horse feels when it has to walk on a concrete road. The horse in me was longing for nature paths again, and that wish was granted sooner than I though: the camino started to wind through gorgeous forests, but it was dotted with big mud puddles which very again not easy to circumnavigate. You kinda need to find a certain pace when your walking and all that stopping and starting again made it quite hard to find my pace that day. And for some reason my backpack felt even heavier than before. At a beautiful wild river, swollen with the rain and the melting snow I stopped for a little rest - at this point I thought I should throw my backpack in there and be done with it. But, like everyone else, I soldiered on - and the rain started, which I pretended to totally ignore cause I didn´t want to stop again to take out my rainponcho.... And then everything deterioated (????, that can´t be the right spelling....): the path couldn´t be called that any more. Did I call my way to Zubiri a mud-fest? It was nothing against what was waiting for me now. Slipping and sliding, wading and getting stuck, traces of pilgrims sliding down hills, water and mud en masse. At some stage I almost gave up trying to find ´dry land´, I just murmured ´Pamplona, Pamplona´and marched straight through the depths of the mudswamps. With a little stop at a gorgeous little chapel, where the nun, who opened the door for me, allowed me to climb up the belltower (very risky business, built in the 12th century and never been altered! - great fun!) and ring the bells! Anyways, when I came to the medieval bridge in Varre and saw the cloister, I gave up on the Pamplona idea. And that was the best I could have done: this little cloister with the chapel was absolutely magical! And in the chapel: a statue of the Trinity! I kid you not, I´ve never seen anything like it - Jesus sits beside God on clouds woth little angels and the Holy Spirit is behind them. If I´d enough time I´d put a picture in here, but there´s already pilgrims queuing for the computer behind me... Next day off to Pamplona, jusy 5km, where I stood out like a sore thumb. I decided to treat myself to a pilgrim´s menue, but my shoes were caked in mud and so were my pants. Having only that one pair I tried to find a skirt somewhere so I could wash them and go out as well. NO SUCH LUCK. It was Saturday afternoon, all shops closed. The few that were open didn´t sell anything for less than 25 Euro - eh, no, thank you. So the afternoon was spent with washing and shoe cleaning, and an early rest. I had a look around Pamplona today. Not that I was able to see much as everything is closed on a Sunday! But I went into the cathedral, looked at the Plaza de Toros from the outside and the impressive fortification before heading on. And now I´m at a lovely place where tortoises are having sex in a pond :) Tomorrow I have to cross a mountain again - and walk a proper distance! Til the next internet encounter! Ultreja!

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