On my way … Day 3 Zubiri to Pamplona

Camino horse

Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Temp 50’s … Zubiri to Pamplona … 23 kms … 15 miles 

Blessed are you, pilgrim, if what concerns you most is not to arrive, as to arrive with others. ~ Beatitudes of the pilgrim

Last night was my best sleep. Could it be I am getting use to sleeping in a hostel? Not sure, but it was better. It helped that the room was smaller, only 6 of us, and warmer. My big toe went numb again, I guess this will just be the way it is. 

A new morning routine started on this day…messaging lotion into my feet while loving and praising them. Just showing love to my feet.  This became a well-loved ritual which to this day, I still do! Cale would just look at me and shake his head. 

My first good night of sleep 

In the morning, everyone was talking about some guy snoring in our room. I didn’t even hear him!  

Win, for Mary! 

They also made jokes about his snoring, because they initially thought he was farting! But then they realized he was snoring!  A good laugh for the day! 

The night before we had gone to the grocery store and purchased some bananas and other snacks to have for the start our walk. So, this made our morning routine a little easier. I really liked it.   Because… this hostel had the Café con leche machine in the lobby, Did I tell you how much I like my coffee! Yes, my little addiction.  The small comforts that bring great joy. I grabbed a cup as we were getting ready and then we headed out the door. 

Wait, what? 

No rain! 

This was a first for us, no rain and temperatures in the 50’s. 

So, here we go! 

‘The Camino calls you to contemplate, to be amazed, to welcome, to interiorize, to stop, to be quiet, to listen to, to admire, to bless …nature our companions on the journey, our own selves, God’ ~ The Way Parable 

The view as we left Zubiri

We crossed the stone bridge out of town and met up with a few new pilgrims. It’s always nice to talk and walk.   It helps the time go by. And you are not thinking about your feet.  I can’t tell you their names, but we enjoyed their company for a few miles. 

The beauty of the Camino is being able to see parts of Spain which you would not normally see on a tour.   These little villages and towns are filled with the beauty of nature and full of history.  

We crossed another medieval bridge called the Puente de Los Bandidos. This bridge spans over the river Arga and into the town of Larrasoana. 

We then turned and the Camino was taking us alongside the river. It was beautiful. The rain began but it was only a light mist. Enough to cover up for but not enough to care. About.  After the past two days, this little bit didn’t matter to us at all! 

We enjoyed the path today, walking in the forest and alongside fields.  This walk took us through cities and along country roads with many lovely fountains and places to rest. 

Just about the time our feet needed a break and our stomachs started talking to us, we saw a café. Yay! Time to relax and get something to eat. As we found a table, we saw Tim, Rodney, Tomce and Daniel.  Very familiar faces and nice company. 

Because one of the most important things to do along the Camino is tending to your feet, I felt it was time to remove my socks and shoes, let my feet air out and give them a little message. Again, loving my feet. It was perfect.  

Breakfast, relaxation, and fellowship! 

And did I mention the cat! There was a cat at the café which was beautiful. It loved the attention and was just chilling as we all took pictures. 

Today was a good day, lots of sun, lots of laughter, lots of joy. In fact, today I think I was acting a little silly and joyful! There were times I couldn’t stop laughing, laughing at nothing. You know those moments where you are experiencing so much joy you can’t keep it inside anymore and you don’t care who sees. I was singing, dancing and feeling amazing! All the while, my son Cale was just laughing and shaking his head at me! 

Decisions along the Camino 

There are moments on the Camino where you have to make decisions. Take an alternate route. This was one of those times. We could take the route to Zabaldika, which includes a little church that people say not to miss. Or continue on the normal path.  Of course, we chose the path to Zabaldika. As I looked at the trail, I started to second guess the decision because the church was at the top of a hill and the trail was not inviting.  

Then I thought about the passion of Our Lord!  And I knew then that we would take the steps to make our way up the hill. 

Thank you, Jesus! 

As we were making this decision, we met two new pilgrims and walked to the church with them. I believe their names were Georgia and Cally. Another family, mother and daughter.  

The Church of St. Stephen in Zabaldika 

This was a tiny church built in the early 13th century that has not had any major renovations since.  When we arrived it was locked, we were not sure if we would be able to go inside but just as we were about to leave a nun greeted us and let us inside. She handed us a copy of the Beatitudes of the Pilgrim

We were encouraged to climb a stone spiral staircase and ring the bell in the belfry. She then informed us that the bell is said to be the oldest in the whole region of Navarra Spain. As we entered the church, it was cool and dark.  A crucifix hung with neon green arrow post-it’s surrounding it.  Looking closer, these were personal notes, written in many languages left by the pilgrims.   She encouraged us to write our message or prayer on a sticky note.

I sat quietly in a pew and said my prayers and wrote them on a sticky note.  The retablo behind the altar was beautiful.  It was made in the 17th century.  It looked like new.    

We received our stamp from the nun and made our way back to the trail. It’s hard to express my overwhelming sense of appreciation that was bestowed on us by the kindness of this nun quietly watching over the church and its visitors. 

The final steps into Pamplona 

We continued for a while through natural areas before arriving in a suburb of Pamplona.  It was city streets from then on and my feet were killing me.  The burning sensation had begun. I just needed to get vertical. The sun was beating on us during this part of the day and it actually was getting hot.  Now I was wondering, if I would rather have the rain and cold? I wasn’t sure. All I wanted was to make it through the city streets and rest my feet. 

Walking into the big cities along the Camino is probably one of the most difficult parts. Due to the size of the cites, there are lots of sidewalk walking, lots of people and the hostels always seem to be on the other side of the city.  

By the end of the day, you are always just ready to get there. 

Our Hostel 
We finally made it through the city walls and the historical part of Pamplona. We said our goodbyes to Georgia and Cally and went to find our hostel. 

At the beginning of the pilgrimage, one of the papers they gave us in St. Jean is a list of every hostel along the Camino. It has them listed by city, how many beds, the cost and their phone number. This list is amazing. Every morning Cale and I will look at the list and make our first choice. When we get to town, we head to the first one and if its full, head to the next. So far, luck has been on our side and we have found beds at our first choice. We always start with the Albergue Municipal. These are run by the cities and are the cheapest.  

Tonight’s stay was going to be the Jesus and Maria Albergue municipal of pilgrims, which was a former Jesuit church. This hostel had 110 beds and the cost was only 10 euros. When we arrived at the hostel, there were a lot of pilgrims. But we were able to get a bed! Yay!!   

I wonder who we will run into at this hostel? 

 Will we see any of our friends?  

Not sure how, but now it’s time to shower, do laundry, rest and then go explore this amazing city of Pamplona! Some people chose to take a rest day here in Pamplona, but Cale and I had decided to continue the next day. We did plan a rest day in Leon, which is half way, where we do have a reservation.  

From my journal: 

Tuesday, May 15th … 50’s chance of rain … 23 kms 15 miles 

The rain held off but it was chilly at times. Met a nice Mom and Daughter from NJ and DC, Georgia and Calley. Lots of fun today. Walking in kindness was my lesson. Look at everyone, see it in their eyes, their smile. Show this kindness to everyone you meet. We visited a little church today and the nun opened the door and allowed us to see inside. It was absolutely beautiful. She gave us the Beatitudes of a Pilgrim. We were able to write our prayers on little sticky notes and they were placed next to the crucifix. I sat in the pew for a little bit and said some prayers. I know this pilgrimage is about my healing and to be able to forgive. For this I pray! 

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