12 Sep 2019 – 21 Km
The loudly snoring Spaniard across from me kept me awake most of the night, despite wearing ear plugs. The woman in the bunk above him gathered up her stuff in great disgust in the middle of the night and went out to sleep in the dining area. So it goes.
My legs and knees seem to be recovering nicely overnight, and I’m careful to stretch before going to bed and before setting out in the morning.
The general pattern of the albergue (hostel) routine is taking shape: arrive mid-afternoon and check-in, plead advanced age in order to get a bottom bunk, leave your boots and trekking poles in the Boot area, find your bunk, empty your pack and lay out your sleeping bag, get your shower kit and take a shower, get your laundry kit and do your laundry (usually by hand), have a snack and/or take a nap, have dinner and meet people, go to bed around 8:30pm. Get up at 6:00am, wash your face, pack your stuff, have breakfast if available, put on your boots and get out by the required 8:00am. Rinse, wash, repeat.
The security of your valuables (cash, credit cards, passport, and mobile phone) is paramount and you never go anywhere without them. Even into the shower. I have a waterproof tote bag that I load with clean clothes, shower stuff, my camp towel, and my valuables, and it goes right into the shower stall with me every time.
Albergues do not usually provide: sheets, towels, shampoo, hand soap, hand towels, or laundry soap. Lucky for us, toilet paper is provided. All that other stuff, you must bring with you.
Zubiri to Pamplona was a nice, dry, sunny walk, not too hot, and with plenty of shady intervals. Also plenty of rock-strewn path sections going sharply up and down. It’s amazing how quickly you learn to spot the flatest, least-rocky part of any path and get your feet onto it. After the horrible descent into Zubiri, these 21 Kms seem somewhat easier.
Nonetheless, I was really exhausted when I reached Pamplona and, of course, after winding through a few kilometers of city streets there was a very steep, cobblestone lane up into the old town at the end. I was really excited to find my albergue waiting for me at the top and, bonus, the bunk room was air-conditioned. More about this unique and well-run albergue, Casa Ibarrola, in a future post.
– Breakfast: 4eu, Snack 3eu
– Casa Ibarrola: 32eu (for 2 nights)
– Round of pinchos (tapas) for me and friends: 24eu