Saturday, May 12, 2018


Saturday, 5/12

Three days completed. Thursday to Roncevellas in the rain; Friday to Zubiri under beautiful cloudless skies; Today into Pamplona under cold, overcast, and windy skies with two bouts of heavy rain and sprinkles on snd off throughout the day.

It’s been interesting to see the exact same people on and off during the day as we all stop for breaks at different times and then recross paths as we or they get started again. And then at night, when i get to the albergue, each night the same people show up in about the same order. Looks like i have a new family.

I had intended to walk 5 km past Pamplona today but the person i was walking with had a sore ankle and was walking very slowly. By the time we arrived, given the time and the weather, i decided to stop here as well. I can’t jump ahead of schedule tomorrow because it’s already a 25 km day as is. Will try again on Monday, maybe.

The scenery here is stunningly beautiful. Incredibly so. We walk from valley to valley with small villages dotting the hills. It seems, though, that the Spanish only allow one village per valley. The houses are all the same—white walls and orange tiled roofs. Cows, horses, and sheep are everywhere. Todays fields, though, gave way to acres and acres, entire valleys full, of barley.

You hear almost every language out here on the trail, but in the wave of people i’m riding with, those that set out on Thursday morning, the is a huge number of Koreans.

Last night an elderly Korean man decided that i should know how the Korean’s write. So he came over to where i was reading and showed me how to write and pronounce the 24 characters in the Korean alphabet. Then after showing me how to write “Camino de Santiago” and “David,” the lesson was finished.

The people you meet who run the bar/restaurants where we find food, or the markets where we buy fruit, and in the albergues where we sleep are wonderful people. You could imagine them getting tired of hundreds of thousands of people trekking through their towns and streets but i have yet to meet anyone without a smile on their face, a greeting on their lips, and a seeming happiness to see you.

The Camino is nothing like the Heno on Shikoku. Not even close. Here there is an actual trail, built for, set aside, and used only by pilgrims. So far there have been almost no excursions out onto roads. On Shikoku that is where you spend 90% of your time. Here i'm spending $25-$30 per day, in Shikoku that doesn’t even pay for half of your nightly lodging.

The Henro and the Camino aren’t just two different animals, they’re completely different species.

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