Camino de SANTIAGO day one…

Day one….
Pamplona to Cizur Menor

So I did half of my planned walking today. After getting hellishly lost in Pamplona because I followed the pilgrim signs out of town instead of towards the cathedral, I felt like my initial offering of 9 kms was enough to please st. James – note to self. Don’t get lost. If you are following pilgrim signs, they will always lead you out of town. Of my 9 kms, five were screwing around in Pamplona. Not exactly the best use of shoe leather. Poor me!

But I did eventually find the cathedral. Thought about going in, but I had to pay and I thought… Nah. I got my credencial in the diocese bookstore, and mine looks different than the st. Jean PP credencial. It has a cover in colour and everything!





Here is the first stamp!

Walking inside Pamplona was easy enough…. Except the city is a complete maze. Those poor bulls! Seriously! I can find a cathedral in any European city, but in Pamplona, it is impossible. The cathedral isn’t all that tall, and the old buildings of the city are almost as tall as it is, so it isn’t a case of seeing a spire you can navigate to. Noppe nope nope. That City is a maze. A walkable, somewhat shady maze… Still didn’t want to waste five km there….

But walking outside was hard. The temps quickly climbed to 33 and while one goes down out of the city, one has to quickly go back up again to Cizur Minor. It is absolutely baking with no shade and a big girl like me just about melted away.



Ok. There was shade….there,…

One thing I discovered very quickly was that I have way way way too much crap. Things that seemed so important when you are packing become like loadstones. I might be strong, but going up hill, one starts thinking that…really? Do I really need this? Even my sacred camera, that I adore is like two pounds of ‘do I really want to fucking lug this around?’ So when you look at my pictures, and they aren’t from the iPad, know I suffered for them.


So while the camera is staying, the tripod is getting the heave. The sleeping pad is going. Extra clothing. I already left most of my body lotion. But lbs must go.

But people are so nice. Spaniards will wish you buen camino as you passed by! A Scottish tour leader bid me have a safe journey and to look after myself. People are surprisingly caring. On my collapse halfway up to Cizur, a lovely Dutch lady, Sigrid, stopped to make sure i was ok. I had found half a piece of shade and sprawled. She walked me up to the knights of Malta albergue where I collapsed for the night.

Ok. I had melatonin. And then three hours later I had another one. Yes. Dorm life… Where everybody snores. Loudly!!

Except me!

Jet lag is killing me though. I am so tired.

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7 Responses to Camino de SANTIAGO day one…

  1. trailbuddy says:

    We got lost going into Pamplona too. We ended up in a district with no street signs outside of the old city. What a mess.

  2. I think 9 km is plenty for a first day! Even for a second day.

  3. RiND says:

    Whoa, dude, Rick Steves was just doing this very tour on my very TV this very morning. What does it all mean? It means I have to leave you a comment!

    He said that the first part of the trek is on the ‘high plains’ of Spain, so I hope (past Pamplona) that is just like shambling across the High Plains-Great Plains-Northern Plains, i.e., monotonous but flat. It sounds like it gets more rugged and Montana-like the further you go.

    So sorry you are having to shed some of your baggage as you make your way, but perhaps the unmoisturized way is the pilgrim’s way. Here’s hoping that snoring is the worst of dorm life that you experience, and you are free from the horrors encountered while dorming in the ‘Fax!

    May thoughts of the wine fountain dance in your head and sustain you until you get the chance to sup from it.

  4. zeonchar says:

    So excited to hear about your journey!

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