Day 7: Pamplona to Uterga.

Ernest Hemingway - 3

Hemmingway information board at the bullring.

Distance to go 721 Kms.

The segment today took us off the Camino to start with as we took a detour to visit the bull ring and the statue of Ernest Hemingway that stood outside. Whether you are a fan of bullfighting or not, the stadium itself is imposing and the statue sits in a prime spot.

Ernest Hemingway - 1

Ernest Hemingway

Once we had taken some photos for our Son Giles we re joined the Camino and walked north through the streets of Pamplona out through the northern suburb of Cizur Menor and onto a fairly level path passing the ruins of an old palace, Guendulain before starting beast of a climb to pass through a small village of Zariquiegui. A fabulous little fountain poured out ice cold water to slake the thirst before the climb continued up to Alto De Perdon lying at 790 metres above sea level some 350 metres above the start point. This just about killed me.

GUENDULAIN ruins - 1

Guendulain ruins

I was goosed by the time we got to the pilgrims monument at the top. There was no shade on the way up but there was a cooling breeze at the top. Debs and I took our boots and socks off and stayed around 30 minutes to recover. It really was an energy sapping ascent.

Alto del Perdon: Pilgrims monument - 1

Pilgrims Monument on top of Alto del Perdon

The descent was tough on the knees as it was steep and over loose stones. It was slow going. By the time we got to the bottom we were about done and the small town of Uterga could not come quick enough.

Uterga Hostel.

We stayed at a private albergue called Camino del Perdon. There were only 9 other people with us and it was simply great. Our two friends Keith and his daughter Tanya arrived 2 hours later. Debs and I paid a little extra for a double room rather than a bunk bed. I needed some running repairs to my feet and Debs need some TLC on hers and its much more restful to do that with a modicum of privacy. There was our own shower with fluffy towels too. Luxuries that we can’t have every night.

Debbie, Tanya and Keith

Tanya, Keith and Debbie

We shared a great dinner in the garden with the 9 others and retired at 20:15. I was asleep as I hit the pillow. This walking business sure takes it out of you but despite all the aches and pains it really is good.

IMG_0953

Dog of the day. There are many dogs it would seem.

Distance walked today: 17.4 Kms


Mark Dexter 2015