Camino Day 4: Larrasoaña to Pamplona 16 km

Day 4 saw me leaving the albergue as the 2nd last pilgrim at 7.30am.

“Sonia”, the Korean pilgrim, was first out of bed at 5.30am. She was making a lot of noise organising her backpack in the corridor just outside the bedrooms and… She was still at the albergue, the last pilgrim there, when I left. Go figure.

The weather was a cool 6 degrees Celsius in the morning, no wind and clear blue skies. Some pics.

Soon though, I encountered yet another image that was familiar from the movie “The Way”.

This patio is where the hospitalero for the albergue proclaimed that he always wanted to be a bullfighter. And his father wanted him to become a lawyer.

Back to the real world… I stopped at this cute outdoors bar / coffee shop for a cup of tea after 6km of walking.

An Australian pilgrim at the cafe showed me a screen print from the storms the other day. It said that the weather authorities had measured winds of 147km per hour. That was even stronger winds than the 130km per hour I heard earlier.

A couple of pics from Villava and Burlada, two towns that are more or less suburbs to Pamplona. Cute places. This is the bridge into Villava across Rio Ulzama.

Old street of Villava.

The John Brierley guidebook suggests an alternative route to the Camino into Pamplona. There is a walking/cycling path which nestles alongside the Rio Arga. So I walked there. A tranquil and relaxing experience.

Apartment buildings with adjacent market gardens in Burlada.

The main and the alternative paths come together when they cross Puente Magdalena.

Soon I had arrived in Pamplona, a medieval and fortified town.

There were spots of red paint on the stone walls in a few places. Not sure why. Political? Separatists? It looked ugly.

I soon found the hostel that I had booked for the next 2 nights in Pamplona, Ciudadela 7. The entrance is the right blue door and all 3 balconies on the first floor are part of the hostel.

As I checked in at Ciudadela 7 hostel, I found out that both Daina and Fiona were staying in the same room as me. They were not there when I arrived though. I then had a shower, got myself organized before wandering out again to get my bearings.

The lady in the hostel reception recommended a lunch of Bocatas Hueves de Rotos. At a particular restaurant on Calle San Nicolas.

Bocatas Hueves de Rotos is a small baguette bread with the inside removed and replaced with scrambled eggs. And something else that I could not decipher. And something of your choice.

The left added ingredient was with a local sausage and the right was mushroom. Perfect as a simple lunch. 5€ all up. Bargain.

This was the restaurant where I had my lunch on Calle San Nicolas.

More of Calle San Nicolas, a nice pedestrianised strip.

I wasn’t planning to explore too much today as I got all day tomorrow for doing so. However, I did check out where the Sanfermines take place, the famous annual Running of the Bulls.

They release the bulls from inside of here:

If the bulls get lost, they just need to follow the directions on the traffic signs.

I found it a bit sad when they also have a memorial to idiot humans not making it during the Sanfermines.

This is how the bulls run… They stampede up this street and then turn left at the end…

…along this narrow street and…

…across this intersection. Here, we look back from where the bulls came but if you turn around you will see…

Plaza de Toros, i.e. the bullfighting arena where the bulls encounter a gruesome end.

I found the whole “running of the bulls” thing fascinating. Including that the tradition continues today albeit not to the extent that it used to. I suppose the Sanfermines is a big drawcard to Pamplona. The event generates publicity and produces valuable tourist dollars.

I then bumped into 2 familiar faces, Daina and Fiona. We decided to go to Bar Iruna on Plaza de Castillo for a refreshing drink and a pinch. That was how they spelt it on their menu, several variations seem to apply.

Bar Iruna is where the author Ernest Hemingway used to hang out when he stayed in Pamplona.

Plaza de Castillo is a central square where people go to eat and drink these days. A sort of Plaza Mayor.

Checking out the inside of Bar Iruna first…

Tres Peregrinos; me, Fiona and Daina…

The lovely ladies are Daina to the left and Fiona to the right. On the terazza of Bar Iruna.

Me and Fiona.

But Daina was looking serious. Or surprised…?

Later, Fiona and I went out for drinks and then, as we thought but did not work out, dinner. Daina was attending mass.

Fiona and I first had a few glasses of wines at a place called Bar Rio. The waterhole was also recommended by the lady at the hostel reception.

Bar Rio was busy this Friday evening.

It looked like we were the only tourists there. The rest of the punters looked like local. Gotta love that.

Dinner, yes.

The Spaniards of course eat dinner late. In fact, walking up and down our local streets, we found nothing other than ponchos available. And the local Chinese restaurant called Hong Kong had exactly 0 customers. Not a good sign. What to do? We can’t wait too long for restaurants to reopen.

All Fiona and I could muster was a place selling crepes. Emergency fuel… Here is the before photo:

And the after photo:

Yep, the lovely non “menú pel peregrino” meal that I was so looking forward to came to… a crepe.

Serious rethinking required for tomorrow’s eating…

69km walked. 716km left to walk after Day 4

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