September 7, 2018
After hiking 15 miles yesterday, eating a big lunch with mucho vino, and touring Pamplona with Enrique’s nephews, I was so tired last night that I felt sick. But then I had a good night’s sleep and was ready to go again this morning. It was a beautiful day of hiking. We walked through a very peaceful Pamplona in the dark this morning. On the outskirts of town we started climbing over a mountain with beautiful vistas. At the summit, we found this sign:
The other side of the mountain had another steep, rocky descent. Then we walked through several charming villages to our destination of Puente la Reina. The albergue here costs 5 euros a night. After a shower and laundry, we went into town for a paella lunch.
There are many different ways to experience the Camino. Some people hire companies to book their lodging and carry their luggage from town to town. Those people hike with just a daypack. Others carry backpacks, but have all their lodging reserved ahead of time, so they must make their daily mileage goal to get to their lodging. Others, like us, are carrying backpacks ( mine weighs about 15 pounds, Enrique is carrying 20 pounds), and have no reservations for lodging. Some people stay in municipal albergues, some in private albergues, and some in hotels.
Not everyone is completing the entire Camino. One couple we met will do a week every year for the next four years. A lot of people (like Enrique ‘s sister-in-law) will start around Leon and hike into Santiago from there, which is about 60 miles . Anyone who completes the last 60 miles received the same certificate of completion that we will receive. Not fair, but I’m not doing it for the certificate. Why am I doing it?!
Also, some people are cycling the Camino. So we all have our experiences, but no matter how we are doing this, when we meet (and remeet)on the trail, we wish each other, “Buen Camino.”