From Villava, through Pampalona, to Puente La Riena
15 miles, 1, 150 ft. ascent. Leave 7ish, arrive at 4:30 pm.
Arrived in Pampalona about 10, though once the Basque capital Iruna. All signs are in both Spanish and Basque.
Walk into Pampalona along the river path, passing pens of horses, cattle and gardens.
Up into the huge fortress, across a moat, drawbridge to the cathedral and old, medieval buildings.
Find the Plaza de Toros, photograph Ernest Hemingway´s statue in front of it.
Stroll down the street where the bulls are run, there are photos of it in the shops.
Meet and walk with a couple from California and a woman from Denmark.
Mail my camping equipment home. It is something I will not use, campgrounds are hard to find, a little ways out of town, it rained one night, sometimes it is cold, it is too heavy, and so on. The accommodations of hostels and hotels are plentiful and that is fine.
Leave Pampalona through the university along the old fortress walls, into the countryside.
Sit on a bench on a hillside, sketching and counting four castles in the little villages.
At the Alto del Perdon pass is a metal sculpture of cutouts of pilgrims passing through the ages, starting with capes, donkeys, with dogs, and onto modern dress. There is also a large cross, as there is almost at every cross roads. Get a bicyclist to take my photo.
Fields of sunflowers, asparagus, beans, potatos and small gardens. Walk through small villages. Every one has a water fountain. The water is good and cold.
Stay in a nice hotel and watch the tributes in Spain and the USA to the September 11 victims. It is sad.
It is a cool, cloudy, breezy day. Perfect for walking. I love it.