Statistics: 26 kilometers, 8 hours 15 minutes, elevation gain 456 meters, elevation loss 578 meters, 31,000 steps.
The statistics for elevation gain and loss don’t look remarkable, but after about five kilometers of flat walking early this morning in Pamplona, we launched into nearly the entire gain, followed by nearly the entire loss. The route today was straight up and straight down! The down was steep and the trail was covered by large gravel. It was a difficult day of hiking! I felt a bit stronger on the uphills, but it’s still a work in progress.
Shortly after we left Pamplona, we had a downpour. We huddled under a small tree, frantically donning rain gear and protecting our packs with rain covers. The deluge didn’t last long, but I created a small river that covered the trail. We were forced to walk in a freshly-plowed field. Our boots were covered in thick mud when we finally found pavement.
On the way up we walked through a small town with a little church (see picture). I went in, said my mid-day office and had a chat with God, thanking God for my legs, my feet, and for loving me unconditionally. In this small, old church, I felt the embrace of the Creator. It was a warm feeling that stayed with me all day.
As I said, we went straight up and straight down today. At the top of the hill we saw one of the most iconic artworks on the Camino: the Monument to the Peregrinos (pilgrims). In the picture below you’ll notice the huge windmills. They dot the whole crest of the hill.
A bit further on, we came across a beautiful, little shrine to the Blessed Virgin (see the picture below). I took a picture of the plaque that describes the origin of the shrine. I hope you can read it. My rosary today was for my family – especially for Laura. ❤️
After the punishing downhill, I was tired, my right knee was sore, and I just wanted to stop walking. But I had more sympathy for Vera. Her cold had gotten worse. She battled mightily all day, but really looked tired toward the end of the day. A good supper, a good sleep, and I’m sure we will both be ready for tomorrow!