Skip to content

Learning to (Not!) Walk, Day 50, October 16th, Pamplona to Burgos, 220 km (something like that) not walking

October 16, 2022

Have not had good wifi the last few days. Even though an albergue or Hostal says they have wifi, often it is slow as molasses and just an exercise in frustration to try and use it.

The three days from Orisson to Roncesvalles to Zubiri to Pamplona did my feet in. The osteopath I saw in St. Jean Pied de Port, before starting over the Pyrenees, said not to lace my boots up around my ankles, because my ankles needed to flex more, but that meant that I couldn’t lock my heels into the back of my boots and my toes jammed into the front of my boots—even though the boots are plenty big—down the mountain to Roncesvalles, and then on a very long, steep, tricky, rocky descent to Zubiri. The walk the next day to Pamplona was one of the hardest days for me, just because my feet were so sore. So, another rest day with two nights in Pamplona. Which is not a bad place to spend two days. My feet felt like they should be black and blue. I bought new shoes, which I will alternate with the boots, or just keep wearing if my feet feel better in them. Today they are less sore. But I decided I needed to make a big jump ahead. So my friend I’ve been walking with on and off for the last month, who has also had a lot of foot trouble, and I took a Bla Bla Car (hitchhiking, essentially, but you arrange for it online and pay something towards gas) from Pamplona to Burgos late this afternoon. The guys we got a ride with could not have been nicer. They were on their way home from five days in the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela (we joked that we could just ride all the way with them), and they drove us right to our Hostal in Burgos. They had both spent time in university in Edinburgh so spoke English very well.

I loved Pamplona, and I love Burgos even more. I am spending two nights here, and may spend a third because it is so beautiful and it seems like there is a lot to see. Since we didn’t arrive until evening we only saw the cathedral from outside, but it is first on my agenda after breakfast tomorrow. I will also spend some time here figuring out where I go from here. Between Burgos and Leon lies the Meseta—mostly flat, treeless, land that pilgrims have a love/hate relationship with. Some skip it all together, finding it tedious and boring. Some love it because of the mental challenge of crossing it, some find it leads to lots of introspection and prayer. Because there’s not much else to do or look at. I will either skip it all together (my least favorite days in France were the ones that were through flat farm land), or walk a day or two then catch a bus to Leon. If I skip it all together, I’ll probably take a train to Leon, then hope to walk the rest of the way to Santiago.

Pamplona was a wonderfully alive city. I could not believe the street scene in the historic center Friday night. The streets were absolutely full of people sitting outside the bars and restaurants, not just at tables, but on the street itself, drinking, talking and laughing. The sound was a roar. We had our own wonderful party going on inside a restaurant. It was a farewell dinner with the group that had formed since Orisson in the Pyrenees. Pilgrims have talked about how you form “family groups” on the way. I did not really experience that on the Chemin in France, but it happened the very first night of the Camino at the refuge in Orisson in the Pyrenees. I made fast friends with three German women I traveled with as far as Pamplona—we didn’t walk at the same pace, but usually met at lunch time and always had dinner together, shared a dorm room, and had breakfast. And there were others we kept pace with and became close to those first three days. In Pamplona I met up with my friend I’ve been traveling with on and off for a month and she joined the group as well. We had about 17 people around the table for a farewell dinner for those who were finishing that night and returning home. There were four men from Ireland, and you know what happens when the Irish start drinking. Yes, singing. Lots of loud, raucous singing. We drove some people out of the bar, I’m afraid, but it was one of the most fun nights I have had in a long time, and I feel like I have made some friends I will be in touch with from now on. My German friends kept walking, so I don’t know if we’ll meet again on the Camino, but What’s App groups are a wonderful thing for staying connected.

From → Uncategorized

  1. I am just filled with admiration for your grit and sense of tenacity and courage…hooray for you . . and your feet.. yes do take the best care of yourself. I love your photos and journals.

  2. Patricia Decker permalink

    Sometimes the real struggle is to allow our bodies to rest as they need to. So glad you are taking time that you need and also providing us with totally wonderful photos and updates. So appreciative! Take care, my friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: