Walked today: 7.6 miles
Walked Camino 2019: 46.9 miles
The forecasted high for Pamplona was 94 degrees, so we left at 6:30, just after daybreak, to avoid the heat.
The path was not difficult with only short rocky sections and gentle slopes and grades most of the way.
Extreme climbs and descents are typically the number one challenge for us, then heat, then rocky walking surfaces and then distances. Any one can be tough, but combinations in varying degrees are the tests one deals with every day on the Camino.
We followed the Arre river most of the way crossing it a few times over very old stone bridges.
We were gradually descending through the valley approaching Pamplona, the same route we took by bus last Monday to SJPDP.
Mountains behind us and on both sides shielded us from early morning sunrays. The scenery was not spectacular but still picturesque as we passed thru several hamlets that were purely residential, without stores or businesses.
We shared the Camino with several pairs and groups of possibly local, weekend walkers and saw relatively few peregrinos/as.
The last section of dirt path hugged the hillside with scenic overviews of farms and Pamplona suburbs in the distance,
before tunneling under an expressway,
climbing to a paved road paralleling the expressway, then terminating at the medieval Romanesque bridge leading into the city.
Just as we crossed the bridge, we helped an Irish couple who had taken a wrong turn just ahead of us (we made the same wrong turn in 2017!).
It was only 10:30 when we arrived at Hotel Pamplona-Villava and it was already uncomfortable in the sun.
Fortunately, our air conditioned room was ready, so we had time for a quick recovery nap and an early start on chores, before having pizza for lunch in the hotel bar.
The bar closes from 4:00 to 8:00 and the hotel restaurant doesn’t open until 9:00 -11:00 for dinner, typical for a mostly residential, non-touristy area in Spain. There aren’t many eateries nearby and we’ve had our walk for the day, so we’ll get room service before they close at 4:00 for an early dinner, then call it a day.