Day 7 – Zaraguiqui to Obaños

Walked: Today 6.9 mi /Camino 2022: 45.8 mi

We took a taxi to Zaraguiqui, where we finished our walk from Pamplona on August 14. Our walk began at first light (7:01) and the clouds were covering the top of the Alto de Perdon. As we climbed up the steep grade, we snapped photos looking back at Pamplona… it seemed like the higher we climbed the more the clouds lifted, giving us clear views of where we had been.

We reached the top, took photos, (with the help of a lone bicycling pilgrim), recharged our bodies with a pain au chocolat, then began the difficult journey down the other side of the mountain.

Leaving Alto del Perdon behind
Heading down the other side of Alto de Perdon
A well placed bench halfway down the mountain
Seemingly a good idea, the risers varied from 10-16 inches ..: very tough on tired knees.
“made it”!
Looking back on the Alto from grain fields in the valley below
We walked through 2 villages on our way to Obaños.
We experimented with using an umbrella to shield the sun’s rays…. not much difference, so we decided not worth carrying… for the next 450 miles
Casa Raichu, Obaños
our room with ensuite Bathroom and balcony

Elena, the owner of Casa Raichu and our delightful hostess, created a wonderful Camino memory for us today.

We arrived early (11:40), but when Jim rang the doorbell, she answered the intercom promptly and when he told her his name, the door opened and she welcomed us inside. She gave us a choice of rooms, checked us in and asked if we would like something to drink. A few minutes later, she returned with a tray of chips, a glass of chilled green tea and beer. She asked if we had clothes to wash and left us a sack for dirty clothes to leave outside our door to wash, dry and fold later in the afternoon, (8€).

Later in the afternoon Elena knocked on our door with two slices of a spinach tarta she had just taken out of the oven… which became our lunch.

She prepared and served us a delicious dinner at 6:30 (not waiting until the standard 7:00)… of mixed vegetable salad, a scrumptious pasta dish and simple pineapple/peach dessert. Wine and water were also included. (14€ each).

ensalada mixta
Italian pasta dish ala Elena
Nice light dessert to finish off a tasty and filling meal
Elena, our gracious hostess… a former pastry shop owner, she has owned Casa Raichu for less than a year. We highly recommend Casa Raichu!!!

Day 6 – Villava to Pamplona

Walked: Today 3.1mi /Camino 2022: 38.9 mi

As planned, today was an easy walk, mostly flat, all sidewalks, thru several Pamplona suburbs to the Maisonave Hotel, our base six days ago.

We have been building up our stamina and strength the past week as we successfully took on the challenges of the first three stages of the Camino Frances, sans backpacks, as part of our paced approach. Today, we both carried our full backpacks for the short walk to provide a little extra body building push.

In 2019, Linda transported her backpack (18lbs) most every day, while carrying “essential” items and water in a Camelback daypack. Jim felt more secure continuing to walk with his full backpack (26lbs including 4 lbs H2O). In 2022, until today, we both have been transporting our packs and wearing only the camelback day/hydration packs during our walks. Our plan in 2022 will be to transport Linda’s backpack daily and Jim’s also daily, for now. The additional cost is 5€ per pack/per day… but well worth it.

It’s easy to get lost while walking the Camino through cities and towns. Pamplona does an excellent job of helping pilgrims stay on track.
…getting close to the Magdalena Bridge and the Camino de Santiago entrance into the old city… (as the gentleman walking ahead of Linda passed us, he excitedly explained that he had also walked all the way to Santiago some years ago and wished us “Buen Camino”)

We walked over the 12th century Magdalena Bridge, circled the huge walls of the fortress, crossed the drawbridge and entered the city gate into the old city, stopping at the Santa Maria de las Asunción Cathedral to get our pilgrim credential stamped.

Linda crossing the Rio Arga via the Magdalena Bridge
…circling the massive fortress walls…
… climbing up the path of the Camino Frances entrance into the old city..
…over the drawbridge…
… entering through la Puerta Frances (the French Gate)…
…and into old Pamplona.
Pamplona Cathedral

We then walked another 500 meters to the Hotel Maisonave , our home for the night.

Tonight’s our last night in Pamplona for Camino 2022. We’ve spent a lot of time here since 2012. It has added so many positive experiences to our Camino’s and has become a place in which we feel very comfortable. Hopefully, we’ll find our way back here again.