Day Three: Zubiri to Pamplona aka Parque de la Taconera
Just about all of us had a late start today, possibly because some of us got into private hostels and we’re finally able to have sound sleep, who knows. Nonetheless, we started are day off with a cappuccino and breakfast pinxtos. We spoke to the gentleman working, who said he is trying to perfect his English so he can move to England, since there is no money to make in Spain. T'was bien. Ended up passing Klaus and Thomas, due to their hungoveredness (it’s a word). The trail was beautiful, without too many steep portions. I should mention that people, not just Peregrínos are super nice on the trail. It's like holiday season, all of the time. We’ve had waiters offer their place and a couple of randomers (another word) offer us assistance when we’ve stopped alongside the road. It’s refreshing.
Although today’s trail wasn’t strenuous, there were still not very many water fountains. I think we counted 2-3 within a total of 16 miles... Holy cow. So, 2-3 water holes was a joke. About half way along, we went to a place recommended by my cousin’s friend who completed the Camino, called El Horno de Irotz. It was awesome. A true oasis. The salad and fresh sheep’s cheese were beyond words. They even had fresh watermelon juice! I have come to the understanding that the Basque people are not fond of fiber. None of the restaurants really use fruits or veggies in their dishes, you kind of have to seek it yourself. Thus, when a restaurant offers it up, you get stoked. Speaking of, we bought ourselves yummy fruits in Zubiri in this cute grocery story this AM.
About 3/4s of the way in, we met a college student named Luis who asked us questions about the Camino to write in a report for school. I was excited to finally practice my Spanish with someone outside of the service industry. We discussed the election this Sunday, religion and other hot topics. He ended up giving us the inside scoop on Pamplona. He showed us where the bulls run, where to eat, etc. He even took me on a detour to this random park (Parque de la Taconera) within a castle that hosts deer, hens, roosters and peacocks. Spain is so whimsical at times. He was nice enough to walk us to our hotel (NH Iruna Park €40), before he left to go on a weekend trip of his own to the Pyrenees. I look forward to reading what he’s written about us in his report.
When we finally arrived at our hotel, we were just happy to have clean and private rooms. Turns out Klaus had emailed us letting us know he’s arrived early due to having to stop 3 KM in on the trail. Apparently he got the spins and had to lay down for two hours. He was lucky to make it to the next town and hitchike to the hotel. Meanwhile, we had no way of getting a hold of Thomas. Luckily I had given him my contact info the night before and he was able to e-mail me. By then it was too late, as I saw the e-mail hours later. He found himself an albuergue near the center, and couldn’t leave due to a festival blocking the roads. We got to eat at a very forgettable bar nearby the hotel and all fell into a deep slumber. Can we just bus it to Puente La Reina tomorrow?