Friday, June 3, 2011

Camino De Santiago: Day 1-Pamplona to Puenta La Reina

Day 1! I was SO excited. Unfortunately my first day one of my biggest fears about the Camino (right after bed bugs) came true--I got lost. I couldn't even find the Camino! Eventually I realized that the map I was using didn't indicate that the road I was on, which should have run right into the Camino, was actually an overpass. Once I figured it out (after about 30 minutes of walking around) I ended up climbing down an embankment and jumping through some hedges. Hello Camino!

Day 1 I also learned that while the Camino could go around some mountains, it much prefers to go right over them. My first day included climbing Alto de Perdon--or, the Summit of Forgiveness--the idea being that by the time you have climbed to the top all of your sins will have been atoned for. I was generally in such a good mood about being on the Camino at last, and had fresh feet, that it didn't kill me. 

On the way down I also met my first pilgrim friend! I met Claire from Montreal on the descent and ended up walking with her for the next week or so. 

By the end of the first day I was 100% spent. When we finally found our hostel (at the far end of town, up a giant hill) we stayed put for the night. We had dinner at the hostel (so-so food, but great company), and shuffled around until about 8:30 when we hit the sack!

My shadow...going in the wrong direction!

Man, I learned to love those arrows!

After walking what seemed like forever...still 17.2 km to go!

A memorial + a place for a nice sit down (I'm pretty sure I took advantage of every single one of those in the first days!)

Getting close to the top of Perdon. Also the first of many sets of wind-turbines. 

Pilgrim monument at the top


The town at last! I would soon learn to look for the church bell tower on the horizon--where there was a church, there was a town!

OK, that's day 1 on my Camino! You can check out this for my update from the scene of the crime. 

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