Zubiri to Pamplona — 21.5 kilometers

After going to bed at midnight and awakeningI at 7a.m. in our quaint little hostel in Zubiri, I found Dick sitting at the side of the bed. He had been awake since 3 a.m. I think  he was contemplating whether or not he should walk today with his sore feet. He decided he would give it the old college try and we would walk together. We went downstairs to check out and the receptionist convinced us to stay and eat breakfast. Neither of us was hungry but having a little coffee sounded good. We’ve both had queazy stomachs since the first day and eating just doesn’t sound good to either of us. The receptionist was so nice and kept up a lively conversation with us the whole time. Then she made reservations for us at a hotel in the Old Town section of Pamplona.

We began our walk on a bridge over a beautiful river with multiple waterfalls. The Camino path started alongside this river and went through wooded areas where we crossed over little streams and most of the time we were shaded by huge trees and again the path was dotted with colorful wild flowers. This was the most beautiful part of the walk yet — I think it was because we could hear the flowing river as we walked along.

But Dick was having a hard time. Whereas I wanted to keep walking, he needed to stop for frequent breaks because his feet hurt him so badly. It didn’t matter if we were going uphill, downhill or on a level path he needed to stop every few yards. We got to know quite a few people on the trail because we would pass them, then they would pass us when Dick took his breaks. And then I’d explain to them in Spanish that Dick was having problems with his feet.

The breaks were difficult for me because I knew we were headed for Pamplona and the walk was only 21.5 kilometers and we should have been making good time. The path wasn’t too difficult, some up, some down and some nice level spots. But it didn’t matter what it was, Dick needed more and more breaks and I didn’t want to leave him and walk on ahead. The breaks didn’t seem to alleviate the pain much but he’d also take breaks because his backpack hurt and he needed to get it off his shoulders for a few minutes of relief. It was surprising how many people we saw who carried day packs or hardly anything at all. They were having their backpacks shipped to their destination for the night by big vans that would deliver them. I think about half the people we saw did this. The other half carried full packs like we were doing.

Finally, after a very long day we were approaching Pamplona. It was funny because I didn’t know where we were so I asked Siri how far away I was from Pamplona and she actually answered and said we were one and a half miles away. And here I didn’t think she would be able to find us in Spain! Somehow we started walking with a young couple from the States who had flown over here to do the Camino for 4 days. Wow, all that trouble for 4 days. Anyway, the girl said she did research in human behavior, about why people do the things they do and what they do that brings on illness. She then said she was trying to analyze her own behavior in wanting to do the Camino and she felt that anyone who did it might be trying to punish themselves a little. We laughed about that and I agreed. Remember, this is a Pilgrimage of St. James and it has gone on since 900 AD. To me a Pilgrimage is a penance and a penance is a punishment. So are we all here to punish ourselves? I knew that punishment was certainly what Dick was getting right now.

Dick was hurting so much that he said he couldn’t go on one minute more. We were only about a half a mile from our hotel but he couldn’t make it. There were no taxis in sight so we saw an Albergue and had the person inside call a taxi for us. It arrived in 2 minutes and in 3 minutes more we were at our hotel, Hotel Europe, located in the heart of Old Town. It was now 4 p.m. and this whole walk had taken us 8 hours. We were dead tired but had to shower and wash our clothes and hang them to dry — something we did every night. Then we went to the central square of Pamplona and chose a cute sidewalk cafe for dinner. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast but again neither of us was hungry. The waiter suggested I order the fish because it was so good. He said it was cuddlefish, a mild white fish but when he brought it to the table it looked like an octopus with it’s arms and tentacles sticking out. Not very appetizing! It tasted o.k. but was rubbery and chewy so I only ate a few bites.

Back at the hotel Dick decided he couldn’t do this trek any longer but that he didn’t want to go home. He decided he would take a bus to our next stop tomorrow and meet me there. We never dreamed this would happen but now we’ll just have to go with the flow.

Sent from Karen’s iPad

4 thoughts on “DICK NO CAN DO”

  1. I’m sure sorry that Dick’s feet are giving him so much pain. What a trooper that he even attempted to walk with them hurting so bad. It sounds like having him be your ground support team, going on ahead via bus or taxi, finding a comfy hotel/hostel for the night and having a nice glass of wine waiting for you when you arrive will be the best for both of you. I’m sure he is bummed, but there may be a silver lining in that compromise. And you can bet that I would be sending my backpack on ahead if given the chance! Big hugs to you both.

  2. Thanks to Joanne, I have found you and will be following along on your journey. I didn’t see any background info regarding the two of you – ages, experience, fitness level, etc. so I am wondering about those things. I have a friend who is 60 and very fit who is about to embark on a 100 mile portion of the Camino, but not the whole thing, like you are doing. I agree with Joanne that it is probably best that you go along with your husband as your support system. In this way, you can still “share” the experience to some extent. Mucho admiration to both of you!

  3. Sorry about all of Dick foot problems. I know that is unbelievably painful. So glad he is doing it by bus.

    We enjoy getting your blog. It is like being there! We both know we could never do it.

  4. so very sorry for Dick’s problems!! very frustrating for him I know but we have to adjust & be flexible as I know you folks are. God Bless!!!

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