Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thur. May 12, San Sebastian to Pamplona to Uterga

Alto del Perdon

Sometimes you're the pigeon and sometimes you're the statue. Today I was the statue and the Camino dumped all over me. But now we are in Uterga and all is well.

We took a 9am bus from San Sebastian to Pamplona and walked out of the bus station, through the park by the Citadel and out of Pamplona by 10:30am. Surprisingly, after a wonderful two day rest, every step was tough. Go figure. Dayton was continually pointing out how the path was the same as two years ago and how it had been improved and I just put my head down, looked at my boots and just made like the 'little engine that could'.

We climbed to the Alto del Perdon where there is the metal sculpture of pilgrims crossing the mountain and then walked down into Uterga. We are now staying at the alberque in Uterga where John, Dayton and I enjoyed our first real Camino stop two years ago. It was as welcomed and welcoming as then and we were happy to meet Stefanie, the German lady we walked up to Orisson with. She and her Camino friend, Hadie, had taken a two day break in Pamplona at a five star hotel over looking the Playa Mayor. Stefanie said that if she had had to carry that heavy card with its magnetic stripe, she might as well use it . So she booked and charged her luxury hotel and enjoyed every minute of it.

Here in Uterga we've enjoyed a wonderful three course meal with gigantic portions and fantastic friendly service. Once again on the Camino we are reminded of and appreciate the smallest pleasures in life. At home, we tend to live an instant gratification live - "if I want it or I need it, I'll buy it - now". If the grocery stores are closed one day for a holiday, everyone thinks they have to lay in for a seige and the line ups at the stores are unbelievable. Here, we get so excited when we find a store open and we can buy one apple and a banana to share or even better cafe stop. Hot water for the showers or an internet to contact home is a bonus. It is good to recognize that pleasures don't have to be big or expensive.

We have two very short days ahead of us. Tomorrow only about 15 kms into Ciraqui and then the next day to Estella. Perfect.

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