This rain in Spain was not on the plain

Nope, it was in the foothills.

Another 16 km today. A short day, but I stretched yesterday.

Today starts cold and raw outside, about 5 Celsius outside.  It’s wet, but not raining at the moment.  It’ll be another raw hike today, but I should get warm enough from body heat to deal with it.

I’ve booked a nice hotel for the night, under Euro 95 with breakfast.  I should be in early enough to see a bit of the city, do my daily laundry, and get a good meal.  Hopefully I’ll post these last few entries all at the same time.  Assuming good Wi-Fi.  Maybe I’ll eve find a place to get a local, Spain SIM for the second phone and be less restricted by my U.S. plan’s 5 GB limitation.

Started off this morning a bit stiff and later than the previous days.  But I needed the rest.  I got a little over 8 hours of sleep, got up cause it was chilly in the room, dealt with the shared bathroom, and had breakfast – I was the first one down for brekkie at about 7:45.  Nothing fancy, some quiche (heated in the microwave), bread, chocolate cake, juice and tea.  Enough to sustain without being puncified.  

The hike today was along the forested river valley, with a couple of stretches on roads…. Until we left the river path, climbed a hill, and then descended into Arre.  I got lunch in Villava about 1 PM because the little villages generally had no restaurants (or they were closed).  There was a little place on the river at Zuriain, but that was too early for me – if I’d stayed in Zubiri last night it would have been great.  I was hoping to get food at Horno Irotz, which bakes its own bread and pizza and reputed to be good, but the gate was closed despite it being after 11.  Oh, well.

The little bar in Villava was decent but left me wondering whether one can call pancetta and egg with French fries as “bacon and eggs”.  Close enough.  3 miles to go so I pushed on through city streets (and missed a turn that was not well marked, but caught it quickly), and got to the hotel by 3.

Saw Bettina on the trail – she and I crossed paths in St. Jean and Roncesvalles at the hotels – apparently she went to Zubiri yesterday, took a taxi to Pamplona, and returned by taxi this AM.  Nice that she has 2 nights in Pamplona.

For me, that would have meant missing the local folks that I hoped to find, so both would have been positives.  

Met 2 Swiss couples today and gladly exchanged photos of each other.

The hotel turned out even better than I hoped: the room has a deep soaking bathtub.  I haven’t had a bath in years (don’t even think it…. I do shower instead).  I’ve already spent almost an hour soaking and a bit more doing clothes.  ahhhh….

The light day was nice today along with the bath.  I’ll need the strength for tomorrow as there is another steep climb to Alto del Perdon and the pilgrims monument.  About 24 km.  I’ll stay in Puenta la Reina.

Oh, and I’ve seen no bulls in Pamplona.  I know you were wondering.