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Camino de Santiago, Day 4: Zubiri to Pamplona

The Church of St. Stephen

The Church of St. Stephen

Today was another long and difficult day that was simultaneously wonderful.   We walked 22 kilometers (13.6 miles).  The trail was flatter but hard because of the cumulative pain caused by the previous four days of walking.

We walked through many small villages.  In one, we stopped for a coffee and bought a baguette, olives, manchego cheese and salami and made delicious sandwiches.  So simple and good.

The sun was shining and it got quite hot.  In one tiny town, I drank about a gallon of water from a fountain before comprehending the sign beside it that said in Spanish “Not safe for drinking”.  Great. So now I probably have worms.

Jamie and I walked separately most of the time and met up in agreed upon villages. About four hours in I caught up with Jamie at a fork in the road.  Just minutes earlier a woman had walked past me, told me she was a local and that at the fork I should walk to the right, to the church.  The church was at the top of a hill and the trail was not inviting but Jamie agreed to take that route since it had been recommended.  We were so glad we did.

The Church of St. Stephen in Zabaldika

At the top was the Church of St. Stephen, a tiny church built in the early 13th century that has not had any major renovations since.  At the door, a woman greeted us and handed us a copy of the Beatitudes of the Pilgrim.  Inside, the church was cool and dark.  A crucifix hung with neon green post-its surrounding it.  Looking closer, these were personal notes, written in many languages, that pilgrims had left.  I left two.  Behind the altar was a retablo made in the 17th century.  It looked like new.  We were allowed to climb to the bell tower through a tiny stone circular staircase.  When we got to the top, we each rang a bell.   Apparently, the bronze bell that Jamie rang is said to be the oldest in the whole region of Navarra Spain.

We continued for a while through natural areas before arriving in a suburb of Pamplona.  It was streets from then on.  My feet were killing.  Jamie was doing fine.  I basically hobbled into Pamplona like a hunchback.  Now the blisters have arrived.  But I got a good tip today – remove the adhesive from pantyliners and place the whole thing on the ball of your foot wrapping around the sides of your foot – supposed to really help with blisters.  And also, slather your feet with Vaseline.  Will try.

In Pamplona, we are staying at a refuge which houses 110+ people under one roof – a former Jesuit church.  It’s a madhouse of pilgrims.  So tired.  Tomorrow we rest.

Photos of the Day:


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