A cold day in Pamplona


After a full night and day of travel (and almost no sleep) I was in bed by 9:00pm. I woke up having no idea of the time and was a little shocked to discover that it was 10:00am! (But the sun doesn’t even rise here until 8:00am so I didn’t feel that bad.)

I looked out the window to see wet pavement and, as predicted, big flakes of snow coming down. A good chance to try out all my layers and poncho. The hostel has a lovely coffee machine so I availed myself of two “cafe solo largo” – a typical Spanish espresso with sugar.

Thus fortified, I bundled up and went to find the “Caminoteca” – a local store with just about everything a peregrina could want or need. I got a pair of decent walking poles and a lightweight, string backpack. And of course, the requisite scallop shell. Met some other pilgrims, some who had started in St. Jean. Then I meandered around a bit and found a little cafe right near my hostel serving a fixed price meal…choice of starter, main, dessert, bread and wine. For €12. (That’s about $13.25.) I had a salad, eggs with “papas rostas” (ie: French fries) and some kind of incredible sausage. For dessert, I had some kind of cream thing with cinnamon and nutmeg. No picture because I ate it too fast!

The sun was trying to peek through so I walked a bit more…checking out the architecture and numerous references to Hemingway. Apparently he got drunk in more than a few places here. And of course, Pamplona was the setting for “The Sun Also Rises.”

I visited several of the bars, including the famous “Cafe Iruna.” Alas, the “Cerveceria” where Hemingway apparently got falling-down drunk and walked out into the Plaza in nothing but his underpants has closed. But I had several glasses of “vino tinto” (red wine) in his honor.

After an early (for Spain, anyway) meal, I headed back to the hostel and bed. My plan is to take my first real step on the Camino by 9:00am tomorrow!

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