Camino de Santiago day 1-4

Day One: St Jean Pied de Port-Espinal,
32,36 km, asc 1630 m, 9:59h
September 12th, 2016

    • Glorious crossing of the Pyrenées in 35 degrees C.
    • The 1500m+ ascent is very gradual on fine roads.
    • The Roncesvalles albergue was packed. I was number 192 in the queue, so chose to move on to Espinal at 5 pm.
    • I was completely alone on the trail after 5 pm.

      Crossing of the Pyrenees. Camino de Santiago
      Crossing of the Pyrenees

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

Day Two: Espinal-Pamplona
35,6 km, asc/desc 723/1116m, 11:48h
September 13th, 2016

  • A long day, walked through a thunder stom before checking in at a hotel in Pamplona completely exhausted at 9 pm.
  • The receptionist had apparently left, had to call via booking.com for him to arrive.
  • The road into Pamplona comes close to major highways and is not very attractive.
  • Again I was alone on the trail after 3 pm.
  • The riverside Café in Irotz was r a great place to relax.

    On the way to Pamplone
    On the way to Pamplona

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

Day Three: Pamplona-Uterga
17,29 km, asc/desc 422/379, 5:50h
September 14th, 2016

  • 99% of pilgrims leave before 8 am and finish walking at around 3 pm, thus the way to avoid the crowds is: Leave late-arrive late
  • Arriving late means risk of no space in communal albergues. However private albergues may be booked in advance, though they normally ask you to arrive before 4 pm.
  • Best way to book hotels on the Camino: booking.com. Many private albergues also use this service.
  • Left Pamplona at 11 am and was alone on the trail as the crowd had already lef
  • I only walked 17,29 km as I was exhausted after the two previous days

    Out of Pamplona
    Out of Pamplona

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

Day Four: Uterga-Estella
31,44 km, asc/desc 549/576m, 12:44h
September 15th, 2016

  • 90% of pilgrims follow the stages described in the Brierly guide book.
  • Thus, accomodation is a lot easier to find outside these places, though apparently mid-September is still high season
  • I have discovered the “Camino Police” or rather they have discovred me: Fellow pilgrims, complete strangers coming up telling me that I am walking the Camino the “wrong way” – ie. not using hiking poles, walking too late in the afternoon, using wrong boots. Curiously, those people have no hiking/long-distance walking experience themselves, basing their advice on 4-5 days walk on the Camino.
  • Both Punte de la Reina and Estella are beautiful medieval cities with remarkable bridges
  • The albergues in Lorca make great Paella.

    The famous bridge at Punte de la Reina
    The famous bridge at Punte de la Reina

The complete photogallery of this day is available on flickr.

This post is part of the Camino de Santiago in 24 days series.

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