Camino Frances Day 4 – Zubiri to Pamplona

Cafe-La-Parada-de-Zuriain
Walking past Zubiri Manganese Mine

Have walked 66 km so far with about 754 km to go. Left Zubiri at just before 8am, a late Start. After about 30min caught up to the group of pilgrims who could not find any accommodation and had to cab from Zubiri to Pamplona for accommodation and then cab back to Zubiri to continue the walk.

Pleasant walk up this morning and out of Zubiri and past the manganese mine and a stop to replenish water at Akerreta

The hamlet of Esteribar has a nice pilgrim shelter and water fountain built in 1917. The water is potable and we refilled our bottles here after a stopped for a short rest and snack. Soon after descending a hill, 150m or so past the village of Ilarratz, there is an old building on the right. An odd looking building and it was hard to work out what it was. We wandered in as there were a couple of other pilgrims looking around.

We chatted to the owners and were given some history of the building which is the  Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz. (Click the link for more info).

Neill from South Africa was a pilgrim some years ago and was looking for a place to restore along the Camino trail, he found this church – long fallen into disrepair.

It had been the C16th Church of St Lucia and has a fascinating History. There were intriguing signs that indicate the building was originally a C12th fort of possibly Templar origin. Another stamp here for my Pilgrim Credential

The route then generally follows the banks of the Argo river until Zuriam where we crossed the bridge and stopped for lunch next to the river at the Cafe La Parada de Zuriain.

Generally followed by the banks of the Argo river until Zuriam where we crossed the bridge and stopped for lunch next to the river at the Cafe La Parada de Zuriain.

Pamplona suburb Villava
Pamplona suburb Villava

After lunch we soon reached the outer suburbs of Pamplona

A stone cross, probably built in the 16th century, indicates the entry into the city of the Pilgrims’ Way to Santiago at one end of the bridge; the cross bears an image of St James.

Pilgrims cross Puente de la Magdalena
16th Century Pilgrims Cross

Had to get my phone onto a local network with internet data. took the opportunity to stop in a Vodaphone phone shop on the way into Pamplona. I now have Spanish phone number and 4gig of data. Lot easier to call ahead now if needed to check on accommodation. The Vodaphone man in Pamplona was extremely helpful and we got along so well talking about Spain I forgot my hiking sticks. So my first phone call was to come back to the shop. I was just across the road anyway. He was enjoying the conversation so much he forgot to ask me to pay! My 2nd phone call he kindly brought my sticks over to me and I gave him some money.

We entered the old city of Pamplona over the Magdalena bridge. This is the most important of the four mediaeval bridges that cross the river Arga as is passes through Pamplona. It was built in the 12th century and later reformed in the 14th.

Puente de la Magdalena
Puente de la Magdalena – Pamplona

I have been walking for a while with Steve a retired aviation medical doctor from the UK and Stephani an environmental scientists from California. Unfortunately we had to split up after arriving a Pamplona. Steve has a rest day. When I left Stephani she was still wandering Pamplona trying to find accommodation. I had to be off to my accommodation and be there by 3pm or they will give my bed to someone else!

Walked 24k today and did some extra with a ‘short cut’ which added 1k and had to walk about 1k off track through the Pamplona to the other side of the city to a hostel that still had beds. After some searching found the Aloha Hostel and on my arrival I saw several people being turned away. Some even asking if they can sleep on the floor somewhere! Fortunately I had a bed reserved and was given a top bunk again in a 4 person room. This time sharing with German tourists not other Pilgrims. The Bunk bed has been set up to mimic jelly. The slightest move and it jiggles all over the place. Must be a clever Spanish earthquake proof design.

Pamplona Cathedral
Pamplona Cathedral

Good but very tiring walk today. Wore my shoes today after making some modifications to the insole. Engineering solution to create more space for toe. Everything else just hurts but in a normal sort of way.

Anyway cleaned up and washing done so time to go for a WALK 🙁 and explore the city, Visit the Pamplona Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María la Real de pamplona) find somewhere for dinner. By chance ran into Stephanie and Steve so we headed to the Tapas (Pichos) Bars Pamplona is famous for. The night life is amazing lots of families out enjoying the evening, bars and food.


Had a great night out in Pampalona great atmosphere here in the evenings had 2 dinners and said farewell to my walking companions. Most people that started with me are taking a rest day tomorrow.

11.30 pm and the temperature is still 29 degrees. Sleeping with 6 other people on bunk beds in a small room with no fan or aircon!! I was also hoping to be up early as the weather forecast is for 36 C tomorrow and there is another mountain for me to walk up. tomorrow. I am used to walking in the heat a mountain at 36 deg is still going to be hard!!

Have planned a shorter day tomorrow 18.5 km.

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