First Day in Pamplona

  • Sept. 21 – Zubiri to Pamplona. 20.3 kilometers.

I left the little village of Zubiri as part of a small army of pilgrims and hiked through miles of farmland, enjoyed the heart-stopping spectacle of one of my fellows reaching through an electrified fence to pet a pony and, by some miracle, being neither shocked nor bitten, crossed half a dozen medieval stone bridges, was invited by a kind old woman into a 13th-century church, where a solitary young Asian woman wearing boots and a parka unaccountably put her face into her upturned palms and sobbed, climbed through the ancient fortifications of Pamplona to my hostel, visited the Plaza del Castillo, where I fed bits of an ice-cream cone to an eager sparrow whose head feathers stuck out at improbable angles, was reminded that much of The Sun Also Rises takes place in Pamplona and so, since Iā€™m carrying it in my Kindle, revisited this superb piece of work, had dinner at an outdoor square along the old city walls, the Rincon del Caballo Blanco, where five gifted people performed flamenco as the sun set ā€“ the singing brave and soulful, and the guitar work miraculous ā€“ and then made my way back home, through a street where hundreds of young people sat on the cobbles, talking, laughing, and exhorting each other to future greatness.

I am taking an extra day to see Pamplona. I will start walking again on Saturday, 9/23.

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Nice Hemmingwayesqueness. I’ve never seen/heard live Flamenco. Thanks for adding to my bucket list.

  2. A space to cry is one of the beautiful and necessary things that church gives me. I’m not surprised at all that you saw it in that 13th-century church.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *