Friday, 7 June 2013

Day 9: Trinadad de Arre - Puente la Reine

Today was a day of fuck-ups, although none of lasting consequence. First up was leaving my water bottle at the convent - cue a 3km walk back to try and rescue it. I've never quite emptied it, so there's a little bit of water from Lourdes in there. Yes, crazy I know, but that's the Catholic side of the family coming out of me, I suppose. Water bottle rescued, I met up with Ron and Kib in Pamplona: they'd finished looking around and were keen to get cracking, while I'd set my radar to 'breakfast' and was keen to sit down for a bit. I found a lovely cafe just down from the cathedral, and had a couple of hours of reading the news over excellent coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. The Spanish seem to have lots of juice in glass bottles - this stuff was the real deal, and bloody good too. 

The weather was pretty cool so I wasn't too concerned about walking in the early afternoon, and set out at midday. Just after I left Cizue Menor I got talking to a Spanish guy called Joame. Fortunately he spoke excellent French and was hobbling along at the same pace as me, so we spent the rest of the afternoon talking about all sorts of things. You tend to have very random conversations when you meet someone you get on with - its one of the aspects of the walking pilgrimage that makes the Camino such fun. Have I already said that..?! We also shared a few cold drinks with Sergio, the crazy Italian man who is walking the Canino with his roller-case. Sergio is lovely, but the baggage must be hell for him. He seems pretty cool though. 

Joame and me
As we reached the final couple of kilometres the skies opened - we'd heard rolls of thunder, and could see the dark colours banking up. Poor Joame really didn't think much of this, but to me it was like a good downpour back in New Zealand - and we were almost home, albeit certainly not dry. 

I'd realised during the day that I've been carrying too much food with me, so supper was ciabatta with tomato and the tin of pâté I've been carrying since France - the remaining bit will be breakfast tomorrow. During this time I'd also been going through my emails as the albergue has free wifi, and checked to see that I'd passed the second year of my geography degree at UCL. I hadn't! My number wasn't on the list of successful students, and I spent the next 10 minutes pondering failure. I thought I'd done reasonably well in my exams, and was completely broadsided by this, to the extent that I'd sent a slightly panicky email to my professor. After 10 minutes I sheepishly realised that I'd been looking for my student number, rather than my exam candidate number. I've passed and can now spend tonight worrying about fuck-up number three for the day - accidentally washing my waterproof earphones when I did my laundry this afternoon. 

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far - if you'd like to support CPRE and Motability (the charities I'm raising funds for) the link is: