Sun 20 Sep - Day 6: Pamplona to Uterga 17km

86km walked, 699km left to walk.

Hey, down to under 700km to walk after today. And more than 10% of the Camino  completed. 

I waved goodbye to the Pamplona albergue at 8am after breakfast and getting slightly annoyed at the non pilgrims who stayed there. 

Of the 5 bunk beds with guests in my room, only me and a Spaniard were pilgrims. The other three were travelers and party people. So all three were still in bed as I left. No light on. 

Another guest from another room came into the breakfast room and asked us to be quieter. At 7.30am. Very unpilgrim behavior. 

First hour walking out of Pamplona was mostly on hard surface. Suburbs. The University of Navarre district. 

Nice enough but tough on feet and knees. 
Hasta la vista Pamplona. Looking back. 
The little town of Zariquiegui, yep that's it's name, was perfectly placed for morning coffee and croissant some 2 1/2 hours into the walk. For 2€ it was a steal. 
It also started to warm up and eventually it became quite a hot and dry day. 

These windmills have been visible along a ridge almost from the beginning and we were steadily approaching them. 
Of course, at the top of the ridge there is a well known point on the pilgrim trail. You can see a tiny little bit below. 
Yes, Alto del Perdon at 790 meters has a familiar wrought iron representation of medieval pilgrims. 

And an old bloke in green too it appears. 
Here he is again...
Unfortunately, this place has become a bit of a tourist hotspot.

Hey, it did feature in the movie "The Way". Still, today's highlight. 
But it brings a tear to the eye when you see signs like this (furthest right sign). Even if it is misspelt. Or spelt the Spanish way. 
Alto de Perdon was a very windy spot and the wind turbines spun with their whining sound. They were indeed this close. 
On the other side of Alto de Perdon down towards Uterga, it looked very much like countless Australian fire trails. 

Except the excessive vortexing that goes on. 
For uninitiated readers, vortexing is what our family calls this odd pseudo spiritual custom of arranging round rocks in a pile on top of each other. We saw it in the desert states of the U.S. and we saw it in Scotland among others. 

I had yet again an early quits by stopping for the night in Uterga. 

Camino del Perdon was the name of the albergue and it turned out to also be a very popular stop for lunch or for a drink.  And not just for peregrinos either.

I took this photo later in the afternoon.  
But wait. What is that to the right?
Could it be the horse of the first riding pilgrim? There was a saddle on it. 

Remember, there are 3 allowed pilgrimage ways; by foot, by bike or by horse. It must be as that will now be part of the story. 

Well, the afternoon and evening finished off boozy. In the late afternoon, before dinner, I had a couple of beers with Bob and Terry, a lovely American couple who only found each other in May. And now walking the Camino together in September. Brave. 

Bob is a pick up truck / ex army / survivor kind of guy from Fort Lauderdale, FLA and Terry is a lass from small town Maine (never figured out from where). She had spent a total of 1 day in Bar Harbor for example. 

We followed up on the afternoon beer by having "menú del peregrino" dinner together accompanied with plenty of local Riojo. Dinner was very good with plenty of veggies which you miss very quickly on the Camino. 

Here are the lovebirds:
We were later joined by a Maryland lass / Guatemalian origin called Marina with the first a being the pronunced vowel. Sorry no pic of her.

A little after 9pm I thought the better of it and excused myself and returned to base. Bob, boy can he drink!!! 

I am not sure whether it comes across in the picture above but Bob did not subscribe to sun screen today. Nor hat. 

He was also wearing sun glasses. The white skin including from the frames was very prominent on his face. Or rather, the rest of his face was RED. Perhaps a bit from the drinking too. 

Fun fun night. Loud and brash and crappy jokes. Buen Camino. 

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