Day 6: at Pamplona and Day 7: Pamplona to Uterga

Day 6 was a rest day from the Camino. I did meet up with an amateur radio friend, Ignacio, who lives in Pamplona. We went up to a hilltop and made radio contacts with about 20 different amateurs in various countries. But this blog is about walking so the details of the radio activity will be on VK1DA.blog.

Early in day 6 I looked at the blisters forming on my smallest toes on both feet. Clearly something was going wrong and I needed to treat the blisters and also prevent more blisters from forming. I mentioned this problem to my radio friend Ignacio and he offered to help me deal with the blisters. His wife kindly brought over some basic first aid items, released the pressure of liquid that had built up in the blister and applied a Compeed blister dressing to stabilise it while it healed. This made a big difference to my walking comfort and within about a week there was not much sign that there had been a blister.

The other change I made was to use the blister prevention treatment, which amounts to simply applying a waxy substance to each toe and my heels. I continued that treatment for the rest of the entire walk.

After dealing with the toe Ignacio took me up to a local hilltop for some radio contacts with other radio amateurs around Europe. After playing radio for an hour or two we packed up the radio equipment and antenna and Ignacio took me back to Pamplona where I was treated to a meal with his family. More details of the radio work at VK1DA.blog.

I started day 7 by sorting through my backpack and identifying items I could do without for the next 4-5 weeks. Then I went to the Correos (post) office a few hundred metres away and posted them to myself at the post office in Santiago de Compostela. The parcel weight was 3.5kg so I felt that was well worthwhile. That meant my pack would be 3.5 kg lighter for the rest of the trip.

The walk from Pamplona starts with a route through the outer areas of the city and gradually becomes more rural. As I was leaving from a point about 750m south of the cathedral I cut across to the Camino trail and joined it at a convenient point.

In Pamplona
Map of the standard route and where my path intersected with it

After threading past commercial areas the path gradually becomes more rural traversing cultivated land and a forest area in which there was this food stand. Donations only. I didn’t want any cut fruit as it was open to insects but I bought a few items.

I continued up the path finally reaching the village of Zariquiegui. I stopped there for coffee and bought a bread stick and some sliced meat to be eaten at the top of the climb.

Looking back at Pamplona you get a distant view of the city.

As you approach the ridge you are increasingly aware of the many wind turbines producing electrical power. It is a long ridge and there are many turbines.

On this ridge Alto Perdon, there is a sculpture made famous by the film “the way”. It shows a group of pilgrims in silhouette.

After leaving the Alto Perdon and its pilgrim monument and wind turbines, I walked carefully down the very rocky path on the southern side of the ridge, eventually reaching a flatter walking area where the wind was almost calm and the heat built up. Approaching Uterga I decided that was enough for one day and called into the albergue on the left side of the road, taking a welcome shower, washing my clothes and hanging them on a rope line available, then sitting down with a cold drink soon afterwards.

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