Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day Three: Zubiri to Pamplona

What a beautiful day! It is only my third day of walking, but already I feel like I've been walking for much longer, like it is natural to rise with the sun carrying all my belongings miles to the next town. My body is sore, but the good kind of sore like you get after a tough work out; the kind of sore that reminds you that you are pushing yourself and will be better when you come through. 

The weather couldn't have been more  gorgeous today: sunny and breezy. We rose at seven this morning (a little late, but after all that rain and wind I've caught a cold and am sleeping in shifts in between blowing my nose) and went to find breakfast complete with cafe con leche. After breakfast we started our walk: up a giant hill, across a muddy field, and then onto a beautiful wooded path frequented by cows and horses. The quiet of the woods was only interrupted by the squish of our boots in the mud and the occasional greeting as pilgrims passed each other on the trail. At one point, just after we passed Larissona, we were walking along the river and thought: I hope there is a cafe over that bridge for us to stop in for a coffee -- and as we came over the bridge, right there on the river, was a cafe where all the pilgrims ahead of us were already sitting and drinking. It was such a welcomed sight, both the cafe and our fellow pilgrims. In just a short time, we pilgrims have formed a sense of community -- we don't all know each other's names or even speak the same language, but we recognize each other when we pass on the trail or in the towns and smile to greet one another; the sight of my fellow pilgrims makes me feel more at home. 

After we left the cafe, we walked and walked and walked until we finally came to the city of Pamplona. (That would be six and a half hours covering twenty seven kilometers.) I am staying at Albergue de Maria y Jesus, the municipal hostal located just across from the church (which unfortunately is locked except for when they are giving tours that cost eight euro ...) The albergue is inside of an old monestary, and the arched ceilings are gorgeous -- I feel like I'm sleeping inside a church! 

After I checked into my Albergue, Vera and I went off in search of food and found a restaurant that served my favorite: croquetas de jamon. (I've been waiting to eat these since my last trip to Spain!) We originally sat down at an outdoor restaurant on the plaza, but they didn't start serving food until eight -- don't they know that pilgrims are in bed by nine?!? After our bellies were full, we went to the market to get the makings for lunch tomorrow. (Nutella on fresh baguette with carrots and kinder eggs.) and now I'm back at the Albergue tucked into my bunk and ready to rest. As always, tomorrow brings with it the promise of lots of walking!! 

Here are a few pictures of today: 

Obligatory morning selfie -- ready to take on the day in the sun!! 

Hello pretty mountains and green fields! 

Someone told me today "My boots have seen better days." I told her that mine haven't -- they have been waiting their whole lives to be on the Camino!! 

Pretty cool place to sleep for the night, huh? Did I mention this place is run by the Jesuits? 

I know you've all been dying to see how my feet are doing ... haha My feet look loads better than those of most pilgrims. 

And my bed for the night. 

Also: some exciting news today -- I received an email inviting me to interview at Trinity School if Medicine!! I couldn't be more excited!! My new friends in the Albergue and I celebrated with chocolate. haha Today's walk was less strenuous than the first two days, so I had more time to focus on prayer than focusing on the mountain I had to climb; all day I prayed that whatever my future was to hold, that I receive a sign so that I can pursue it with my whole heart leaving no regrets or what ifs. And when I got back to my Albergue after dinner to check my email, there it was. It is only an interview, not an acceptance, but it is a step in the right direction. On a related note, it appears my prayers are pretty powerful over here, so if there is anything that you would like me to pray for, leave it in a comment and I'll be sure to pray for it as I continue my journey. 

Now it is time for sleep. I think I will dream of mountains growing smaller, bridges over rivers, and all the adventures that still await me, both here and at home. 

Buen Camino. 



  1. Hope your cold passes quickly! Congratulations on the interview for Trinity School of Medicine!

  2. alright jena with the super prayer power . . . barry is interviewing thursday for a job that would require a very exciting relocation. please and thank you. loving the sleeping situation, by the way. methinks i could sleep there just fine.

  3. I just realized that my comments from my phone don't post! Ah!
    CONGRATS on your interview! That's amazing that it came at such a perfect time and I'm so happy for you. I have been keeping you in my prayers and will now pray especially hard for your feet and cold!
    Keep it up Jena! I hope each day is always better than the last!

  4. Lunch Buddy! I knew you would get an interview, I've definitely been praying about that (and your trip, of course). Looks like things are marvelous. I'm so happy for you!

  5. Jena, I am loving your blog! It is obvious that you are right where you need to be at this moment in your life. You look so happy and at peace in your photos and your descriptions of your journey are wonderfully written. Thank you so much for sharing - it makes me almost feel like I'm there with you!
    Since you mentioned prayers - would you please include my sister, Mary Lea? She is blind in one eye and now her other eye is having troubles. Please pray for the Great Physician to put his healing hands on her eyes. Thank you. Have a safe journey and keep writing! Love, Shirley

  6. Jena, your blogs have been very inspirational! It is comforting for me to know that you are doing so well. However, today's blog fills me with so many emotions. I am sad that you have a cold, I am relieved that you are out of the steep mountain climbing, I am laughing at the comment about your boots but I am so excited about your interview at Trinity University School of Medicine! Of course, you know I have a lot of questions...because I always do, but if you can trust that God will show you the way, I will trust that eventually, my questions will get answered too! Can't wait for your next post! Love, Mom

  7. So happy about your interview - God's Will be done! Really enjoying your blog, it's like a trip down memory lane for me, been to those places just not on the camino. Our family has decided to read it each night during dinner! Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Please include our Diocesan Youth and the Youth program in your prayers, along with an increase in vocations! Happy Trails.

  8. Looking great Jena!

    1. Glad u r having such a great adventure. We have all liked following along at Healthy Hair. We admire your determination. Long story as to why I haven't been on here but the one time. Too complicated for me but hopefully I've got this now haha. Love horse and donkey pics. Pics of u and scenery are great too.

  9. Jolene: I will keep Barry and your whole family in my prayers. I slept really well under those beautiful arches!

    Lunch Buddy: Thanks so much!!

    Danielle: Thanks!! I am keeping you in prayer as well. It is kind if killing me not to call you an pour over all the details of the interview / what the emails from the dean said, but it will have to wait until I am not being charged a dollar a minute. haha

    Lunch Buddy (agai): it won't let me add to where I started you ... Silly phone. You are in my prayers as well!!

    Shirley: I will keep Mary Lea and your whole family in my prayers! I am glad you are enjoying the blog -- it is fun to write and re-cap at the end of the day.

    Marmee: All will be well!! We will talk all about it when I get home.

    Susan: I am so glad that your family can share in my experience! I am definitely keeping the youth of our diocese in my prayers as well as the youth of the whole church worldwide, including an increase in vocations.

    Becky: I've seen so many horses, but none for me to ride! I am praying for you and your whole family!!

  10. No more pics of the blisters please. Haha