Day 5 on the Camino Frances, Larrasuona to Pamplona.

By the 5th day, we weren’t too far from Pamplona, even at our leisurely pace. We stopped for breakfast at a town along the trail, and had our usual OJ and Tortilla Espanola, and cafe con leche (coffee and milk)

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We passed over the old bridge at Arre, which used to be home to a monastery and felt making factory. The old diversion channels are still there, and the spray from the falls cooled the air. We walked down the street and if felt like we were in the outskirts of a big city: Pamplona.

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Starting at Arre we were in the suburbs of Pamplona, and we walked through city streets, always on the lookout for the scallop and/or yellow arrow indicating we were on the Camino. We crossed another bridge into Pamplona proper, and found a route through the impressive medieval defensive wall. We made our way through the ancient old city streets to our apartment, which Laura had found. The old city neighborhood could not expand because of the defensive wall, so the streets were narrow, and the buildings tall.

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The apartment was on the second story, and was pretty luxurious by Camino standards. We planned to rest the next day, and try to let Laura’s blisters heal, and send back the gear we were not using every day. We got to see some lovely young ladies doing a Flamenco dance demo in the town square. We had dinner in front of the City Hall, which is behind the dancers. There were many interesting small shops, including a pilgrim shops, where we bought smaller packs than the ones we were shipping from town to town. On our rest day we found the post office and Laura shipped our extra stuff home, while I had some food and got out of the sun.

Pamplona was always a center of Basque influence. It was taken by Muslims in 718, besieged by Charlemagne in 734. Pilgrim travel was ever changing, requiring 8 beds total in one hospice in the 16th century, 50 beds in the 13th century at the same monistary. In the 19th century all pilgrim traffic had basically stopped.