#Camino day one: Pamplona to Puente la Reina

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They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, and while my journey isn’t quite that far, it is quite far. My guide reckons this first stage is around 12 miles, so today I’ve walked something like 24,000 steps. It may not be a thousand miles but my journey is well and truly started.

I set of at about 8.15am. It was raining and about three degrees. Not a great start but I was so excited to actually get going that I didn’t really mind. I was layered up beyond regocnition in waterproofs anyway!

So I set of out of Pamplona and headed to the first town, Cizur Menor. By the time I reached there at about 9am I had switched from wearing gloves to sunglasses and headed out into the lush green Spanish countryside.

It’s spectacular here, beautiful fields and rolling hills. As an English woman I feel right at home!

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Around this point I met Danny, the first other peregrino (pilgrim) that I spoke to. He is from Barcelona and this his eighth Camino. He said this is the prettiest part of any of the routes he’s walked.

Danny was a bit too fast for me so we parted ways after a bit. But I wished him a Buen Camino (and actually bumped into him a couple more times in the day)!

Next I headed for the apparently ‘fearsome’ Alto Perdón, which was not really so fearsome, although it was the only major hill of the day. And very windy.

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On the way up I met Paul, a former manufacturer from Oregon and now a connsumate traveller and extremely efficient backpacker. His pack is less than half the size of mine!

We walked for a while and stopped for lunch in a little bar full of other peregrinos where we had tortilla and some delicious olives as well as a pretty-much-obligatory caña (small beer). Amazing after a morning of walking!

After lunch we continued along our way and eventually met Elke, who is from Germany and is doing the Camino in stages. This time she’s here for seven days.

We formed a bit of a Camino crew and headed to Puente la Reina together. It’s a pretty little town and apparently has the most notable bridge on the pilgrimage.

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Best of all, we’ve found a great hostel with a sunny roof terrace, so that’s where I’m resting now. Feet a bit tired and, annoyingly, one knee a bit sore but I reckon some stretching and rest and it will be fine. There’s a long way to go yet!

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