This morning we woke up at 6:00 to be ready to go at 7:30, I don’t think Hayden and Deb are morning people. They are quickly becoming so over here though. German pronounced (Hareman), the owners son sat with us for almost an hour, his wife and child there also. He speaks very little English but with the translators on our computers we communicated just fine. He wants me to email him the particulars about Deb’s muscular dystrophy. He is in the medical field of some sort and was telling us about some new products that they are working on in Spain for muscular weakness. He thinks it might be helpful for her.
He also helped us send Debs bags ahead by taxi, we can get so much more distance from her chair without them. Then he reserved a room in Pamplona that was handicap accessible, so Deb has nothing to worry about on our days walk. Last night seemed to rattle her when everything was full. I keep reminding her that:
1) The Camino will provide
2) We can always just call a taxi from the next biggest town
3) 112 is Spains 911 we will be fine, God has got this.
So off we go about 9:00, a little later than I like to get out but German has got us covered no matter how late we get to Pamplona. I planned to check into the Jesus y Maria alburgue to see if we could stay there before we went to the 58€ hotel even though that would be nicer, Deb wants the hotel, I want the alburgue at 8€. It is nice to have options.
We walked for about 3 km to Zuriain along the busy N 135, after German came running after us to tell us in Spain walkers are on the left side of the road to see the oncoming traffic. We could have walked either side since bicycles (velos) go on the right and Deb is wheeled but the left seems to work out well. At first it was a little scary seeing the cars coming, maybe it would be better to never see them. But traffic is not very thick and most of the time Deb can walk beside me instead of behind or in front. We have always felt that is how we are supposed to travel, side by side.
When we got to Zuriain there was a little bar/cafe (cantina) down a big slope, we figured if we can get in we can charge while we eat a little something, not very hungry but always eat while we charge the chair. I go check it out and its totally handicap accessible. We take off her trailer and leave it up by the side of the highway down in the grass, things are safer out here, people leave packs and things unattended all the time. We get inside and I ask the lady behind the counter if she speaks English, very little (poquito). Mi espousa esta una silla de ruedas, charger electricidad while we eat. Sure she says pointing to an outlet in the wall. Muchas gracias. We get a coke and a chocolate donut. One thing about eating fresh food and not being super hungry, Debs sugar levels have been great. We have cut back on the insulin a little bit when she is low. One time she was at 83 and too low makes me nervous. But I digress, she can drink some soda and junk food in the morning when she is down.
There are Perigrinos everywhere, many languages, this is why we have come. I do like staying in the hotels but I miss the pilgrims when we don’t get to stay in the alburgues. With all the road walking we have had to do, I have gotten a little discouraged. I love the fact that I get to spend time just her and I, but I seem to spend more time worrying that we’ll get to the next town to charge her chair to continue. I know I shouldn’t, God has already showed that He will provide, The pension last night, Jose the civil guard on the mountain, I need to practice what I preach.
While we are eating and charging there is a tv on in the back, I am not really paying attention but everyone kind of gets excited so I start. I can read a little Spanish but it looks like someone in the government is resigning or something. Two ladies behind D are talking in French but I think they may speak English, so I just go up and ask. Apparently the King of Spain has just abdicated his throne to his son. She says most of the people don’t care too much, he was a good King but it’s a lot like England, they want more democracy too.
We finish eating, take our picture by the welded perigrino on the ramp and head on back down the way. Hayden texts us and tells us the lady at the church at Zabildika would like to meet Mom. As we get to the turnoff it is too steep, and we don’t know how far to the next charging place so Deb is too worried to go up. We talk later and decide these are the things we need to do. I really regretted not going and seeing her. Although the road to the church was serrated and that is how we lost a couple of bolts on the wheelchair. Until we get to Pamplona and can find replacements she wants to stay off those type of roads.
At Arleta there is a cross beside the road with St. James on it and the actual camino is right there and paved. I finally talk D into at least letting me walk up it to see if it might work. I get about 100 meters and a cyclist stops me, in two languages we communicate that it is paved this way all the way to the alburgue in Pamplona, it is a bike path. Tomorrow we will get a bike camino guide. Almost 6 miles of paved way off the road, I am so happy. Beautiful walk, tree lined path, little misty rain, Rio Arga next to us, this is the Camino to me. A lady with a dog and a baby in a carriage goes by texting on her phone, doesn’t even look up as we pass and say Buenos Dias, I look at Deb and say just like home. I shouldn’t judge. Ten minutes later she comes back and leads us into the town of Huarte to charge our chair, The Camino provides.