I’m a big fan of the symbology of dates and occurrences. One year ago to the date, I left Madrid to begin my journey back to San Francisco. Today, I’m leaving Madrid again to start a new journey… my 5 week hike through Northern Spain along the Camino Francés route of the Camino de Santiago.

Originally I had planned on begining my Camino from the tradional starting point of St. Jean Pied de Port, in Southern France. Then after realizing the difficulty in getting there, I decided on Roncesvalles, about 10km into Spain. Then after even more thought, I decided I could still give myself a big pat on the back if I started at Pamplona.

I arrived in Pamplona from Madrid by way of bus (Avenida de Americas). Six hours and one bus change later, I made it to Pamplona. It wasn’t the worst bus ride ever (Madrid to Barcelona via bus = neverrrrr again!), but it certainly wasn’t much fun.

I spent the rest of the day wandering around Pamplona and I think I’ve fallen a little in love with this town. The residents are very fashionable and hospitable. However there seems to be a disportionate amount of children with mullets. I will definitely need to re-visit soon to discover more.

I stayed at the Jesus y Maria Pilgrim hostal and shared sleeping space with about 150 other pilgrims. Everything was very communal and it was great to hear everyones’ stories along the trail and know that tomorrow, I would have my own Camino stories to share.

Tomorrow, I start walking.

The plan is to walk from Pamplona to Puente de la Reina, some 24km. My dream of completing the Camino de Santiago is finally coming true. Santiago de Compostela… here I come!

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