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Hebridean Imaging

Hebridean Imaging

obanos

18th September, Camino de Santiago, Pamplona to Obanos, 21.7km

We bid farewell to our comfy hotel room at 7.30am. It was just beginning to get light outside and we shouldered our rucksacks and headed out of town – joining the steady stream of peregrinos doing the same.

We saw familiar faces along the Way, the German couple and the three older American guys, they had all had two nights in Pamplona. Jaw-dropping sight of the day was a young woman pilgrim with a very small child (i would guess around 3 years old). I guess Sara could have walked 10km a day at that age but it would take an awfully long time to get to Santiago! But, still, I suppose if you have plenty of time it doesn’t really matter. The figs are growing but I haven’t seen any ripe ones yet. The wayside flowers are beautiful and full of butterflies. There are very many Elderberries, i wonder if the Spanish make wine from them?

The going was pretty easy – whether that was because of the rest day or whether i’m getting accustomed to the backpack.

A coffee stop at the albergue at Zariquiegui was most welcome. Cetti’s Warbler was added to my Camino bird list at a small lake. Continued to the top of the Alto de Perdón where the view was amazing – the Pyrenees and the sprawl of Pamplona behind us and in front of us the towns we’ll be walking through soon.

The iron sculpture of medieval pilgrims was great to see in real life – it was one of the most frequent images I found when doing my preparation.

At the albergue in Uterga we could hear the babble of peregrinos and the chink of coffee cups. Excellent, a bar/restaurant so we stopped for coffee. After that the walking was easy and I arrived in Obanos and found the albergue Usda which is a private hostel. It says in the guide book (Brierley) that there are 36 beds in 3 rooms. What it doesn’t tell you is that the 3 rooms have been knocked into 1 large room. But the owner is very friendly and everything is very clean. There is a lovely walled garden and patio area out the back and I sat in the sunshine to eat my food. As is my habit I don’t eat until i’ve finished walking for the day.

Opposite the albergue is a shop with a bar. After exploring the small village I returned to the bar and spotted a fellow pilgrim having coffee so I joined him and enquired after his feet – when i’d seen him arrive earlier he looked like he was in quite some pain. His name was Roland and he was German, planning to walk into Santiago in October on his 50th birthday. Yes, his feet were very sore but he would persevere. Our conversation was partly in spanish and partly in English. My German being about non-existent. A wee while later another pilgrim joined us. Heidi from Denmark, a lovely young lass who was between jobs and who had decided on the spur of the moment to do the Camino.

Later on the church in the village opened up and Sarah and I went inside. It looked quite plain from the outside but inside was amazingly light and beautiful. I paid 20cents to light a candle for Ben. It rather amused me that in these days of strict health and safety (which amazingly enough had reached this part of Spain) that the candles were electronic. You pop your coin in and an LED candle lights up. Whatever next?!

Sarah, Heidi, Roland and I went along to a local bar for the “menu del dia” – menu of the day, a pilgrim meal €9.50 for three courses, wine and bread.

An early night.

Obanos, Camino de Santiago

Obanos church

Obanos, Camino de santiago

The private albergue in Obanos

Obanos, Camino de santiago

Inside of the albergue at Obanos

Obanos, Camino de santiago

Brass shells, set into the pavement on the way into Obanos.

Alto de Perdon, Camino de santiago

Me at the Alto de Perdon

Camino de Santiago, The Way

Pilgrims, strung out along The Way