As it appears I am an example of a so called map challenged cyclist, so I didn’t even bother with a map of Spain. Igor had explained to me how to cycle to Pamplona and so I headed out to the Via Verde, the Green Road, to Pamplona. It follows an old railway track which meant the grades were never very steep. It also meant there were tunnels and some of them were unlit, which gave rise to some hairy experiences, as I was walking with my dimly glowing torch (battery almost flat) with my bike in the middle of a 200 metre dark tunnel, when I heard a vehicle coming my way. A new experience for me.
That evening it was cold and I prepared my dinner in the dark. By now I can make a decent macaroni dish even if I am blindfolded.The next day I was breaking camp in subzero conditions which was a slow and painful process because I had no gloves so I had to pack in the tent with numb fingers.
In Iurtzun I had a coffee in one of the many bars and I was amazed by the many drinkers enjoying an alcoholic beverage at this early hour.
On the road to Pamplona I broke my personal speed record when I touched 60 km / hour. The reason I am not giving a more precise number is that I didn’t dare look at my speedometer long enough, but I was sure I saw 58.9 when I was still accelerating.
In Spain it is compulsory to wear a helmet AT ALL TIMES, except:
– in urban areas
– when going uphill
– if one has a medical condition
– when it’s very hot
– if one is a professional cyclist
– if one happens to be Bruce Springsteen
In Pamplona I got my credencial, meaning I had become a certified pilgrim on the road to Santiago de Compostella.The credencial also grants access to the albergues, which makes the pilgrimage much more affordable.
I am not sure what the chicken is for. Pilgrims have want for eggs too, I suppose.
In my next post I will tell more about life in the albergues.