48km Estella to Pamplona

Watch out going up hills!It’s not been the best week for food on our tour! After our oil-spill of a couple days ago, today we woke up to curdled milk. We’ve been trying to work out the best way to carry milk for our morning coffee on the road. We can buy small lunch-box sized cartons of UHT long-life milk but they are expensive, as is powdered milk. Buying a litre of UHT milk is cheaper than the smaller portions, but we don’t use that much in one morning, so for the last little while we’ve decanted the rest into a bottle and carried it with us for the next day. So far it’s worked well but apparently the heat of yesterday was too much for the milk. It curdled as soon as we mixed it in with the coffee.

It’s hard packing up your panniers without a proper wake-up breakfast! Needless to say, the bar was the first stop on our route as soon as we got on the road, not for a beer but for that vital caffeine injection. It’s a good thing we stopped for the extra energy since plenty of hills appeared in front of us as we approached Pamplona. We continued the Pilgrim Count to amuse ourselves as we pedalled away. Today it reached 41 on foot and 3 on bicycles before we got to Pamplona. One group of Germans told us they take two weeks off every year to do a portion of the trail. They’re now in their 10th year and hope that next year they will make it to Santiago.

Once in the city the numbers of pilgrims exploded, unsurprising as the trail runs right through the heart of Pamplona. We wanted to walk around a bit so we joined the pilgrims in the hostel set up for them. Technically it isn’t for mere tourists like ourselves but we told the truth when the receptionist asked if we were going to Santiago or not and he didn’t seem concerned when we said no. Maybe in low-season they are happy to fill the extra beds and for €5 we were happy of a very cheap place to stay. We found a cracking bicycle shop just down the road from the hostel and now we are thinking of replacing our tyres. Decisions, decisions!


  1. andrew
    30th April 2007 at 11:14 am #

    Road notes: We followed the N111, which broadly tracks the A12. Since the new motorway opened there’s hardly any traffic on most of this road. Near Pamplona you do join the A12 for a bit but by this time it is not a motorway and bicycles are allowed on it.

    What we spent: €3.20 coffee and bread, €10 hostel, €16 groceries

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