Pamplona, Spain

The Camino in Spain looks much better in my photos than in reality. It’s drier and dustier than France, the fields are bigger flat expanses of rich brown earth with rocks. No little stone farms. The temperature is dropping, we feel it in the morning when we wear gloves and raincoats, by 11 we are pealing off layers.
Being pilgrims means something here, entrances to the cathedral and museum cost less. But the small churches in the villages we pass are locked up tight. Churches in rural Spain so far are small, square, dung-colored, no stained glass or windows of any kind that I could see, with a rudimentary heavily bolted wooded door, dusty entries and sometimes a lone chicken scratching the hard packed yard.
Once we came upon a church with a roped off entry with a menacing sign “No Entra.” Claire found a South African who had purchased a farm complete with church after a couple of years of haggling with the diosese. One of our landladies told us everything on the trail closes up after Oct. 15, all the tourist offices and such, but either we managed to hit every tiny French church before that date or the French are more open about their places of worship because I have lots of photos of Tom lighting candles for Mary Ellen.
Pamplona is beautiful and complicated with narrow streets in the old section of the walled city where we are staying. Tonight we had tappas, kind of “befores” that you eat in a bar with a glass of wine, delicious and inexpensive. Then we hit a little bakery that had gluten free. A gaggle of ladies were playing cards. It looked serious and they told Tom that Poker was ‘cheap.’

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