Pamplona to Santiago - Day 1
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Pamplona to Puente La Reina - 24Km .... and Jim's Birthday

Staying at the newly refurbished Albergue in Pamplona, the day started at 6.30 with a bell we think was stolen from a cross channel ferry. My walking pal of 15 years, Jimmy Walker who had joined me for the first four days didn't think it was an auspicious start to his birthday. By 7.30 we were on our way... in the dark.

Things were not looking good in the Calle Mayor, where 18 months before I had sat at a very nice bar with Sticky Bun (SB). It was was not only closed, but also it was not there. The good news was on on the outskirts of the city we found a bar with big croissants and Cafe con leche (CCL) .

The main activity of the day was climbing the Sierra del Perdon, going down the other side and avoiding the promised thunderstorms. All these things we achieved as well as eat our extensive lunch of bread and cheese in Ulterga and a CCL in Obanos. We stayed at the private Albergue of Santiago Apostol, the other side of Puente La Reina. Looking back this Albergue, whilst retaining all the architectural splendour of an aircraft hanger, was probably one of the best places we slept, as we had a load of space around our bunks.

Before our evening meal we celebrated Jim's birthday (because this record is available to the world it would be undiplomatic of me to reveal his age....but it's a big number) Also at dinner we chatted to Olivia from Germany who was going to appear frequently during the rest of my journey.