A brief stay in Pamplona

A street performer painted as an angel statue in Barcelona.

And then there was a weird pause, and then she said, ‘All angels go by the name Erika.’ And then I was like, ‘Right, right, right,’ and then I felt dumb, because that’s, like, the first thing you learn in seventh grade transmigration studies. Anyway.


August 26th marks the day we set out from Pamplona, and I seem to have basically no pictures of Pamplona itself — we didn’t spend much time there — so here’s another picture from Barcelona’s Las Ramblas. This is one of the many living statues that line the street taking pictures with tourists.

From my Facebook, last year:

Aqui estamos en Pamplona – finalmente, despues de un acidente con mi cafe por la mañana y un viaje de tren que cambió a un viaje de autobús – y ya encontramos otra peregrina. Aquí vamos… // Here we are in Pamplona – finally, after am accident with my coffee in the morning and a train ride that changed to a bus ride – and we already met another pilgrim. Here we go …

The accident with my coffee involved me spilling a scaldingly hot Americano on my pink shirt, which I managed to change out of in the middle of the train station. (I remember my dad was very impressed that I could change shirts in less than a minute in a public space. The things you learn doing theatre, I told him.)

Our train ride to Pamplona ended halfway through when some kind of electrical glitch made them kick all of us off the train and eventually herd us onto a bus to get us the rest of the way. At that point in the trip my Spanish was still fairly rudimentary, so it was a confusing process.

In Pamplona, when we got off the bus with our walking sticks and backpacks, a woman approached us and asked in a noticeable Australian accent if we were walking the Camino. Her name was Lisa, from Perth, and she said she was setting out in the morning from an albergue. We shared a taxi ride to her albergue, and Dad insisted on paying for the whole fare: the first in a long line of favors we would do and have done for us along the way.

The taxi driver, I remember, asked us where we were from (he spoke rudimentary English, I spoke rudimentary Spanish, we were making it work). When we told him “Alaska,” he lit up. “Grizzly bears!” Seemed fair — everything I knew about his town was “Bulls!” At least it wasn’t “Sarah Palin!” which was the reaction I usually got when I visited Greece in 2010.

August 26th marked our first day of walking. More pictures tomorrow!

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