Aurizberri to Pamplona - I'll get on back home one of these days - CycleBlaze

October 7, 2023

Aurizberri to Pamplona

and that`s no bull

As we walked down the stairs for breakfast at Hotel Basque Irati ,we could hear the volume of sound steadily increasing. For what seemed like a fairly small hotel it was odd for it to sound so busy. Upon reaching the breakfast room we could see why. It was full of pilgrims! The hotel is a point on the Camino that provides a stamp to the walker`s passports and many will stop for the stamp and buy breakfast as well. Very clever.

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A Camino passport.
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Initial days stamps.
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A busy self order breakfast bar. Many backpackers were here.
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Church windows in Aurizberri.
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We took a couple of chairs as they became available and had coffees and a sausage and potato dish. Not a massive breakfast but enough to get us out the door. A family, both parents and a son, from South Korea joined us at our table. The son spoke English and it was very interesting chatting with him. They plan to complete the whole 800 km of the Camino over 30 days and then carry on to Portugal. They had now been on the road for three days from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Crossing through the Pyrénées was not any easier on foot I am sure!

Today was a short ride and other than two shortish climbs it was mainly downhill to Pamplona. The riding was almost entirely on the highway except for the last few kilometres. We would like to say that it was car free, which for the most part it was, but we must have been passed by 500 motorcycles! On a sunny Saturday, on a road with multiple tight corners, if you have motorcycle,  it was the place to be. It was a very similar experience to our ride along the Ardèche river in France. Non stop motor cycles! We certainly enjoyed the ride but would have liked it even better without the gas powered bikes.

The road leaving Aurizberri.
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Scott AndersonYou weren’t kidding about the motorcycles!
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9 months ago
The Basque style houses are well kept and very attractive
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Our first hill top was up only about 5o metres vertical but a good wake up for the legs.
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Coming down is so much fun. The road is wide and smooth. The Camino trail is exiting right beside the road here. Note the walker on the left of Pat. We will see parts of it throughout the day.
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This was the second climb. It was a bit longer and the last of the day. It was hot but Scott was still wearing three shirts. The fast downhills in the shade can be chilly. He did take one layer off at the top of this hill.
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A rare viewpoint looking down into the valley.
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Lots and lots of motor bikes on the road today.
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Pat in the shadow here holding her own on the downhill. She says that she shows a good deal of ¨prudence¨! Scott a bit less so.
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It is a nice road when there are only cyclists!
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We split the ride in the middle with a coffee stop at Zubiri, roughly 2okms along. We stopped again for a picnic lunch 10 kms later. The  last 10km was off the highway on a nice  path on route to the Puente de la Magdalena  and into Pamplona.

 Overall it was an easy,  uneventful, stress free ride. We needed that after yesterday's extravaganza. Once again, that route planner sure knows his stuff!

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Still working on my bird shots. This guy was quite cooperative.
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Scott enjoyed riding with this pack for a while but got kicked out because he had too much baggage. Lots of roadies out today, too. They ride like this, taking the full lane and forcing cars and motorbikes to slow down to go around them. It`s exciting to be caught in the middle of all these moving parts!
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Interesting hillside and old building structure.
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Our lunchtime picnic spot was on the Camino trail. Shade was very important at this stage of the day.
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Rare shot of the route planer on the cyclepath on route to the Puente de la Magdalena in Pamplona.
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The path followed the Arga river.
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Puente de la Magdalena. For centuries, millions of pilgrims have crossed this bridge over the Arga River to enter the city of Pamplona. Built in the twelfth century, it was remodeled in 1963.
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Passing through Pamplona`s suburbs we made our way to our hotel. We stayed at the very nice Hotel Cuidadela and took advantage of its close proximity to a laundromat. Here we met a young man who got us on the right track and guided us through the centralized facility menu. Local knowledge in these places is always so helpful! He also suggested that we be sure to go to Calle  de la Estafeta this evening. It was close to our hotel and it really was a spectacle with hundreds of people eating and drinking in the street. 

Strange dudes assembling outside the laundromat kept things interesting!
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Game of thrones?? We never did figure out what they were up to.
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This guy could really get them all moving.
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Beer and tapas on Calle de la Estafeta on a warm Saturday night!
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In Pamplona.
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We are really enjoying the high energy of Pamplona but we just do not have the stamina for the night life. A couple stops for tapas, a couple of beers and we were heading home a little after nine. We could tell by the merry making outside our window that we had left the party early again! But Pamplona looks great and we are planning to see a lot more of it tomorrow.

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Today's ride: 43 km (27 miles)
Total: 563 km (350 miles)

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Rachael AndersonWhat a great day!
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9 months ago