Last night, one of our Korean roommates produced seven different balls of yarn and some knitting needles from her bag and, in five minutes flat, knit us a fuzzy, rainbow-coloured dish scrubber (below) as a gift. After all I read about removing extraneous weight from one’s backpack, I couldn’t believe this excess. But, when they also presented Ori with a cellphone charm (in the shape of a woman with two small red peppers attached – “to give you lots of children”), I realized that they were using kindness and generosity to compensate for their lack of linguistic ability in what must have been to them a very foreign country. It certainly warmed our hearts. And as we walked through Spain, we’d occasionally see another pilgrim with a rainbow dish scrubber hanging from their bag, the same as Ori’s. These two Korean women made their mark on the Camino!

Below: Breakfast at the Casa Elita in Larrasoaña. Alas, no better than in France.

Below: Meeting Alfonso, the Canadian, turned out to be one of the luckiest strokes of our Camino. He’s an ICU doctor from Montreal, and he carried the most complete first-aid kit we’d ever seen. With one glance at the folk remedies we’d tried on Ori’s feet, he removed them and got to work on a proper blister treatment. Alfonso’s middle name is Jesús, and we later joked that this was the first miraculous act of healing on his Camino. As word spread of his abilities, other pilgrims began seeking him out, but Ori was his first patient.

Below: The Magdalena Bridge over the Rio Arga at the entrance to Pamplona. The city was beautiful in the sun, and I’d love to revisit it another time.

Below: In Pamplona, by far the largest city we’d walked through to date (pop. 200,000). On our way out of town, kids at an elementary school came over to the fence and wished us well as we passed.

Below: It was tempting to imagine a hapless pilgrim running away from a herd of bulls during Sanfermines. Lucky for us, these were the only bulls we encountered during our brief time in the city.

Below: On the other side of Pamplona, the city gave way to suburbs and eventually countryside. Have you ever walked from the outskirts of a city to its downtown and back out the other side? It’s really quite interesting!

Below: Ori, happy with her new bandages. The path itself alternated between good (shady forests and gentle gradients) and bad (the sides of highways and paved surfaces).

Below: A pleasant evening in Zariquiegui.

Below: View back east over Zariquiegui and Pamplona, with the Pyrenean foothills in the distance.

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