We had a big communal dinner tonight in the stone-walled cellar of the albergue. Dinner and accommodation cost €20 per person, about 30% cheaper than the average in France.

I noted in my journal how awful the bells of the church in Cirauqui sounded. Spanish bells don’t swing back and forth like French or English bells – they are counter-weighted and whirl around the full 360° at high speed, making a terrible racket in the process.

I spoke my first Spanish today, to inquire about dinner. I felt very proud of myself.

Below: Wind turbines along the Alto del Perdón, a memorable hill outside Pamplona.

Below: Gosh, was it ever windy. You could see why they put the wind turbines there. They made an unsettling “swish swish” kind of white noise that you could hear even as they disappeared into the low stormclouds.

Below: The pilgrim sculpture atop the Alto del Perdón. I’d seen lots of pictures of it in the sun with Pamplona visible behind, but very high winds and rain meant that we just hurried on by. You can see the water drops on my camera lens.

Below: Rain gear deployed. We only had to do this once or twice in France, but Spain’s weather was more unpredictable. I wore my coat front-to-back to cover my camera bag, which I carried on my front.

Below: Descending from the Alto del Perdón into some lovely farmland.

Below: See what I mean about the landscape? The colours and foliage were just so different from anything I’d ever seen before. And the sun and clouds made for some very interesting textures.

Below: Looking back to the Alto del Perdón. You can see the storm from which we’d descended, while the sun shines in the foreground.

Below: In Puente la Reina. We’d sing the name of this town to the tune of “Guantanamera,” which I thought was original and clever until I later read in Travels with My Donkey that the author, Tim Moore, did the same thing on his asinine pilgrimage to Santiago.

Below: Cirauqui, piled on top of itself. As I wrote in my journal, “a lovely little stone hill-top village situated next to what looks like a giant grass-covered mountain of trash” (not pictured).

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