We knew that they were windmills about half way along today’s trail; and, sure enough, as we left the Pamplona suburbs we saw a long ridge ahead lined with windmills. That ridge stayed elusively ahead of us all morning.
We were walking through an enormous plain of fields. The days leading up to Pamplona were all about cows and sheep, now it’s wheat and sunflowers. The big fields mean there’s a lot less shade, but they do make for enormous views.
Those windmills edged ever closer, but that also meant we had to start going up to the ridge. It wasn’t too steep, but it was a long ascent. The ridge-line came with more great views and a nice cool breeze so we stopped for a picnic.
Cresting the ridge revealed a huge basin ahead of us bordered by yet another ridge in the far distance and hundreds more windmills. The walk down was steep and a bit treacherous. At about the 18km mark we stopped at a lovely shaded bar and took a long break. Getting back up to continue on was not an easy decision.
There are a lot more walkers now, although they are all new to us – our starting cohort is now three days ahead of us. A lot of people only start their Camino in Pamplona so that explained the increased numbers and the range of complaints form people experiencing their first day.
The last few kilometers into Puente La Reina (today was about 24km all up) were hot and tiring. The little hotel we’re staying at has mucked up our booking so we are in two single rooms. The silver lining to that mistake is that we were able to both shower immediately.
Refreshed, we took a stroll around the old town of Puenta La Reina and it is beautiful. There is a simply stunning church, lovely streets lined with tall buildings casting shade, and the bridge that gives the place its name.