Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pamplona and beginnings

After around 26 hours of traveling I made it to Pamplona. From our hostal we took a private tour of the University of Navarra from a dinstinguished professor, and we went all over Pamplona to see the sites before we begin the hike. The next day we drove to Roncesvalles ( a small town near the French border in the the heart of the pyrenes (pirenías) to start the hiking. Yesterday we hiked around 16 miles (30 km) in weather ranging from 40 degrees with constant rain to 75 degrees with sun. It has been incredible thus far. The pyrenes are breathtaking and we have met people from all over the world along the way. We maintain a Spanish only policy, so it has been a good challenge have to use it. Today we started in a small basque town (incredible view from the hostal) and hiked 10 miles to Pamplona. We then visited various sites around the Pamplona area, and this evening we are staying in Estella. Hopefully I will be able to put pictures of these sites up soon, but as of now there are no computers with compatible parts. Northern Spain is definitely at the top of my list of most incredible places that I have seen as far as the landscape´s ability to leave you absolutely speechless. The food is great also. The Euro is killing us! The cost of living in Europe in general has overtaken that of the United States. For simply a third liter bottle of water you will pay anything from 2-3 euroes which is equivocal to 3-4 dollars. Luckily the food is rich and doesn´t take much to fill you up. We have been visiting 12th century churches, and we even visited one built by the knights templar today in Eunate. We have walked past fields full of grain, vineyards, flowers, and even over mountain. We have much more ground to cover and places to see. For now I will call it a night! ¡que vayan bien!

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