Pamplona, Spain : September 2017
We are on our way to Pamplona, Chris is getting the hang of driving ScootR and I’m getting a crick in my neck making sure he does not drive over the line. It doesn’t take long to get settled into the drive. Next stop was the supermarket. We unfortunately had to leave all our goodies behind when we handed in Pozzi as we just didn’t have the space to take them on the plane home.
We planned to buy them all again including pillows and blankets as the rented ones last trip were pretty grim. A wee disagreement on the way as I’m tasked with finding the perfect supermarket on the way to the Pamplona camper stop. It wasn’t easy as I’m Googling and checking the map and I have to programme Tomtom. And all this knowing we need to shop and get to camper stop before it gets dark. I know you guys are sighing but it’s not easy and you know what happens if I slip up and we end up in say…France!
We arrived at this beautiful supermarket, Eroski. A hypermarket on steroids.
This I think is Chris heaven; except Chris is so ill by now. He is shivering and feverish and not in a good way. We ran around the supermarket like a trolley dash race. We did find pillows and blankets thank god! The food we grabbed was basic and minimal. What a pity as I knew Chris was going to pine for this shop when he got better.
We rushed out of there and to the camper stop. It is just a big car park with electricity stations. You pay €10 for the night and there was a petrol garage with a shop and toilets to use. It’s a great place to park and visit Pamplona as it’s right on the edge of the old city. But here the story ends as we had barely parked and plugged in when Chris was man down. Into bed and out like a light. I made myself some bread and salami; I had some wine( small mercies) and then I read my book and went to bed. After a bad night we decided to just get to the next camp site. No Pamplona this time as Chris is really not up to it. I do have a licence to drive but I still haven’t attempted it. I really should drive now as he felt so ill, but in the city is not a good time to learn. The drive out of Pamplona was a nightmare. Tomtom or Annabelle is directing us through Pamplona and all the roads are closed off for some fiesta of some sort, so we go around and around and eventually we find a way out of there.
We had decided to drive just a short distance as Chris was ill, so I chose a place named Villafranca( just a random pick) in the Navarre region, sort of n the direction we are headed. The camp site was simple, clean and close to the village. As we drove through the village we saw lots of people dressed in white with red accessories.
The camp manager told me we were very lucky as this weekend was the village fiesta. This meant a weekend of festivities including bull running and a much partying. Felice Fiesta!
We thought we would walk in around 6pm when the bulls were going to run through town, but Chris was in no fit state. So I went alone. I walked into town and I encountered this guy he was winking and making eyes at me so I took some pics not knowing who he was.
I missed the actual running of the bulls into the town, but they run the herd of bulls through the town and into a holding pen. The festivities began with the mayor, with his glamorous wife, making a speech to everyone gathered in the town plaza. Then on came the dude on the horse ( the Caberello) very smooth and suave, and all the ladies were cheering. He prances around on his horse doing tricks and catches the bouquet of flowers that the mayor’s wife tosses at him. After the Cabarello comes the bulls. They don’t hurt them anymore, it’s just young men running into the arena and whistling at the bull who then charges towards them.
They scamper away and of course if the bull nearly catches them everyone cheers out loud. Let me tell you these ‘lighties’ are agile like goats. There were also food stalls and the atmosphere was amazing as everyone is dressed in white with red. The bars were full!! ( no supermarket open so again I cannot buy food) I did buy a delicious gourmet roll and some piping hot churros dusted in sugar to tempt my poor sick husband. That was my evening. Villafranca is quaint but not worth another night.
Next stop was Nuévalos , a small village in the Aragón region. The campsite was set in the mountains and was terraced with lots of trees for shade. We barely made it before Chris collapsed into bed. We had taken some antibiotics along with us and Chris had decided that he should take these.
So we did not see much of it, but I did take some lovely pics. We did not have much food, and by now I was a little tired of bread and salami, so I went down to the restaurant and ordered a take away. Veal steak and frites, quite delicious and I scoffed most if it myself. The next morning Chris did attempt some site-seeing. We were close to a popular tourist attraction called the Monasterio de Piedra. We parked and walked up to the ticket office to find it could only be visited with guided tour, which was 2 hours long and €15 each. No thanks we said! So instead we walked around the beautiful gardens, and then we discovered a path leading around the back. We took lovely pics and saw beautiful vistas of the canyon behind. All in all a perfect self guided tour.
Next stop is Albarracín, a really spectacular village and a must see according to all the travel guides. Let’s hope Chris starts feeling better as so far he has spent most of the holiday staring at the camper ceiling!