Santander to Pamplona
Trip Start Mar 29, 1999
44Trip End Jun 18, 1999
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Spain is quite picturesque, with rolling hills and rugged, craggy mountains that look like they have been sliced vertically from a bigger mountain, with their dramatic cliffs. The countryside is randomly dotted with old-looking farmhouses with terra-cotta roofs and farmers can be seen ploughing their fields with the aid of an old horse.
My bus ticket said the bus would arrive in Pamplona at 3.30pm, so at 12.30 I though it would be safe to have a sleep for an hour or so. Next thing I know we've pulled into a big underground bus stop with no signs saying where we are. I look at my watch and it's only 1.30 so I figure we can't be in Pamplona. Then everyone gets off and the driver starts shouting at me, in Spanish of course. Dumbly, I say "Pamplona?" and point to the bus. "Si!", he says, pointing to the ground, "Pamplona". Ah.
As usual I spent half an hour or so looking for some directions. The tourist office was unsurprisingly boarded up, presumably until July, so I was on my own. Somehow I found the Plaza del Castillo, around which there are supposedly some hostels. I found one and to my great surprise managed to not only ask "tienes habitaciones libre?" but also understand what the guy said back to me. I had just booked a room for two nights, all by myself. This Spanish gig ain't so bad.
Having said that, I then spent the next two and a half hours trudging the streets of Pamplona looking for a supermarcado because I was starving. Everyone was off on their bloody siesta so nothing was open to ease my rumbling stomach. I was just about to give up and go back to the hostel when I stumbled across the Marcado Municipal. Hooray! Appropriately, just as I walked into the shop, loud and triumphant orchestral music started playing on the in-house radio. I gleefully filled my little basket to the rim and charged back to the hostel for a couple of cream cheese sandwiches, a banana and some 'multifruta' juice.
The weather in Pamplona has been very pleasant, as in fact it has been since I left Santander. This leads me to believe that, contrary to the popular saying, the rain in Spain falls mostly on the coast. I have also realised that, geographically speaking, I could not be further away from New Zealand, as I am on exactly the other side of the world.