But soon enough spotting the yellow arrows becomes second nature, like breathing or putting one foot in front of the other and keeping a rhythm going.
The first hour and a half I walked on my own, passing farmlands and fields of sunflowers, quite spectacular.
Just before Cizor Menor it started drizzling, but when it came down enough to soak through the pack, I stopped in at a café for a cafe con leche, the perfect way to warm up.
On leaving again, I started walking with Rory, an English teacher from Ireland, and good conversation made the KMs pass quickly... much needed for the climb up to the Pilgrim metal statues on the top of the hill (pictures below). The downhill from here got the better of me, although I only realised this much later in the day. I was thankful that I had bought trekking poles in Pamplona the day before - when first using them I felt a little silly but they are invaluable for ascents and especially descents, when it's easy to slip and twist an ankle. Today's descent was on river rocks that shift under foot, not easy going.
I ended up walking 32km today as my accommodation in Pamplona was 5km away from the Camino path and I did a 2km detour to a church as my walking companions wanted to see it.
We arrived in Puente La Reine around 2pm and checked in at the Albergue which is a converted monastery and paid €5 for a bed in a dorm with 3 bunk beds. I got a top bunk... and couldn't make it to the top for the first hour after arrival. But a shower, some 'camino candy' aka ibuprofen and some tiger balm muscle rub and I felt much better.
An early dinner of tapas and red wine and I felt strong again.
Here are some pictures from today.