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  • Writer's pictureJessie Kretzer

Pamplona and the Haunted Bothy

After spending a night in Pamplona, we’re back on trail! Pamplona was pretty cool as far as cities go. It’s home to the running of the bulls, so that’s pretty cool. It was nice to have a real supermarket to resupply in but tapas and wine were more expensive, so we were ready to high tail it back to the mountains.

As the bus wound through twisty mountain roads, we began passing through familiar looking towns. All of the architecture in these old villages is identical. White stucco walls, brown cornerstones, orange ceramic shingled roofs.

We set out of town with heavy water laden packs as there is no water on the next section of trail. We’re over 1000m in elevation now, and the vegetation is beginning to shift to more coniferous and shrubby. We’re leaving the humidity behind and entering a cooler more arid climate. And then we catch our first glimpse of real mountains. Just in time too because I was starting to feel homesick for the Rockies.

The view gives me butterflies as the thought of walking amongst giant walls of limestone sinks in. This is what we’re here for and I can’t wait to get to them.

Day 3

Last night we stayed at our first “bothy” or unmanned hut. It was right on the gravel farm road that we had been walking on all day, which I wasn’t stoked about. Camping right on a road kind of sketches me out, but we were tired and figured it would probably be fine.

I went to bed thinking about all of the unholy spirits that could residing in this creepy dwelling, only to be awoken by a mysterious rumbling. We both sat up, chills running down our spines. It wasn’t a car, it’s not windy outside…then we noticed that this hut has an attic. There’s 100% a devilish gremlin lurking in the crawl space above about to feast on our souls. Or a cult member waiting to initiate a blood ritual on us. Fuck! Nightmarish thoughts continued to race through my mind.

We eventually mustered up the courage to take a peak…nothing. But our chills remained. For the next hour we contemplated hiking through the night to find a place to pitch our tent or make it to the next town. Figuring we were probably being ridiculous, we laid back down armed with trekking poles and a knife we found I a desk drawer. I hardly slept a wink.

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