On the walk from Pomplona to Puente la Reina my knee started killing me. The downhills really jar the joints. I thought I might have to take a bus the next morning but I started a campaign of ibuprofen and made it the next day without too much trouble.
Today we walked 13 miles to Los Arcos and I think my knee is the mend. Hopefully its just a soreness that needs some time (although there aren´t any breaks in the schedule) and not something more structural. I´ve been able to ice it at the last two hostels, both of which have refrigerators.
The landscape has been mostly rolling foothills of wheat fields, vinyards, and olive groves bounded by taller mountains (pennsylvania size mountains...not rockies) The weather has been excellent -blue skies and lots of sun with temperatures in the 80´s. Sometimes it gets a little hot on the trail, but with a breeze it feels great. We leave early enough in the morning to get a few hours of walking in before the heat comes. This morning we rolled out earlier than normal, 5a, to get a head start on the sun, which has made most of us cherry red (especially my white legs when I switched to shorts).
In Los Arcos, a town of 1300, they had their own running of the bulls this evening. Narrow city streets were walled off with heavy wooden fences, wedged into place between buildings with large wooden shims. Three bulls ran up and down the streets chasing about fifteen or twenty spanish men. They would go back and forth, and it never really seemed to be too dangerous despite the runners desperation in clinging to the wooden fence when the bulls past them. The animals just seems scared and confused, which is how I would feel too, and did at the sound of what seemed like large bombs going off in the street. To scare the bulls and make them switch direction they light a huge fire cracker that sounds like an M-100.
Back at the hostel now, getting ready for lights the lock down at 10p. We´ll probably get up at 5a again to make time on a 19 mile day tomorrow.
Every spanish teen has a mullet. Some of them have dreadlock-mullets, which is the worst idea ever.