Wednesday, September 13, 2023

On the Road Again


Day 41 - Puente la Reina

     We departed Pamplona an awkward mix: uniformed school children, business suits, dresses and high heels, dog walkers and Camino pilgrims with muddy shoes, walking sticks and over laden backpacks all sharing the city sidewalks for an hour as we exited the city.  Then there was an abrupt transition to plowed fields, rolling hills, wind turbines and scattered villages marked with church steeples.  The weather was very pleasant and we felt energized and our bodies dug into the hefty breakfasts we enjoyed before leaving the hotel.

     The climax of the days walk is a summit called Alto de Perdon - the mountain of forgiveness.  As we reached the summit we tried to ignore the crowds and focus on the mountain of forgiveness that Jesus Christ has given us.  Also at the summit is an iron sculpture of Camino pilgrims that is one of the iconic landmarks of the Camino.  We had to squeeze in our photo ops between rude cyclists leaning their bikes against the sculpture.  To top the surreal feel of the summit was a double deck bus functioning as a food truck, complete with ceramic cups and 1950’s American jukebox music.

   After eating our first lunch’ enjoying the music and panoramic view, we made our way down a steep, impossibly rocky slope to a more comfortable descent through fields of almond orchards and vineyards.  The Spanish villages were tidy and quaint.

     Our lodging for the night is somewhat unique as it is a multifunctional affair with part push hotel and part bunk room hostel. We of course are in the glamping hostel which has an attractive facade but covers up an awkward acoustical phenomenon. As I am composing this post I am listening to an Australian couple in the next room discussing their tooth paste and someone upstairs taking a bath.  We had a nice dinner in the lovely town with a chapel built for the knights of Templar and a Romanesque bridge.

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