Pamplona to Puente La Reina
This morning was our earliest departure time, we were on the trail by 8:00am. We were slowly working our way towards “True Pilgrim” status, hoping to leave one of these days by 7:30 or earlier. It’s hard to get out of bed when you’re numb from the waist down.
The “trail” this morning led through the heart of Pamplona and on through the western part of the city. Out of Pamplona after an hour, the trail continued through a beautiful valley, great views in every direction! We stopped in Cizur Menor for a shot glass full of coffee and then back on the Way. The trail gained elevation as we neared Alto de Perdon. The cloud cover and the wind increased making for another cold summer day.
Our next stop was in Zariquiegui for lunch. We enjoyed a delicious warm meal by the fireplace at a bar in this little town.
Warm inside and out, we made the climb up to the peak of today’s walk, Alto de Perdon (Mount of Forgiveness). The monument to pilgrimage is one of the iconic scenes on the Way. Engraved into one of the monuments are the words:
“Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas.”
“Where the way of the wind crosses the way of the stars.”
The wind certainly crossed the Way here, it was howling. And it was a strategic place to install wind turbines along the mountain ridge. The past and the future fused along this ridge.
Arriving at Alto de Perdon (Mount of Forgiveness) was a subtle reminder that pilgrimage is a spiritual journey. So far I had been tuned in only to the physical part of my existence – the aching muscles, the gasping lungs, the blistered feet, and tired back. On the way down to Puente La Reina, I pondered the physical and the spiritual. I’m sure our dualistic thinking is wrong – physical versus spiritual – maybe it’s both. And maybe pilgrimage reminds us not to separate the two. I think about it more when my “physical” is in less pain.
On a side note, in an intensely spiritual act, a couple from Luxembourg gave us some tips (and salve) to ease the physical as we went down to Puente La Reina.
We arrived in Puente La Reina in the mid-afternoon without incident. All of the albergues were full, so we walked through the town and found a nice place to stay for the night.