Walking West – Pardon

Day 4 – Pardon – Pamplona to Puente La Reina, 17.99 miles

Westward Progress in Pics

Gravel path winding through wheat fields. A village stands at the end of the path and windmills line the ridge in the distance.
The Camino rises towards Zariquiegui.
The metal statues at the top of the Alto de Perdón. Pilgrims rest between the statues and the windmills on top of the ridge. Pamplona is in the distant valley.
The Alto de Perdón at the front right, Pamplona in the distance.
A wooden sign at the top of Alto de Perdón points to major cities around the world. A jet flies in the distant background of the beautiful blue sky.
To everywhere from the middle of nowhere. Notice the jet in the background, a more practical way to travel.
The spire of the cathedral rises above the main street into the blue skies in Puente La Reina, Navarra, Spain.
El Calle Mayor (main street) in Puente La Reina, Navarra, Spain.
Picturesque Romanic bridges spans a river in Puente La Reina, Navarra, Spain.
Puenta La Reina (The Queen’s Bridge) spans the Rio Arga.

Westward Progress in Words

First, begging the pardon of any fact-checkers that may be reading this, the mileage noted at the top of the page is the actual mileage walked by me on this day. In your pursuit of truth and justice and making sure everything on the internet is true, you will notice this differs from the distance in all the Camino Guide books, Apps, and charts.


I walked every mile/kilometer from Point A to Point B, and then some. Every day was an adventure to my destination – walking to look for a place to sleep, a church to tour, or for an IPA to drink. Pilgrimage is about more than A to B.

The Hill of Pardon (Forgiveness, Alto de Perdón) has become an icon on the Camino Frances, and I think more because of the movie, The Way, than the symbolism of trudging up that hill and then asking pardon at the foot of the ornamental iron. There were throngs of people at the top; some arriving on foot, some on bike, some in car, some on tour buses, and at least one by burro. It was a little too touristy for me, and I was ready to get down the hill, having over 10 kilometers to go before calling it a day.

The pattern of struggle-hope-reward continued today – the harmonizing of the aches, pains, and forward momentum, the long lines of pilgrims waiting for coffee or food, a good Cafè Americano, an omelet sandwich, or a cold beer and an ice cream sandwich with friends.

At the end of a long, hot day, taking off the walking shoes is the greatest reward.

Westward Progress Gallery

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