Walking West – Pardon

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


Towards Alto de Perdón (the Hill of Forgiveness)
Alto de Perdón at the front right, Pamplona in the distance.
To everywhere from the middle of nowhere. Notice the jet in the background, a more practical way to travel.
Main Street, Puente La Reina
The Queen’s Bridge

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.

Relax.

I walked every mile/kilometer from Point A to Point B, and then some. Every day was an adventure at 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.


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