The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other …again and again and again. If you can find beauty every step of the way, you are truly blessed.
An early start to a thirty kilometer walk today with random conversations and historic villages along the way. I arrive at the steps reaching the bridge into Logrono catching the tourist information office gentleman at the top just as he is about ready to close. The excellent map he gives me makes my journey to tonight’s lodging a piece of cake allowing me time to pay it forward and help another young pilgrim find the municipal albergue in time for her to get a bed.
Seems like I’m just getting my trail legs and this Camino has ended. The departure process now begins with a bus, three planes, my very first Uber ride until my little red car takes me all the way back to the border of Minnesota/South Dakota.
It may be time to go home, but it’s never too early to start planning the next adventure… I am truly blessed.
“A blocked path also offers guidance.” ~Mason Cooley
The quiet morning makes it difficult to imagine I am walking on the very ground that Charlemagne’s Christian forces defeated Aigolando’s Muslim army in the 8th century.
Guendulain palace is in the woods to my right if one takes the time to look back while embarking on the gentle climb to Alto del Perdon.
The small village of Zariquiegui features the Romanesque Church of Saint Andrew. I enter the doorway and never tire of gazing at the intricate details.
Church visit includes a DIY stamp for the Pilgrim Passport.
Pilgrims capture celebratory photos after reaching the top of Alto Del Perdon. Apparently, someone thought it would be appropriate to leave a cigar.
I am determined to tackle the extra hike to Eunate, a 12th-century Romanesque church all alone in the countryside. Brierley’s book states it is 2.8 km to Eunate and I appear to be the only one hiking to the spot this late in the day… no Pilgrims in site.The early documented reference to Eunate dates from 1487. Due to its octagonal plan, the first theories stated that Eunate was a Templar church. Another possibility… A military order, the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem or Knights Hospitaller, could have operated a hospital (‘hostel’) for pilgrims to Santiago. Archaeological excavations have found many burials and the typical St. James’ shells.If I had read the sign back in town closely I would have noticed that it said that Eunate was closed 1:30 to 4:30 today. It is now about 3 p.m. Oh, well…
The last few kilometers are pretty lonely this late in the day, so I am delighted to finally see another pilgrim in sight. She knows very little English and I do not know any Korean, but we seem to both find comfort in each other knowing we are on the correct path to Puente la Reina.
Cold, rain and fog accompany us as we walk through the Pyrennees from Refuge Orrison to Roncesvalles. The thumping sound of large, raindrops pelt against my rain gear… a constant drumming throughout the day. Soaked gloves offer no protection from the cold resulting in numb fingers and toes. Large flocks of sheep hunker down together, staring at the passing Pilgrims as if to say, …and they say sheep are dumb. We later discover that the mountain was closed to those leaving St. Jean that day.
Maybe I do feel like a hiking beast…
The following stretch from Roncesvalles to Larrasoana provides a much better day for hiking with plenty of photo opportunities due to the pleasant weather. I am much more appreciative of this wonderful weather today due to the rough weather yesterday. Minnesotans learn this lesson early in life.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou