Tuesday, August 14, 2018: Excitement fills the air as we make our way from Portugal to Spain. The albergue in Pedreira was kind enough to pack a breakfast for us the night before since we are leaving well before sunrise.
We arrive at our destination city, Porrino, and proceed to get lost. Oh, well… we wanted to complete some extra credit hiking today, anyway, to cross over the 30 kilometer mark.
Senda Sur, Porrino, was a great albergue with super bunks, nice showers/bathrooms. The small kitchenette facilities were quite basic, but all we need is a way to heat water for instant coffee in the morning and we’re happy!
We enjoy the wonderful people we have met across the globe, but some precautions are necessary. We have found value in dressing down (no flashy or expensive items showing), saying no when needed, being aware of people/surroundings while making any money transactions and keeping passport/money secure and under wraps.
Travel is not a reward for working, it’s an education for living. ~ The Travel Channel
As we leave town on this chilly, dreary day we are joined by a few fellow pilgrims so conversation flows freely. Dorothy and Ruby, along with Joan, enjoy a Kodak moment in front of Bar Elvis. Unfortunately, Elvis has left the building… it’s closed. Reliegos, Spain is our stopping point for the day and we find parts of the medieval walls still intact.18th century St. Mary’s church in Reliegos is built on top of the previous 12th century church.Many artifacts from the 12th century church can be found inside.
September 2, 2016: We (Joan, Randy & Joyce) leave Pamplona shortly after sunrise and find the early morning streets fairly quiet. (Short video of the day at the bottom of this post)
ALERT!!! Joan and Randy possibly witness an ATM scammer at work this morning with a Camino bicyclist as his victim and it reminds us to always be aware of people nearby when using these technologies and don’t use a machine if you view anything suspicious. Click on this link: How to avoid ATM fraud while traveling for some useful information when withdrawing cash. Also, be sure to alert your bank as to where you will be traveling so they are aware of your activity. Shout out to the fabulous customer service, while we are traveling, from our local DNB National Bank in Clear Lake/Gary, South Dakota. You are definitely an important part of our adventures.So much history… It was in this area that Charlemagne’s Christian forces defeated Aigolando’s Muslim army in the 8th century. Ruins of Guendulain palace are visible from the path, but I am having trouble finding historical background of the palace. There is a hotel in Pamplona by that name – Palacio Guendulain. If someone has a link to its history, please leave a comment The plowed field in the foreground is interesting as it is almost totally made up of rocks which must be hard on equipment. As we approach the summit of Alto del Perdon (Hill of Forgiveness), we discover that there is ambulance service on the mountain and feel fortunate to not need their services. The high temperatures combined with the climb and lack of shade are certainly taking a toll on pilgrims.Check this off the “Bucket List”: On the summit of Alto del Perdon is an iconic sculpture dedicated to all the pilgrims who walk the Camino de Santiago. The long metal sculpture representing pilgrims on foot and on horse reflects the historical and eternal nature of the walk. There is a Spanish inscription on it “donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas” meaning “Where the path of the wind crosses that of the stars.” ~caminodesantiago.com
Beautiful views as we look back towards Pamplona, but what goes up must go down, and we carefully make our way down the steep descent. One wrong move and the hike is done. The unfortunate and injured pilgrim would need to be picked up after rolling down to the bottom. It wouldn’t be pretty and I’m sure tears would be involved.
September 1, 2016: Unfinished business awaits us as we begin our 2016 Camino de Santiago trek across northern Spain. We previously completed Astorga to Santiago and St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Zubiri, Spain, so it appears we have a little over 300 miles remaining. Click on the short “kick off” video as we begin our journey…
We stumble upon the Parish Church of Santa Lucia which has lived through the invasion of the Moors, the Spanish Inquisition, Napoleon’s crossing of the Pyrenees, two world wars and the Spanish Civil War.
It is rumored to be a Templar church and symbols contained in and around the building seem to confirm this. Few records exist so piecing the building’s story together is quite a challenge ~the abbey.es
The intent was to stay in Arre tonight but we seemed to have bypassed the path through that particular town and, before you know it, we’ve gone 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) and find ourselves in downtown Pamplona. Oh, well… plan B will be just fine and we have a head start on our hike tomorrow. We settle into our little room above a small bar and rest our weary bones.