Day 8 – Zariquiegui to Puente la Reina. Camino de Santiago.
Physically shattered tonight.
My Apple health app says I walked 21km and it refuses to tell me how many floors I’ve climbed- I think it has given up trying to calculate that statistic.
Began the day at 6 am to torchlight in the hopes of capturing sunrise photos as background to the statues on Alto del Perdon (Mount of Forgiveness). Alas, it was cloudy.
The pilgrim statues I speak of is Alto de Pardon, where oversized wrought iron cutouts of medieval pilgrims, which aptly appear to be fighting their way against the wind, line the ridge. Beyond, in the distance, you can see Pamplona. Despite the clouds though, or because of them, the photos came out okay. Not great, but it captured the moment well.
I could explain what the statues mean, but I’m going to share a piece from Jerry’s website: The Fogwatch (It’s worth the read by the way):
The concept of the Mount of Pardon is that in climbing it you are forgiven of your sins past and present. Tradition has it that pilgrims who reach the summit gain forgiveness of your sins, and your spiritual health was guaranteed for the rest of the route in the event of your death.
Wow, I hope so!
We – my Camino friends, Sharon and Jerry and I – continued along, traversing the slippery rubble on the descent. There’s both a walking trail and a biking trail. The bike trail was smooth. The walking trail was full of ankle turning rocks. I risked the bike trail with a sharp ear of what was coming behind me. There wasn’t a lot of traffic at that time, so I was fairly safe in taking the risk. Besides, the tracks were close together, had I needed to jump to the other.
After an early start, we stopped for a hearty brekky before we continued to stride the trail. (Picture left.) This was becoming a habit, to have this hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. It even became a running joke with Jerry, Sharon and I – we would keep walking because we could ‘smell the bacon and eggs’ as we approached a town.
We took a detour to see a Templar church, the Iglesia del Crucifijo, which was worth the extra 3km out of the way. It was a hot dusty walk to get there. Jerry got to test out his umbrella for shade, which was attached to his backpack. Smart. I had a zen moment inside the cool church and regained my strength to continue on. The church itself was pretty spectacular, with its origin associated with the Order of the Knights Templars. The windows were made of alabaster, to allow light to filter in.
We ended the day in Puente La Reina. It is a splurge tonight, I am staying in my own private room. It safe to say, that even after 8 days on the trail, I’m excited by clean sheets and clean towels. Towels I don’t have to worry about drying before tomorrow. This is pure bliss.
Over dinner, we determined how far to walk tomorrow, when to set out and admittedly, whether to send packs on ahead tomorrow. While my pack is only about 8kg, my right hip, knee, and ankle are screaming at me. So, I must listen. Wine helps. 😉
All up, I calculate by the Apple Health app I have walked 126km in the past 8 days. No wonder I’m buggered. But, I no longer see the Pyrenees mountains I climbed a week ago. Holy Toledo Batman. I’m doing this.