Walking out of Pamplona through the sleeping old town, we braced ourselves for the climb ahead…… the dreaded Alto del Perdon (translated means the top of forgiveness). Another beautiful day greeted us as we strolled through the city following the camino shells and yellow arrows. We haven’t got lost yet, early day’s I know!
Our Camino community grew as we meet new and interesting people. Kim a physio from NZ powered past saying that she doesn’t know if she has the patience for this. I said she will learn as she goes. A couple from Forster on bikes hired in Pamplona ended up pushing them up the Alto. It was their first day of sixteen till they plan to arrive in Santiago and you could feel their excitement. A nurse from Bundaberg found out we were nurses as well and asked for a stemetil. Another NZ couple we had met in Zubiri were doing a 4km detour to an old church with links to the knights templar. Our dutch mate Leo who had walked from his front door 10 weeks ago was also making the detour, another few km for him is nothing.
We all rejoiced as we made it to the top, not nearly as tough as the first day. Everyone took photos with the statues that seem to be smaller than what I thought, before the westerly breeze blew us down the steep and very rocky descent. Luckily no injuries were witnessed.
After the euphoria of “summiting” we were still on a high following the trails besides fields of grass and through tiny, quaint villages. We reached our final destination of Puente La Reina by 2pm and paid 5 Euro for our hostel bed.
Puenta La Reina has a beautiful six arch bridge built in medieval times for the pilgrims to cross the Arga river. We will follow in their footsteps tomorrow when we leave town over that bridge and continue to Santiago.