Wednesday, May 7, 2008

From Cizur to Puente La Reina

The photos below relate to the single day, Wednesday 7 May 2008, the subject of the blog post below. The photos mostly follow the order of the story in the post itself, that is, chronological order. The first photo is an exception.
65. This dinner shot should appear below at the bottom of this sequence (if only I had the wit to move it)
48. Leaving Cizur Menor, passing fields that were not always so peaceful. 49. Changeable early morning light
50. The church of St Andrew at Zariquiegui, 6kms from Cizur Menor
51. The Romanesque doorway of the church at Zariquiegui
52. The Alto del Perdon in the distance, the task ahead
53. Looking back on the way up the Alto del Perdon
54. The flat iron silhouettes of medieval pilgrims at the top of the Alto del Perdon
55. The Gothic church at Uterga
56. Happily, the church at Uterga was open since women were setting out the altar
57. One of the highlights of the Camino: the C12 Romanesque church of Santa Maria de Eunate
58. Laura at Eunate
59. Another pilgrim at Eunate
60. The remains of the portico at Eunate
61. The arch of the doorway at Eunate
62. The church at Eunate
63. The Church of the Crucifixion at Puenta le Reina
64. Dinner at the albergue outside Puenta la Reina. From left: Brendan, Paul, Laura, Padraig, Rita and Michael.

Today´s journey

Today I made the journey from Senora Roncal´s albergue in Cizur Menor to Puente La Reina (the Bridge of the Queen), with a detour to see the beautiful 12th century church at Eunate.

I made an early start at last, about 6.45. It was glorious making the slow climb out of CM across peaceful green fields that were once the site of a major 8th century battle between Charlemagne (Charles the Great of France) and a Muslim army. The climb continued up the Alto de Pardon (the Hill of Forgiveness), a slow climb up the top of a mountain range that is covered with wind turbines. It was a climb of 300 m. Then we descended, at first sharply and then more easily, onto a flat plain. That took us through villages, whose principal feature at least architecturally, was often its church. These have often been modest but always extraordinarily beautiful.

A particularly beautiful church was that at Eunate. It´s a 12th century church that was built to receive pilgrims and many are said to be buried there although there is no formal grave that I could see. The church is a small octagon with a cupola for the altar. Very simple. This detour added an hour to the journey and about 3-4 kms. I got into PlR at about 3.30. About 25 kms in all. There was a light fall of rain today and I got to put on the rain jacket (it works, Mum) and rain pants (ditto, Mark M). Thanks to you both. A big fall held off but rain is forecast for Friday. Indeed, it has been unseasonably hot and particularly fine and sunny for this time of year.


It was good to meet some old friends from previous albergues and to meet some new ones today. There are a few Irish families here since its a non-teaching week in their universities. I met Laura from Greystones, a suburb south of Dublin, at the top of the Alto del Pardon. She hails originally from Enniscorthy, close to Wexford on the east coast where my father´s folks hail from. She was a contemporary and friend of Niall Toibin, the younger brother of the writer Colm. Niall died of a condition contracted while on volunteer service in Africa. The Toibin kids, Laura said, are lovely and ¨did not lick it off a stone¨ (ie, they got it from their lovely parents).

Laura introduced me a few other Irish and I´m off to dinner with them in a few minutes in the albergue. They go back on Friday and Saturday. Two of them have a son, Padraig, of about 12 or 13 who is doing just great on the Camino. [A photo of this dinner has been added above.]

General mood and conditions

No one is in a hurry to rush into town from our albergue a little outside it--there are a few hobbles among the pilgrims who are now feeling aches and pains from the constancy of the walking. I´m feeling OK although I´ll apply some Voltaren to my shoulder muscles to ease the discomfort from the exercise in using the walking poles. They are great, however.

Online resources

I cannot upload photos from my camera to these computers. However, there are online resources that have photos and Google maps of the Camino route. See for the Camino Frances and .

A Estella! Following the stars.

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