Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pamplona to Puente Le Reina

I beg your perdon I never promised you a rose garden
We're off early again up to Alto Del Perdon heading into a fierce wind that drives rain in short sharp showers these blow off in minutes- so you are almost, but not quite, blown dry by the time the next one comes along.
Now I understand that the 'windblown' appearance of the sculptural figures is absolutely realistic.

The obligatory novelty shot of Frances At Alto del Perdon

We meet Steve at the top-ate with him at Roncevalles- he tells us he was walking with Emily but that she needed to push on to Puenta Le Reina-she must be going at a heck of a rate as Steve is fast enough. Its too cold to hang around so heads down we head down.

Steve and Nell at Alto Del Perdon on Good Friday

The rain showers get heavier and its on and off with over trousers, jackets and ponchos. I advocate a detour to Eunate and Frances, a friend and pilgrim true, agrees.

Just beyond Muruzabal we come to a rustic sign that tells us 747km to Santiago. We are soggy but happy pilgrims today.

Not so far to go!
Not even the glowering sky en route to Eunate can dispirit us-in fact we think its beautiful
Eunate doesn't disappoint its worth every step of the detour in fact we'd have walked far longer to see it (which is good because I have another little 'detour' in mind to see Suso and Yuso so a lot hangs on this one being successful)
Frances started clicking away as soon as the church came in sight and doesn't stop til it disappears from our horizon (all good signs for the next detour).

She captured the charming rustic geometry of the vaults and the alabaster windows which let light in yet keep the world out. The pearly tone of the light is very special.
Alabaster windows and Corbel faces from Eunate, my favourite was the man on the right who had just taken his dentures out.

As we are sitting quietly in the chapel the rain becomes torrential-we don't want to leave but feel fit and know we have a good few miles left in the tank.

As we use the albergues 'self service sello' a figure approaches waving at us through the rain. Its Sebastian one of our 'graduating class' from Roncevalles. He's always wanted to stay at the albergue here but as he is feeling tired and there is no one around at the moment he wonders if he should move on. It seems too important a dream to relinquish, and though hesitant to intervene, both of us feel we should encourage him to go into the chapel, dry off, rest up a bit and wait for the hospitalaros return.

The view leaving Eunate-The rain maybe heavy but our hearts are light

Its not only raining on our parade today, a party of girls on a day trip make the best of it and have great fun skipping in the shelter of the church porch at Obanos-the albergue looks nice to. Lunch seems to taste all the better for the weather and we tuck into our picnic accompanied by sound of swooshing skipping ropes and giggles. I'm half tempted to 'run in' when there's a pause in the skipping line but restrain myself.

Skipping in the rain at Obanos

If we needed a waterproof stess test for our kit we got it this afternoon-stair rods/firemans hose/ buckets you can describe it anyway you like its just bloody wet-and we're Irish so we know a soft day when we see one.
Arrived in to Puente Le Reina get showered and try to dry off as much as we can. Its a very pretty town but there is something coolly transactional about the residents-it odd but its the absence of those silent acknowledgments and well wishes we have become used to over the last few days that make us appreciate them all the more. What makes a place special for me, and I think Frances, are those little kindnesses. We are becoming Blanche De Bois of the road and relying 'upon the kindness of strangers'.

Puente Le Reina aka Puente Le Raina

1 comment:

GerAnnPaSa said...

What a treat to find your lovely blog. Great style, informative gently comic. Thanks so much you lovely ladies.