Today we slowed the pace a bit and walked a touch over 17 kilometers (10.5 miles), enjoying wide open views from the Camino. Leaving Pamplona after pastries in the early hours of the morning, we wound our way through the city. The government has eased the way of the pilgrim by cementing embossed stainless steel markers into the sidewalk.
Shortly after leaving the Pamplona, we entered into a natural pathway. Fields of wheat stretched out like a sun bleached carpet in all directions. It's harvest time in Spain.
Climbing several hundred meters above it all, we encountered the Alto del Perdon (Mount of Forgiveness). Windmills sentineled the ridge in long procession. A cast iron sculpture of medieval pilgrims stood at the top; on it was inscribed "Where the way of the wind crosses the way of the stars." We rested for awhile with other hikers.
I'm grounded by representations of those who have walked this path before. I'm getting to know those who walk now. Those who walk this way in a thousand years, at this moment, I know them.
Dropping down off the peak, we descended into Uterga. Off to the right of the road, we noticed shade trees and green grass. After choosing a spot, apples were enjoyed. I practiced yoga. The town was growing on us.
Stopping at Camino del Pedon, we ordered from the pilgrim menu. It was Christina's day to choose our albergue. We stayed our first night in one of their private rooms.
After naps, we joined several other hikers for the three course pilgrim meal (local wine included), a celebratory experience.