Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walking the Camino: Pamplona to Obanos




Departing from the city of Pamplona, we will first make our way across a small valley, passing by acres of farmland mixed with industrial areas. After climbing out of the valley (the first of a few hillclimbs we'll enjoy today), we encounter the village of Cizur Menor.


Historically a base of the Knights Hospitaliers and the Order of Malta since the 1100s, Cizur Menor is home to a monastery that has been converted to a pilgrim refuge run by that same Order of Malta for the past eight hundred years. After Cizur Menor comes the strenuous climb up the Alto del Perdon.


On the way up the mountain, one might come across a fountain. Legend has it that, in this spot, the devil presented himself to a weary, thirsty pilgrim. He offered him a deal: his soul for a drink of water. The pilgrim declined, after which St. James appears and brought on a raging torrent of water. Unfortunately, it has been reported that the water from the fountain is, these days, not quite as potable as that legendary torrent.


At the top of the Alto Del Perdon is, of course, a fantastic view of the road ahead. There is, as well, a monument consisting of metal silhouettes of age-old pilgrims. After we've taken in our share of the view, the tricky descent follows; composed of loose rocks and uneven ground, we must be careful so that we may prevent injury.


After the Alto Del Perdon, the road will eventually lead to Obanos, our destination, which will be discussed in the next edition of Walking the Camino!

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