The Winds

May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields – Irish Blessing

Camino Day 4, Wednesday 9th September.  We walked 27 klms today.  This was longer than expected, due to a diversion to the 12th century Church of Santa Maria de Eunate, in Eunate, about a kilometre or so off the main path. More of that later.

Our destination today was Puerta la Reina a pretty town of about 2800 people. The name of the means Queens Bridge, and the bridge is one of the highlights of the town.
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But back to the start of the day. We left Pamplona at 7:30am, after a diversion to the panaderia for supplies. The first 10klms or so, even though being either on roads out of Pamplona or on rocky paths and uphill, were hard, but not for those reasons. It just seemed hard. Maybe our rest day had made us soft! However by the time we got to Alto del Perdon I felt fresh and charged up. Alto del Perdon is a well known place, as the photo below shows.
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What surprised me though, in a very positive way, was the number of wind turbines along the ridge. I counted well over a 100, and I think that there was at least double that number along various parts of the ridge line, and possibly even more. What further surprises me is that our government cannot seem to get its head around the whole renewable energy debate, and yet Spain, supposedly in economic doldrums, can.

At the top of the hill we met a couple of Americans, Rich and Pat … it was Rich that took the above photo for us. And through them we also met Veronica, who comes from Perth. We got chatting and as fate would have it spent the rest of the day and into the evening with them, as it turned out we were all staying in the same hotel. Lots of chats about everything and nothing, and a bit of fun.

On our way to the old church I mentioned above we came across this vast field of peppers (capsicums). Two men were picking them and several crates of ripe peppers were sitting by the side of the road. They looked delicious. With a bit of yelling across the field and a bit of sign language we asked if we could buy some. He refused any money (after two offerings) and we walked away with a half a dozen peppers, some for eating then, and some food a snack with our bread and queso de cabra which we had picked up in Pamplona. Yum.
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By now the Church of Santa Maria de Eunate was just up the road and we wandered around it. It was closed so we didn’t see inside. Whilst I’m not a religious person I do like visiting these old buildings. The architecture is often magnificent, and of course they say so much about the culture and history of this county.
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It was a long and quite hot day, and I’ve developed a bit of a heat rash around my ankles which I hope the shorter and cooler day of tomorrow will help (rain forecast … hmmm).

Some photos from the day follow, including of the wind turbines which dominated much of today’s walk.

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