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Dona Quixote and a Knight Templar

April 4, 2013 Day 5 – Pamplona to Obanos (About 21 kilometers)

Outer Journey

A steep climb today.   Up another 800 meters in the mud and the water.  Up to the Hill of Forgiveness or Alto del Perdon.  The steep decent is maybe more of a challenge than the ascent.  Today´s path took us through Cizur Menor, Zariquegui, Uterga, Eunate and we stopped at Obanos.

I made the detour to the small Church of Eunate and it was definitely worth it.  It was one of those ¨places¨. It is an eight sided church associated with the Knights Templar. Eunate was a burial place for pilgrims that didn´t make the arduous journey.  There is also a famous story about the Duke of Aquitaine becoming so mad at his sister that refused to return to her courtly duties after she made the pilgrimage that he killed her.  He felt so badly about this that he decided to walk the Camino himself and when he finished he gave up his title and all his possessions and became a monk!

Inner journey

Today I began my quest to develop my own Camino rhythm and follow my inner Camino instead of the guide book.  I left Pamplona when it was still dark and followed the silver shell medallions that were 2 meters apart along the Camino and out the city.  I was  a little nervous that I might night see all of the signs.  As I was getting closer the the edge of Pamplona I did lose the signs and then out of nowhere a older man appeared.  He said, ¨The Camino is that way¨and pointed and said follow me.  After I regained the signs I told him it wasn´t necessary for him to continue to escort me.  He said he walked 10 kilometers every morning and every morning he escorted Pereginos to the next town.  The Camino provides once again!

Early in the morning I saw a mother and young boy.  I realized the young boy was also walking the Camino.  His name is Xavier and his mother Elena.  Xavier became my Knight Templar and with his constant chatter, he helped me reach my destination.  He also said my pack was too heavy and big and offered to carry my water.  Xavier is 8 years old!  He is also very wise.  I learned to listen to his advice along the way.

We made the very steep climb up the Hill of Foregiveness and it was so muddy and steep.  When I got near the top there were so many windmills (wind turbines).  I laughed and felt like I was Dona Quixote on a craxy quest!

My Knight Templar kept me going with his jokes and wisdom.  At one point he told me he heard an airplane.  I  thought it must be a car or something because we were in the middle of no where.  10 minutes later a plane few over head.

Later that day when we were again in the middle of no where looking for the Church in Eunate that is hiden behind some trees he said, see there…a church in the distance made out of air…or I must be hallucinating.  I didn´t see it but felt his conviction and looked and looked.  I saw a bright area but no church.  We continued on and, lo and behold,  there stood the Church of Eunate, right where he said the church made out of air was.

Then we got to the church and my battery in my phone was dead.  I waited all day to take a picture of this famous church.  He said, very wisely, this is for the picture in your head.  Wow!  It did turn out that I had a chance to plug my phone in and then take a picture so all of you could see it too.

Another time it began to drizzle and I said, oh it is beginning to rain.  He said, no it is not,  it is like sprinking salt on the earth that is like a big salad.  Nothing more.  I am telling you…wisdom comes in very small packages!

Once of the best parts of the journey today is that Elena is from Spain and has many relatives.  Tonight we are staying with her siter in law in Obanos and having a home cooked meal that her two sons cooked for us and a warm and toasty bed to sleep in.  So far the rhythm is working out well.

Buen Camino!


Buen Camino!


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  1. Deirdre

    April 7, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    Wow! I’m speechless! Buen Camino.

    • Alie

      April 7, 2013 - 4:56 pm

      Your love, support and enthusiasm keeps me going through the 30 degree days, snow, rain and wind. Xoxo, alison

  2. Rachel

    April 7, 2013 - 5:24 pm

    My heart delights in your journey my love!

  3. Linda Lundquist

    April 8, 2013 - 12:15 am

    Alie, It warms my heart to read your entries. I just came home after my condo’s first open house and no one came except at the very end. I TRUST JOY that it will see…I found something that would work for me very close to my kids and grandson (soon to be grandsons). You are such an inspiration to me! Love ya, Linda

  4. Jane Scarcello

    April 8, 2013 - 6:41 pm

    I love the stories and share them with the travel office! Love your knight Templar….very bright young man.

  5. Daria

    April 9, 2013 - 1:29 am

    How are you Alison? We miss you!!!!! Send us a text! Love you!

  6. Daria

    April 9, 2013 - 1:32 am

    Have you been getting mom and dad’s comments? They are worried they were doing it incorrectly. Give them a call and leave a message so they know you are ok. They will be home after 2:30pm EST tomorrow, Tuesday. Buen Camino

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