May 31, 2014 - Distance Traveled: 23.3 km -
About 8.6 km outside of Pamplona you come to Alto del Perdon, the Mount of Forgiveness. I arrived here alone. There was a strong wind and it was chilly, but that did not stop me from spending a few moments to rest, refuel, and meditate on what was memorialized here. The climb to this spot was steep, but not overwhelming. The descent on the other side was steep and rocky, but lead to beautiful wide open spaces.
I bumped into Annemarie outside our albergue. She was continuing on, and would not be stopping here for the day. Still, it was good to see her and hear a bit about how her day was going and what she was discovering as she walked.
In the late afternoon, we gathered at the edge of the Arga River. While the sun bathed the bridge in a golden light, we shared a snack before dinner and enjoyed one another’s company. Brant, Yavidan and Emilie are in the frame. Also pictured are Dalia, a who was going to walk as far as Burgos, and Junyoung, who is reaching for a chip. I first met Junyoung in Zurbri. Yavidan was having trouble with her cell phone and Junyoung offered to help. As he explained, he was Korean and Koreans could fix anything. I have a feeling he would not feel as if he is not exaggerating.
Marta and Todd were waiting for the communal meal to be served. Moments earlier I had collected the three bottles of wine which were on the table to open them (I was one of the few pilgrims carrying a Swiss Army Knife with a corkscrew). Todd challenged me, asking where I was going with his bottle of wine. I wasn’t sure if he was joking or accusing me of stealing. I thought if he only knew I spent the last 21 years of my life as a pastor he would not be asking me this question. I made sure I sat next to him during dinner, because I knew I would be bumping into him over the next couple of weeks and didn’t want the tension I felt in that moment to carry forward. It turned out he was a prison chaplain from Idaho. I discovered as we talked that we share much in regards to our life of faith and how we viewed our calling. He is a kindred spirit. Meeting him was a gift. As you can see, Marta, who I met in Pamplona, enjoys life and will bring much joy to our little band of pilgrims.