DAY 6: August 29, Pamplona to Puenta la Reina (24km)
We are recharged and rested and eager to be back on “the Way”. The walk begins easily, taking us through the university area. We are aware that the road will only get harder and higher. On a far hill in the distance we see rows of windmills. That is where the path will lead….14 km of stumbling along a road built by the Romans. Alongside us are fields of sunflowers growing in soil so rock laden it is a miracle that anything could survive. Strangely the sunflowers are harvested only by the birds. The steepest portion of the road ( 3km from the top) looks like it has never been repaired and is treacherous. We were exhilarated and relieved to reach Alto del Perdon and hear the sound of the windmills. These windmills supply power for Pamplona. The blowing of the wind itself as we rested at the top was so cooling and welcome. At this place where “the wind meets the stars” we felt for the first time with certainty that we could finish walking the Camino:-)
The descent was steep, uneven and composed of loose gravel and rock. We had been warned that more pilgrims injure themselves here than anywhere else on the Camino.
We climbed down slowly, grateful once again for our walking poles. At last we crossed the River Arga over an old Romanesque bridge and entered Puente la Reina with relief.