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Over the Next Hill – 26/100 Camino Photos

Curiosity drives me forward when I hike. What will I see beyond the next hill, around the next curve? Not much, sometimes. Amazing views other times. This view of the centuries-old Camino town Cirauqui is perhaps my favorite ever. Proud and picturesque, colorful and carefully maintained. It has much in common with other small Spanish towns, but this photo reminds me of the quiet sunny beauty of this part of the Way.

Ciraqui

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challenge, hiking, inspiration, photography, travel, Uncategorized

World Class – 25/100 Camino Photos

Pilgrims come from all over the world to walk the Camino de Santiago. I met people from South Korea, Japan, Germany, Austria, Finland, Britain, Estonia, New Zealand, France, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and more. Indeed, it is a small world.

world

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Mustard Seeds – 23-24/100 Camino Photos

Bright, crisp greens. Pure mustard yellows. Gray mountains and brown earth. The sound of gurgling streams. On the Camino de Santiago, nature needs do nothing more than be to inspire.

fields

mustard

Centuries old pathways stretch over hills and through such fields. Thunder rumbles in the distance, and the smell of far-off rain scents the air. What will you find around the next bend?

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Puente la Reina – 21-22/100 Camino Photos

Puente la Reina. The queen’s bridge, in English. A photogenic spot, this little town between Pamplona and Estella, is popular with pilgrims and tourists alike. Beautiful sights like these all along the Camino de Santiago lift your thoughts toward things eternal. I could only stay a few moments here because on the Way you must keep moving, always moving. The value of photographs like these is that I can enjoy the transient moments again and again.

Puente la Reina

 

church

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Art Along the Way – 16-20/100 Camino Photos

What kind of art will you encounter on the Camino de Santiago from Roncesvalles to Pamplona? Many kinds. From the very informal, on bridges …

grafitti

 

Or stop signs …

stop sign

Or homes …

house art

To the professional …

pilgrim

Even on government buildings …

building

 

Art is an expression of our joys, weaknesses, and desire for beauty as well as a way to pass the time. All are evident on the Camino.

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Pamplona in April – 13-15/100 Camino Photos

Pamplona is one of the bigger cities on the Camino de Santiago route, with a population of around 200,000. The famous running of the bulls in July is what the city is primarily known for, but it has a charm apart from that. Founded in Roman times, it has persevered for centuries.

sculpture

This wide angle shot shows the Plaza del Castillo, the biggest square. Hemingway is said to have occupied an apartment that looked out into the square.

square

Seeds of rebellion have sprouted in this region, known for Basque separatists that don’t hide their allegiance. In the narrow streets, above the shops, you will often see flags such as these.

flags

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Dog Day Afternoon – 11-12/100 Camino Photos

I was atop a hill looking at this beautiful view when what did I see?

view

My first canine Camino hiker:

doggie

I only saw one more canine hiker during my Camino, and he had a doggie backpack filled with his food and water. His owner said: “Everyone must pull their own weight on the Camino!”

 

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The First Day Ends – 5-7/100 Camino Photos

I was nervous about doing too much walking our first day on the Camino de Santiago, so we took it easy. The day couldn’t have been better for a walk, clear and sunny with a light breeze. Walking sticks at the ready, we passed through groves and into the countryside.

After a gentle climb we turned around to see …

village in background

 

After a few hours, the village of Bizkarreta seemed like a good place to stop. The guesthouse called Corazón Puro beckoned. With reasonable prices, friendly proprietors, and views like these out the window we could not resist.

horses mama baby

out window

 

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Remembering Dreams – 3-4/100 Camino Photos

Most people start their trek on the Camino de Santiago (French Way) at St. Jean Pied de Port, a small French town just over the border between Spain and France. They cross the Pyrenees on their first day, struggling to go up, up, up the mountains. Instead, I decided to start in Roncesvalles, Spain, just over the mountains from St. Jean, but incredibly beautiful just the same.

sheep

horses

The trail passes domesticated lands – fields and animals arranged by humans. Peace and quiet reigns supreme. I am reminded of the documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which shows the magnificent cave paintings of our early ancestors. The cave is in southern France, not terribly far from Roncesvalles and these scenes. Indeed, these spots feel as though humans have lived here for eons. Blue sky, crisp, clean air, and the smell of fresh grass. Something primeval within me responds to these simple things.