Pamplona to Puente La Reina
16.60 | 60.44 miles
+ 1,861 / – 2,205 feet
I slept in today and was on the way a little later. It was nice not to set my alarm as I didn’t need to make breakfast at a certain time.
Today continued to be a beautiful walk with one long climb.
There was a fun bus doing a tour of the Camino with coffee and drinks at the top of the mountain by the Pilgrim memorial. You can follow their Camino, too. Maybe I’ll see them again.
Today was a longer walk than I had expected since I didn’t look closely before I left. It was also hotter as we’re out of the Pyrenees. I was glad to reach my room in Puente La Reina, especially since it is a two-story walk up. I have a Juliet balcony like in Zubiri which makes it easier for clothes to dry.
Puente La Reina is a nice little town. In addition to two large churches there is a beautiful stone bridge over the Rio Arga (which we have been following for days).
The Puente La Reina, which means the bridge of the queen, was built for Camino pilgrims by Queen Muniadona in the eleventh century. The arches were built to form perfect circles with the reflection in the water. I wonder when the architect built it did he plan for a dry summer or spring flooding? I must be here in a “normal” time because the circles are pretty round.
I wonder how many things I plan to form perfect circles, somehow believing that circumstances or other external factors won’t impact it. But then the winter snow melt raises the water level or climate change lowers it. Often, because it wasn’t how I planned it, I think it’s ruined or I failed.
When the bridge forms its perfect circles, it is beautiful and may inspire the contemplation and reflection by pilgrims that it was designed for. But when the circles aren’t perfect or the wind breaks the mirror of the water’s reflection, the bridge still does its job by allowing pilgrims to cross. It is still beautiful to look at, and most people probably never expected perfect circles anyway. My expectations of how something is to be and the conclusion it fails when it isn’t exactly to my expectations are baggage to leave behind on the Camino.