Roncesvalles to Pamplona


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I’ve taken a short break (stop judging me), and I am resting in Pamplona for the day. In fact the five of us have rendezvoused here and I have just returned from dinner with the others. The night life in Pamplona is fabulous, as is the food. Our injured compatriot and her husband caught a bus to Pamplona from Roncesvalles, and the good news is that she seems to be in good health with only a hamstring strain. So they will be joining us on the walk tomorrow, albeit carefully and gently. I’ve loved walking with the other couple and getting to know them, as well as sharing some of my story with them. Having said that, it is nice being all together again. I’ve also found myself making friends with other pilgrims on the way. A few of whom I have pretty much seen every day. Tomorrow, the others are planning to leave earlier and I will catch them up in the next day or two. Who doesn’t love a good sleep in? Only Communists and Presbyterians I say.

It is interesting that I am on a spiritual quest and that I have made two new friends who seem to have latched on to me who describe themselves as “Neo Pagans”. There has been some fun conversation to be had in there. There’s a fairly famous bit in the bible that says “if you seek, you shall find”, so I guess I find myself respecting anyone who is also on a seeker’s journey.

The walk over the last couple of days has again been quite intense. It is hot here, and there are still some pretty serious hills to cross. I’m taking in between five and six litres of water every day, and on the third day took in eight litres.

I’m loving the change in terrain, walking into villages, on mountain trails, past rivers. I’ve tried to get a few photos that show the beauty of what I’m experiencing. I am also developing some traditions, I make a point of sticking my head in any town fountains that I come across and I am swimming (sans clothing), in the rivers as I come across them here. I love it. Of course I feel for any who might stumble across such a scene.

Again, I have had plenty of time to reflect and pray and work my way through stuff. There are lots of things going through my mind and my head that are still in the early stages, and not much that I could clearly articulate here, but stand by.

One thing that has been interesting has been in dealing with some of the hills. It has not been uncommon to find myself trudging up a hill for hours at a time. I am by nature, and physique, a sprinter. I am built for strength, not endurance. My tendency when I have come to a hill has been to try and tough it out and hit it hard all the way to the top. This works on hills that are a couple of hundred metres, but trust me when I say that when you are going uphill for kilometres at a time, sprinting does not work!

This has caused me to reflect on how I approach life. I live in an instant dinner, instant entertainment, wait for nothing, world. The idea of tucking in, trudging through and toughing out a problem, from one side to the other purposefully over time, is a bit foreign to me. I tend to set a plan in motion and get to it. To learn endurance, persistence, stickability, even when it hurts every step, might be a valuable lesson to me. And in this instant gratification world, might be a useful and perhaps uncommon asset.

For those of you who I know as friends, thanks for having stickability with me. I know how lucky I am to have you.


About timeaside

I'm setting time aside to focus on the things I think are important. A life well lived, taking lessons from the past without carrying their burden, hanging out with God and seeing what He has to say about the whole thing.
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11 Responses to Roncesvalles to Pamplona

  1. Alex Zvi says:

    I’ve actually now read your blog his time instead of scanning:)
    David, I do pray and hope this pilgrimage is all you hope for and more –
    Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12
    I love the thought that every believers ‘That which’ is unique to them and only them 🙂

  2. timeaside says:

    Thanks Alex,
    I am happy that whatever happens, happens. It is in putting myself in this place that I have achieved what I wanted. If God turns up, or not. If I run off with a circus or became a Republican, it is as it ought to be. Hooray for God!!
    By the way, prayers are always appreciated. Hugs to you.

  3. Jim Unger says:

    Endurance. Who’d a thought?

  4. Nool says:

    Sorry to hear there have been injuries so early in the journey. For a treck that offers it’s rewards through perserverance & endurance it would be a bummer if injury robbed them at this early stage.

    • timeaside says:

      All seem to be coming together now. Injuries are all manageable. In fact I think we’re all getting into the swing of things.

  5. Annette Tyson says:

    Thanks for the Blog David. I would love to do this walk myself. I find myself anticipating your latest blog. I am enjoying the photos and comments about your experiences and people you meet on the way. Thanks for being able to experience something of this beautiful pilgrimage. Keep up the pace!

    • timeaside says:

      Thanks Annette, I’m pleased you’re enjoying it. Maybe some day you and Paul could take the girls on this journey? I’m pretty sure that I will do it at least one more time.

  6. Lisa says:

    You blog was very helpful David, to reflect on endurance and perseverance as I prepare for my long bike ride. I turned to the passage in Romans 5:3 about rejoicing in our sufferings because we know suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. I reflected on what does to endure and persevere really mean. To bear, to last, continuous effort in spite of difficulty. We have many rewards in enduring ie building our character, hope, God’s love to name a few.
    May you all rejoice in spite of hurting, in spite of being exhausted and with injuries. May your journey be character building as you rejoice in God’s love and beauty.
    Shame I am not nearby as I would of offered my massage services to you all to help those weary muscles 🙂

  7. timeaside says:

    Thanks Lisa, Good reflections to add. I did have a fabulous massage in Estella, although she bent me in ways that made me think she may have previously had a successful career in law enforcement or detainee torture. In fact now that I mention it, I think I remember her!

  8. lannalife says:

    I find it kind of interesting you lump commies and pressies together Dave!

    I was just reading the other day from Proverbs 24 where it says in vs 10: If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!

    I suspect that this endurance is giving you a strength that you need to carry on. Keep blogging, I’m enjoying the read – even if I’m behind the times!!

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