Hikers are always on the lookout for waymarkers that show the route of the Camino. The waymarker shown above is actually a rarity since the trail is most often marked by a small yellow painted arrow or "blaze" on a wall, or a tree. The trail is usually well marked, but there is confusion from time to time so hikers need to be constantly on the lookout unless they'd like to add several kilometers to their hike that day. I believe the stones stacked on these waymarkers by pilgrims represent prayers, or earthly burdens. Some people actually bring a stone from their home.
Blaze's or markers can come in many shapes and sizes like this arrow below.
Often a blaze might be as small as this 3 inch yellow arrow on this sign below.
The Camino is actually a community. It develops and strengthens with each passing day. You meet many people along the way and friendships are forged. Even strangers passing offer an encouraging "Buen Camino" when the encounter fellow pilgrims. I saw this note early in the morning on my way to Puente La Reiña. Someone had left it pinned to a tree along the route in hopes that Manuel would find it. (Some on the Camino will adopt a Spanish name for their trail name. I later met Manuel, a German in his late 20's and as it turned out Manuel was his real name!) My German is even worse than my Spanish, but I believe the note says something like "I'm on the road and in pretty good shape after so many miles. If I don't see you, I wish you Buen camino and hope you'll have a lot of positive experiences." - Elisabeth
From Cizur Menor to Puente La Reiña
We can see windmills in the distance atop the summit of Alto del Perdon "the Hill of Pardons" as we set out from Cizur Menor. Spain has embraced windpower and this ridge is dotted with wind generators.
On top of Alto del Perdon you'll find this sculpture dedicated to those who hike the Camino.
After we crest the Alto Del Perdon we pass through wheat fields on our way to Puente La Reiña.
My father-in-law convinced me to take a side trip along an alternative route of the Camino that leads past the Romanesque chapel of Santa María de Eunate, or, St. Mary´s of the Hundred Doors (Eunate means "one hundred doors" in the Basque language). This octangonal chapel was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. The chapel is surounded by a ring of arches. It was well worth the trip. While I loved the company of my family on this trip, I walked mostly in solitude this day, and it was an awesome experience. (Many say that this is THE way the Camino is meant to be experienced.)
A church on a hill at Puente La Reina. I can't remember the name of it, but they were apparently reading the rosary old school, with the priest facing the altar as the conduit through which the congregation can cummunicate with God. (The congregation being 3 people and a baby). It was very moving.