Friday, January 1, 2016


Camino Gazetteer

.....Camino 4-2008:January 22, 2008
.....Camino 5-2009:January 31, 2009
.....Camino 6-2010:Jan.16 and Oct.14, 2010
.....Camino 7-2011:October 18, 2011



January 22, 2008

We spent a long day walking downhill across the back roads and not across the Mountain of Pardon to the exquisite circular church at Eunate.

Polo and I spent an unforgettable night in the little albergue with Jean, the French hospitalero. The copious food he served us was wonderful.

After dinner we visited the church by candlelight and held an almost silent prayer service. All was truly beyond this world. Slept on mattresses on the floor.

January 31, 2009

Once again today I walked into perfection, the church of Santa Maria de Eunate. This small, circular structure is more than 1000 years old and may be based on the plan of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Nestled into the rolling countryside it is truly timeless. Protected within the dim interior one senses the deep peace of eternity. ...May my memory of such beauty and calm endure.

Although I have visited Eunate several times last year was the first time I stayed at the albergue. Today I am the first pilgrim to stay in 2009! Jean, the French hospitalero, is still here and so very gracious. He invited me to join him and some friends for tea. We ate the most delicious goodies! What a wonderful day this has been.

January 16, 2010

Yesterday I moved on towards Puente La Reina where the Camino Aragonés will join the Camino Frances.

By the time I reached Eunate I was shaking with intense pain from the simple act of walking. Nevertheless coming along the Camino and catching the first glimpse of this wonderful circular church "lost" in the ocher countryside was as always a thrill. Unfortunately the church and albergue were still closed for the winter. (Both will reopen on January 20.) I sat outside in a chill drizzle, gave thanks for being able to see this beloved spot once more and for coming as far as I had and then I wept. ...

And so today in pain and sadness I had to leave the Camino. Physically I may not be there, but sentimentally I will always wear my shell. ... Thanks for reading my blog and offering your comments. Ultreia!

October 14, 2010

Earlier this year on January 16 I staggered into Eunate. Unable to walk further without assistance, I canceled my winter camino vowing to return. Today walking easily yet weeping with joy I came back to this beloved place. From the depth of my heart I offer sincerest thanks for such a possibility.

As an architectural historian it has been my professional privilege and personal pleasure to visit some incredible structures, but Eunate is beyond them all. Here set within a natural bowl unknown craftsmen using ocher sandstone have crafted a small circular church surrounded by an octagonal cloister.

Here pilgrims have worshiped for one thousand years. For me, as for those multitudes, Eunate is close to paradise on earth. May peace in this timeless place always continue.

October 18, 2011

The Pyrenees are past and gentler rolling country lies immediately ahead. Simple endurance and not brutal strength now will be necessary. At Trinidad I met an American guy whose expressive face and blond mane were reminiscent of the wonderful lion in the Wizard of Oz. After crossing Pamplona we both stopped at the relaxed and relaxing Albergue Roncal at Cizur Minor.

Yesterday in glorious sunshine we climbed the infamous Alto de Perdon. Lower than Ibaneta it nevertheless is steep with a difficult descent down on scree. Glad that is it is finished!

Today I walked alone to one of my most favorite spots Santa Maria de Eunate. Here I will spend the night in the tiny albergue next to the church. All day was spent enjoying the small, perfect church of Santa Maria de Eunate and its surrounding. This thousand year old circular structure with an octagonal cloister is timeless. Set within a natural bowl the ocher sandstone walls blend into the almost sculpted nearby fields planted with corn and fennel. Here is found the simple peace of eternity.

In the evening four other pilgrims and I shared warm hospitality in the simple albergue. Our two hospitaleros from Strasbourg served an outstanding supper. Afterwards we held a simple candlelit prayer service in the mystic church giving thanks for our Caminos, our lives and our loves. Later as we each fell asleep we pilgrims remarked on our luck and pleasure in sharing such precious moments. ...I thought how wonderful it had been to visit this beloved place once again. May peace reign here another thousand years.


No comments:

Post a Comment