Day 5: Cizur Mentor to Obanos


We woke up bright and early and were well on our way before the beautiful sunrise.


Sandy on the camino passing these huge haystacks brought back some humorous memories from the movie,  “The Way.”  If you have yet to see it, you should watch it. It is on DVD now. Viewing it for us was one of three things that happened within a couple of weeks which we believe signaled us to take this pilgrimage to Santiago. I know, it sounds crazy, but it is true.


Sandy on her way up today’s major obstacle, Alto del Perdon.  Note the windmills at the ridgeline. There were at least thirty within sight. All were working too, which usually isn’t the case back home.


Looking back toward Pamplona.


Once atop the windy ridge,  we stopped to admire the Monumento Peregrino. It depicts medieval pilgrims with heads bent into the winds. Yes, it was very windy on top, so we quickly headed downhill. The trail was dry on the way down, so we opted to stay on the camino and not take the road. The trail was basically walking on loose, round river rock for a couple of miles. I would never try riding a mountain bike down this hill. It consequently was  very tough on the feet.  No falls, but we were told that a young peregrino from Canada suffered a serious knee injury yesterday and was giving it some time before making her decision to head back home.


After hiking over 10 miles over some pretty difficult terrain, our feet were telling us that today would be a day were we fell a bit short of our 12 mile per day goal. So we opted to stay in a town called Obanos.  It was beautiful and quite historic.  It is said the skull of St. William is in this church, which dominates the town center.


This poster shows what happened.  William, Duke of Aquitaine killed his sister after she refused to return to Obanos.  It seems she took the camino pilgrimage route to Santiago and once there decided to stay.  William was upset as he needed her home to help run his Duke related things. So, he killed her. Many a brother has told his sister such a fate was forthcoming. Few follow through. Apparently, William was a man of action. After killing her, William became riddled with remorse so he too took the pilgrimage to Santiago.  Along the way, he decided to renounce his nobility for a life of poverty, penitence and prayer.  He came back to Obanos and finished his life living as a hermit.


We decided not to live like a hermit tonight as last night sleep at the Albergue was quite  difficult.  There were two loud snorers on both sides of Sandy and a huge Australian who was going through tobacco withdrawals after quitting.  So, we decided to look for a place in Obanos. We stayed at a place called Apartments Turistico Raichu. Our host saw us walking through town and called out to us in Spanish from her second floor window. We did not understand a word, but walked over to her. She led us to her apartments and they were absolutely beautiful. We had the whole house to ourselves. 


We used the washer to clean today’s clothes and the kitchen to make our dinner.


So tonight we live in luxury. Luxury for a peregrino comes pretty cheap. For €38 we stayed in the nicest place of our entire time in Italy, France or Spain. Check out her website at
The owner even provided us with her own pasta and box of tomato sauce after we missed getting to the mercado before it closed for the day. They say, “the camino provides.”  Today we experienced it first hand.

Tomorrow will be a long difficult hike, so we plan to again start early.
Buen Camino!


1 Comment

Filed under Mark & Sandy's Camino 2014

One response to “Day 5: Cizur Mentor to Obanos

  1. Steve

    The trip looks like it is an awsome adventure…what is the exchange rate on those Euros? e38=? in U.S. $

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