Posts in Hunter Van Wagenen
Three Experiences on the Hill of Forgiveness

It was 2007 when I first walked the Camino, and the Alto de Perdón remains one of the most striking visual memories of any of my times as a pilgrim. The day was clear and a fine autumn breeze was blowing. The wheat had been harvested, so the soil was bare and upturned. The sky was so blue, and the Pyrenees to the north so distant yet defined in the sunlight. As I made my ascent, a glance back took my breath away and brought a tear to my eye, it was so beautiful. I met no one else that whole day, but took everything, from the beauty of the landscape to the individual sunflowers I passed, as a gift.

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Cyclists Are People, Too

Cyclists are on their own pilgrimage; it may not take as long as yours or require as much physical effort, but they are going to the same destination and experiencing many of the same struggles and joys that you are. I’ve shared supper and rooms with many cyclists along the way, and they are just as aware of the depth of the experience on the Camino.

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Friends from Far-off Places

Pilgrims from other countries and cultures will broaden your mind to see perspectives outside your home in a way that reading foreign news cannot. Your new friends will have political, religious, and other opinions that differ drastically from your own because of where and how each of you grew up, but you will have much more in common, especially the experience of the Camino. Putting a friend's face on often-impersonal blocs of cultures, groups, and countries will change the way you read the news indeed. More than that, though, it will give you a network of friends throughout the world, and that is wealth without price.

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