Anything But Paella

Tilting at Windmills near Pamplona

If you find yourself walking on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela to the west of Pamplona, you can’t miss the incredible sight of the El Perdon windfarm and the row of steel sculptures along the way. On a sunny day it’s an incredible location with the surrounding hills opening up in front of you. Of course, you don’t have to walk – it’s not a bad drive either. If you are walking then you probably won’t want to dwell too much up there, but if, like me, you drove, then read on!

 

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I first saw the sculptures when I saw the film “The Way” starring Michael Sheen and Emilio Estevez which tells the story of a man’s quest to complete his late son’s journey along the camino after his tragic death. I thought the sculptures were amazing and then, to my surprise, they turned out to be very close to Pamplona, where I was living at the time. It became a priority excursion which turned into a great day out. Remember to take a picnic though, as you’ll want to spend a lot of time up there.

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At the top you can admire the sculptures and walk for miles along the tracks which link the wind turbines. Windfarms may be a controversial subject in many places, but they litter the hillsides of northern Spain. It was intriguing to wander so close to them. Personally, I find them a thing of beauty and I can’t say I heard them whistling at all, a common complaint from those who live nearby. I did, however, notice the strobe effect they have on the sunlight which was a bit weird.

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Be sure to have the occasional reality check though, lest you find yourself “tilting at windmills”. The phrase means “attacking imaginary enemies” and comes from Cervante’s Spanish epic, Don Quixote, when the hero believed the windmills of La Mancha to be giants which needed defeating. Wind turbines are, after all, just modern day windmills!

 

 

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