Day 1: A Mistake in Roncesvalles

Roncevalles, a town that consists only of a monastery, and alburgue, and a couple restaurants, is known for its church services in which the pilgrims are blessed. We were excited to record the service, and showed up at what we thought was the right time. But we were wrong. The service had been earlier, when we were eating. Discouraged, we decided to go in and get a few shots of the church anyway. But the camera batteries were acting weird, so we waited while Ron went back to the alburgue to get a new one.

We went in the church, and all the lights were out sign said we could deposit 1 euro and get 8 minutes of light. I hunted around in my bag, and found that I had one euro coin. Right as I was about to deposit it, a group of men walked into the church, down to the front.

We knelt to pray, and as we did, the men started singing haunting chants in Latin. They weren't dressed in what I thought a monk would wear, and I don't think they we're pilgrims. But their singing was one of the most beautiful things I ever heard, and only Lauren, Christina, Ron, and I got to experience it. They kept singing long after the 8 minutes of light ended, and we stayed, soaking it all in.

If Ron hadn't needed to go get a new battery, we probably would have used our 8 minutes and missed those men. If we had made it to the service, I don't think it could have possibly been as moving as that moment.

It's funny how life works.