I love getting an early start to the walking day as I did when training at home. Here in Spain the sun is now rising at 8am so that means a head lamp is necessary for the first hour or so when leaving before 7am as we did today. We took a quick obligatory photo in front of the sign that tells us the distance to Santiago de Compostela.
Then it was off to Zubiri in the dark.
About 3k after leaving Roncesvalles, we came to the charming town of Burguete and a bar! (Remember, Bar means cafe in Spain). I had a cafe Americano and a banana and took a pain au chocolate (sorry don’t know the name in Spanish) for the road.
The town of Burguete was just lovely.
Espinal was the next town just another 3.6k later and it too was charming.
Most of our walking was done on paths similar to what we might walk on in Vermont. Some of it reminded me of the mountain bike trails behind Flatbread, especially when a group of biking pilgrims came riding past.
Soon it was time for another break and low and behold, there was a bar right when we needed it in Viscaretta (Bizkarreta in Basque). I ate the pain au chocolate from earlier and washed it down with a coke.
Looking at an elevation map, it doesn’t seem like today should have been so tough, but it felt I was constantly going uphill. And, unlike yesterday, there were no wide expanses; nothing you could gage distance with. You just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and relish the short breaks and the scenery.
Our last stop before Zubiri was at a food truck on the side of the road. A fellow pilgrim introduced me to Aquarius. It is like a “light” Gatorade and comes in lemon and orange. It is very refreshing.
The toughest part of the day was the last 3.5k into Zubiri. It was downhill, at times steep and what made it really challenging was the ledge and huge rocks underneath that were jutting out diagonal to the path. (I was so focused on getting the heck down that I didn’t take picture to prove my fears to be true.).
The path itself was full of rocks and I had to carefully pick my way down (did I mention how much I LOVE my trekking poles?). A couple of times I banged the front of my foot against one of those immovable rocks and I knew it wasn’t going to be good.
We will see how those big toes are doing over the next few days. Otherwise my feet are doing great. I was lucky to have been able to work out the kinks (well most of them) with foot issues during my training at home. Others were not and many are struggling with blisters.
I was so happy to see the town of Zubiri! During our last break I told one of my fellow pilgrims that I thought I would try to get a private room tonight. I have barely slept the past three nights and felt that a good night’s sleep would help me a lot. Henry suggested I call for a reservation before getting into town and I am happy I did. I got the last private room at one of the Alburgues I had hoped to stay at. I feel like I am in heaven!
I have my own room and there is a shared kitchen and bathroom. AND a laundry machine. This is living!!!
After a shower I planned to go to the bar two doors down and get something to eat (since I only had a banana and that pain au chocolate today) and I would get to bed really early. But, there were some folks in my Camino family drinking a beer and soon I was making plans for the pilgrim meal with several of them at 7.
While the Camino family idea felt forced and a bit uncomfortable to me the first couple of days, as we are starting to get into a groove, it is amazing how many people I keep bumping into that I know and it is so great to see them and catch up.
The one thing that is interesting is you never know when you may see someone for the last time. An injury could set someone a day or two behind, or someone could choose to stay somewhere for two nights to rest and explore (for example, that could happen tomorrow in Pamplona). Or, someone just might not be enjoying a section and taxi or bus ahead. We are all staying in different places and eating in different restaurants. It actually is quite amazing that we all keep bumping into each other when we do!
So, I am savoring every moment, living in the present because that is all I can be sure of. In fact, it is all that any of us can be sure of.
Have you tried to post a comment?
I am sorry, the security plugin I am using has gone rogue and was accusing people of not being “human.” I removed that “feature” tonight and hope it stops being so annoying. Please try again. I would love to hear from you.
I had no idea my dear friend Laura (Atlanta) was Camino bound and only found out yesterday that she is ahead of you on the trail, last night at Santa Domingo. I had my fingers crossed for a few hours that two of my most cherished friends would meet on a journey they separately dreamed of. Not likely as she is at day 10, but if you meet a kind and gentle pilgrim with a southern accent and an impish smile please ask if she knows anyone in Vermont 🙂
J&I are off in a few minutes to spend our first night in the tiny trailer. We won’t be far from home (a few steps) should we forget something. We will raise a glass to you and your adventures … and to your good night’s sleep.
Hi Robin. Thanks for fixing the comment bug. Your fans have been looking forward to posting.
Glad you are enjoying the other travelers. In my wanderings the people I’ve met along the way have been a big part of the fun. Do people have trail names?
So many of us are on the move and trying out new things (way to go Jeannie and Craig!). I’m on Amtrak from Boston to Maine to meet up with Dave. There is a wood fired bagel shop I plan to find. (That is a side show to the main wedding event.)
No trail names on the Camino. Although some au call me “the snorer” behind my back 😉
Love reading about your journey everyday! Can’t wait to see you in October!
I can’t wait to see you guys!
Hey Robin – hope you can do your best to give your toes some intermittent TLC – they’ll surely appreciate it along the way. Your descriptions and photos are providing a great sense of your experience- thanks for sharing. Wishing you well each day – a very “human” Joerg & Ann.
Yesterday afternoon teams of training bike racers kept passing through town and of course it made me think of Mike and Ellie! Thanks for your well wishes Joerg and Ann!
So glad to know that I am human and not a robot! We are following your progress, Robin, and send our thoughts and love. Thank you for sharing your journey through the wonderful pictures of all you are discovering along the way. Bon courage! Jeremy, Sally, Anda and Silas
Thank you guys! You would be cruising through this with no problem at all 🙂
Really enjoying reading about your time on the Camino Robin. As always, you are an amazing woman.
Thanks Janna! You will love it when you do it!
Hi Robin! So happy the walk is going well! I look forward to your posts every day and think of you when I’m walking in the NC mountains. Take care of those toes!
Zelda, it has been all I hoped for.
We are with you all the way! I am very much appreciating your descriptions of food and beverages and the joy and comfort of shared meals with fellow pilgrims. Your weather so far looks scrumptious as well. You are capturing the gorgeous light so well in your photos! Looking forward to the tales of your continued adventures.
Hi Jeannie! Weather has been perfect. Lucky.
It’s morning in the New Mexico desert and I’m just watching the sun come up over the mountains. I can’t begin to tell you how enjoyable it is reading through your blog, it makes me feel as if I’m on the road with you. Something tells me that you will probably inspire many people to make the same journey so keep up the good work and take care of your feet. All our love Karl and Susan
What a sweet note Karl! Enjoy your travels. I should have set up a blog for you 🙂
I am thoroughly enjoying your entire trip! I must admit that sing your feet made my feet hurt! Please take care. I wouldn’t want you to have to stay behind somewhere where you would rather the tracking onward! I am so proud of you and I just want you to enjoy every moment as it sounds like you are! Glad to know that you finally got a good nights sleep in that private room! I know that you need a good nights sleep and I think that a private room no matter what it cost would be in order to keep you moving onward and up word. Please take care of those feet and continue your amazing journey. I love you, Mom
I love you mom!
So fun to feel like I’m out there trekking with you…hope your toes manage!
€140 later I think I have my feet in good shape. Gel caps will help protect the big toes and I got a pair of good sandals to wear at night as part of my evening wear collection. I have lots to share with you Anita!
So far it sounds like a nice walk through some pretty cool towns and countryside. Not at all daunting, but maybe that’s just my outlook on it. Knowing where you’ve trained, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for you, but there’s always going to be that one thing. Great job with the updates and sharing your thoughts and experiences.
Thanks Rick! There is nothing I know of near home to simulate that downhill yesterday. Wow! There is another tough downhill tomorrow. Give me an uphill any day! You can have the downhills!