27 May Roncevalles to Zubri

Before post this let me explain the absence of visual accompaniment so far. All the photos I’ve taken so far are trapped in my Smartphone and I can’t send them to my IPad. So, because it’s not feasible that I stop every few hundred metres to get the IPad out of my pack, I will use the phone during walking time and the IPad at the end of the days’ walk. Not ideal but at least you’ll have something to look at.

This was my bed in the Albergue Roncevalles last night. I’m bottom left.image

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There’re were rustlings, rumblings, farts, coughs and whispers in all nooks and crannies in the Albergue long before the lights were turned on at 6-00am. As soon as the lights were on 100+ people of mixed sex were rushing to the toilets and washing facilities. It amazed me that so many people could wash, wee and whatever in such a short time because almost everyone of us was ready to go by 7am.

As agreed at the Pilgrim Dinner last night (duck confit….yuk!) I ended up walking out of Roncevalles side-by-side with Netherlands John, Canadian Alana and her son Ethan (about 10) and Maria from Columbia. That’s the second Columbian I’ve walked with so far, the other being Pilar who is part of the New York State group. Anyway a quickly becoming familiar scenario unfolded as everyone found their own pace and spread out, for the third day now more people passed me than I could count, but I got my own back on them by slowing down again. Thankfully today was brighter so at least I could see them this time.

It wasn’t long before breakfast was called for and I found myself in a cafe with John and the others along with a few others. My croissant with ham and cheese didn’t last long and I left before the others had finished.

Now then, either they are running after me or taking taxi’s because it wasn’t too long before I was almost tail- end Charlie again, but it makes no matter for I am blissfully happy walking on my own for the time being. My biggest disappointment today is that I can’t let you see the countryside I walking through. At the moment it’s a magical moving momentum of woodland, valleys, open moor and grassland, all of it set against a background of broken blue sky and the lower foothills of the Pyrenees. Walking is set against the background music of cow and sheep bells jingling and clank-clank-clanking somewhere below me and hidden from view in the woodland and valleys, coupled with ever present and changing birdsong and over-abundance of yellow, pink, blue, red and orange wild-flowers that line the paths, lanes and now swollen streams, I just want to sing.

Physically I actually found today just as fatiguing as the pervious two days over the Pyrenees, maybe those two days took more out of me than I knew. It was up and down all day interspersed with a bit of going sideways to avoid ankle-deep mud.

After two boots and socks off toe wiggling stops and about 7 hours I reached Zubri tired and happy. This where I’ll be sleeping tonight along with the 4 I left Roncevalles with this morning and about 16 other like-minded souls.

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Some of us shared the Albergue washing machine and dryer for 6 euros. I hope I get my own pants and socks back.

Had a Pilgrim’s Menu meal early this evening and walked back towards the Albergue to be met by many of the people I have talked, laughed and ate with these past three days. Here are some of them.

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Total steps today 33440

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