Trekcapri’s Camino de Santiago – Roncesvalles to Zubiri

Roncesvalles
View looking back on the town of Roncesvalles.

La Posada Albergue/Bar
The famous La Posada Albergue Bar/Cafe which was used in the movie, The Way.

Only 790 km To Santiago de Compostela
The famous sign walking out of Roncesvalles. Pretty intimidating to see how much walking was ahead of me.

Leaving Roncesvalles
Nice flat walking path leaving Roncesvalles. Forestry path ahead.

Stone Cross

Town of Burguete
The town of Burguete is cute.

Church in Burguete

Heading out of Burguete
Ramp or Stairs? I took the stairs. 🙂

Leaving Burguete
This was a nice flat path.

No Pilgrims in sight

Signs Pointing the Way
These were typical signs and markers to help pilgrims along the way.

More trees
The trees provided a nice shade.

Finally Other Pilgrims
I caught up with a group of Spanish Pilgrims. I think they belonged to a tour.

Typical Water Fountain
There are water fountains along the way. There will be signs that will tell you if the water is drinkable. Personnally I only drank bottled water.

Entering Espinal
Arrows are found everywhere, on the road, on buildings, etc.

Espinal Buildings
The houses are decorated with beautiful flowers.

Espinal
I tried to take photos in the towns I pass through as a souvenir.

Camino Lesson-Let go
A young girl from Korea was struggling so her friend took a bunch of stuff out of her pack and left it on this marker. He waved good bye to them. I thought it was cute. A definite Camino lesson.

Let Go
I too learned to let go of things I found that I didn't need.

Beautiful walk

Lovely views along the way

More views

More views

Camino Markers
Sometimes you have to cross road ways and then pick up the markers on the other side.

Mary!
Finally, a familiar face. I crashed into Mary (aka Gigi) and her son Bobbiy. I was so happy to see them.

Camino life
I loved seeing Camino animals along the way (cows, horses, etc.)

More walking

Cafe/Bar Rest Stop
We crash into Sara at this rest stop. Had a cold glass of Coco Cola which really hit the spot. We also stocked up on snacks and water.

More Markers

There were some Hills.
I thought we left the hills after climbing the Pyrenees. There are many more hills along the way. 🙂

Play time
We caught up with the young group from Korea who was enjoying some play time.

Sara Talking with the group
Sara found out they were pretty young. 16-22 years old.

Bobby playing with a Camino kitty

Steep & Rocky
I struggled on the hills. Sara walked ahead and Mary & Bobby were behind me.

I can See Zubiri ahead.
Finally, I can see the town of Zubiri. It's pretty late, probably around 4 or 5 pm

Emerging from the Path
After crossing a bridge I finally arrive in Zubiri. At the edge of town, I see an advertisement for my Pension. I asked this lady about it. It turns out to be the owner. She asked, "Colobong"? I said yes. She said, we have been waiting for you."

Ate at this Cafe
I found a cafe/bar for dinner. sat with the couple from Ireland (who are so sweet). I was so tired I didn't even want to eat.

Church
I managed to walk over to photograph this church after dinner.

Cafe/Bar

Bridge into Zubiri
On my way back to my Pension, I photographed this bridge.

Yikes!
I reorganized my pack before crashing.

DAY 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri (13.9 miles)
Roncesvalles looked like a cute little town and I regret not seeing much of it except for the entrance to my Hotel and the inside of the church where the Pilgrim’s mass was held.  I would have liked to have had a chance to explore around, but I was just too exhausted and it was so late when I arrived.  Maybe I need to start out a bit earlier.
I slept very well and felt rested when I woke up.  The Pyrenees felt like a lifetime ago but as I slowly moved around to get ready, the memories and physical effects of the past two days on my body and mood was still evident.  I signed up for the buffet breakfast offered by my hotel where I replenished myself with hard boiled eggs, orange juice, bread and coffee.  I finally left the hotel around 9:00 am which is considered pretty late by pilgrim’s standards.
With my stomach nicely full, I set off in better spirits to Zubiri.  On my way out of town, I saw the La Posada Albergue which was featured in the movie, “The Way”.  I was very excited to see it.  Next, I come across the very famous sign which in bold print told me that I have 790 KM more to walk! Whoo hoo!
This stage is a mixed bag, some flats and some hills.  I come across this cool looking 14th century Gothic Cross made of Stone.  I then enter this forestry section.

This was supposedly a place of witchcraft in the 16th century, when nine women were put to death by the Inquisition, accused of practicing witchcraft. ~ Village to Village Guide to Santiago by Anna Dintaman and David Landis

This stage had some nice towns along the way which was a wonderful change.  The first town I came across was the town of Burguete.

It is a typical Navarran town whose main claim to fame is a mention in Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel, The Sun Also Rises.  Hotel Burguete still has a piano with Hemingway’s signature.

The next town I come to is the town of Espinal which was founded in 1269 as a place to protect pilgrims from bandits. The buildings are decorated with beautiful flowers.
There were some hills on this stage, but nothing like what I experienced on the Pyrenees.  Still, with my body already fatigued, I was struggling.  Further down the path, I was so happy to crash into Bobby and Gigi taking a break by a stream.  It was so nice to see them because until now I have not seen anyone from the original group in Orisson.  Gigi was cooling her feet in the stream while her son Bobby patiently waited for her. He has to be the nicest son any mother can have. He always waited for her on the hills, not walking too far ahead of her and always keeping her in sight.  I decided to sit with them and let my feet breath for a bit.  We decide to walk together for awhile.  While I still sent my pack ahead and was only carrying my day pack, Gigi decided to carry her full pack and was struggling a bit on this stage.
Soon, we see a little café and decide to stop for a snack and rest.  We were happy to see that Sara was here taking a rest.   She sat with us and we enjoyed a very nice rest with good conversation.  Bobby’s girlfriend, who was dog sitting for Gigi, did a quick face time between Gigi and her dog. It was so cute watching her.  Here is where I learn more about Sara, Gigi and Bobby.  I really like them a lot.
I first noticed Mary and Bobby when I saw them walk into Orisson. Poor Bobby was just dripping in sweat and I felt so bad for him.  The next time I saw him I told him that it would help if he wears a head bandana to absorb the sweat and keep it off of his eyes. I confessed that I can sweat very heavily from the head and so I know.  I told him that I had a spare head buff that I could give him if he wanted. He said that he preferred not having anything on his head.  The next time I saw Bobby he pointed to his blue head towel on his head and he said, see Kathy I finally gave in. We both laughed.  Before reaching this cafe, I confessed to Gigi and Bobby that although I never drink it at home, after each long day I crave for a glass of coca cola with lots of ice.  It quinches my thirst even more than a glass of cold water.  You can see my glass of coke in my video clip. 🙂  Bobby ordered one and told me that was so refreshing!  We both laugh.  Gigi was more of a Vino Tinto gal and she had a refreshing sip or two.  I lost track of them later on this stage.  I heard from a fellow Orisson pilgrim later near Astorga that Bobby and Gigi left the Camino and went to Lisbon for some sightseeing before returning home. I wish I had taken down their contact information so I could stay in touch with them.  But while on the Camino sometimes you are so busy living in the moment that you don’t think about the future.
It’s already 2:30 pm and we still had 4 miles to go to Zubiri, so we pry ourselves from our chairs and start walking.
I walk ahead with Sara but I am struggling on the rocky and steep hills, taking a break to catch my breath every few feet.  Sara’s pace was much faster (since she sent her pack ahead and was only carrying her day pack) and she walks on ahead of me.  I know that Gigi and Bobby are hopefully not too far behind me.  I keep going.
It was getting very warm and at one point I had to sit on a log to rest my aching feet.  I miss Sara, Gigi and Bobby. It’s funny but I have traveled solo for the past ten years and I am very comfortable with traveling by myself.  I never get lonely.  But on the Camino, I found myself wanting companionship. Maybe I didn’t want to struggle alone. Maybe I needed encouragements.  Maybe it was fear of being alone in the middle of nowhere.
Further down, there is a stream and I walk along side of it.  The sound of the water cheers me up a little and it distracts me from my exhaustion and loneliness.
Soon, I can see the town ahead of me and my mood begins to brighten up.  I emerge from the trees and see this beautiful Romanesque bridge, called “la Puente de la Rabia.”
Puente de la Rabia (Rabies Bridge), named because of a tradition that if animals are led three times across the bridge, they will be protected from rabies.
As I reach the end of the bridge I see a big sign with the name of my Pension on it. I thought it was my pension.  I asked a local if that was my Pension. Just then a lady from the Building yells out “Colobong”?  It turns out that she was the owner of my Pension. She says that she was waiting for me.  She yelled to another local (her husband) and he comes to get me and takes me to the Pension.
I pay for my room and for breakfast then quickly wash my clothes and head out for dinner.  It is already dark and I stop at the first bar/café I find.  I see some familiar faces, a nice couple from Ireland who I had met at Orisson.  They are so sweet and I feel so bad that I can’t for the life of me remember their names.  We catch up a bit. I don’t see any other familiar faces (Sara, Gigi or Bobby).  I am so exhausted that I didn’t even finish my dinner. I just wanted to get back to my Pension and go to bed.  The couple found another Pension up the street so we part ways.  Before I head back, I decided to walk across the street to take a quick photo of the church and the bridge that I had walked over earlier.
It was very quiet when I returned. I’m sure most of the other pilgrims were already in bed. I think it was probably around 9:00 pm, which is just about bed time.  I repack by backpack and prepare it to be shipped ahead again.  I go over my guide book on my ipad mini to make sure that I know where I’m going tomorrow.
Each night before sleeping, I like to say a small prayer for my safe arrival and for a place to sleep.  Thank you God for getting me to Zubiri. I’m thankful for running into Sara, Gigi and Bobby who kept me company.  Thank you for this wonderful Pension which has a nice stream just outside my room. Tomorrow’s another day.
Next up, the wonderful city of Pamplona.  Stay tuned for the big breakdown I have on my way to Pamplona.