Trekcapri’s Camino de Santiago – Roncesvalles to Zubiri
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.