Camino de Santiago: Day 2 (Christina)

From Roncesvalles to Zubiri (21.5 km)

I got an early start today, on the road walking at 6:30 am. I didn´t have the best sleep last night even though my bed was super comfortable and it was  quiet in my little area.  The Roncesvalles alburgue has been recently renovated and offers all the comforts and necessities a pilgrim could want.  The beds are configured in pairs of bunk beds with walls between each pair giving you a sense of privacy aside from there being a stranger in the bunk across from you.  At least you don´t feel exposed to the hundreds of pilgrims who are sleeping there. Still, I had some difficulty sleeping, but I have difficulty sleeping most nights so I wasn´t too worried about it.  I felt pretty good physically – my quads were a little sore but otherwise no complaints.

The temperature was quite cool when I headed out and I was glad to have my base layer top to wear over my t-shirt. There was no food on hand that I could see so I munched on my cheese that I had bought in St. Jean Pied de Port and had a few bites of what was left of my day old baguette. It was enough to get me going but I knew I needed to get some provisions for the trail as soon as I came across a grocery store.

I was still in the Pyrennes foothills and the scenery was beautiful in the early morning light – rolling hills of lush pastures with forests in the distance.  The trail today was still quite hilly and rocky and got the heart rate going in a few spots.  I didn´t mind carrying my pack, although I was feeling some strain in my hips by mid morning (damn those weak hips of mine).

Pauline and I had planned to walk together again today.  By chance we ran into Monique and we started out with her as well but she wanted to go at a slower pace so we got ahead for awhile.  About 2 km in we came across a little town where we enjoyed our breakfast, European style which meant a coffee and croissant and orange juice – not exactly a hearty breakfast for a day of hiking!

We stopped again a few kilometres later for another coffee – actually we really needed to use the bathroom (probably because of all the coffee) and it was only available to paying guests.  We didn´t mind getting off our feet and enjoying another cup of java.  I learned how to order my coffee in Spanish: cafe grande americano con leche.  Pauline speaks Spanish quite well so she handles the Spanish and I handle the French as necessary – good teamwork.

We found a grocery store at around 10:30 and by then I was starving.  I bought some fruit, a stick of salami and some snacks like nuts, sunflower seeds and candy for a total of 9 euros.  I think I may have some trouble sticking to the 30 euro a day budget!  After another snack, we kept going.  By now it was getting really hot and we had some pretty tough hills to deal with.

Conversation flowed freely between Pauline and I.  I learned her life story today which was only fair as I had bored her with mine yesterday.  But seriously, there seemed to be no end of things to talk about.  It really helped to pass the time.

I was happy that the Camino was not crowded.  There were people along the way but we enjoyed long stretches where there was nobody but us causing us to wonder sometimes if we had taken a wrong turn.  But we followed the trail with no problem.  The camino symbol is posted regularly so it really is quite impossible to get lost.

Our walking day ended at 1:30 when we arrived in the little town of Zubiri where we found a private albergue that had beds available for 10 euro each per night.  The room is dormitory style with 4 pairs of bunkbeds.  There are 7 girls in the room and 1 guy.  A group had just arrived before us and were using the showers so we headed out for some lunch: tapas and beer – delicious!  Back at the albergue I had a great shower (this is luxury compared to South American hostels) and I washed my clothes.

I saw Chris this morning before I left.  I think he headed out before me but I haven´t seen him all day.  I suspect he has gone on to the town ahead which is just half a kilometre away.  But who knows, maybe I´ll run into him at dinner like I did last night.  I could have walked further today, but the next town with accommodations is 20 km away – too far for me.

All in all, it´s been another great day on the Camino – good weather, beautiful scenery, lovely trail and good company.

Update at 9:30 pm:  I have just discovered I have two very small blisters in the same place I get them when I run a marathon.  Also my toes feel bruised from hitting to toe box in my shoe with all the down hill.  I will switch to my hiking sandals tomorrow to give my feet a change.  Hopefully that will help them heal.  This is tough on the body!

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4 Responses
  1. Connie and Yves says:

    Hi Christina!
    It’s Connie here. This is an amazing adventure you both are doing. And to do this walk alone is really brave. I’m glad you have met alot of people along the way. How are your feet holding up? Lot’s of blisters yet? I hope not. I know that if anybody can do this walk it would be you and Chris. I’ll be reading your posts and supporting the both of you along the way. I can’t wait to see pictures and hear more about your days there. As i told Chris I give you both a big “high five” and wish you well. Have a safe and happy journey. As always your in our prayers and thoughts.
    Love, Connie

  2. Hey Mom!
    Keep it up! You are doing great. I love reading the blog, feels like I’m walking the trek with you. I’m glad you are meeting a lot of friends along the way. I tell everyone about the trek, they can’t believe it!! I’m proud of you guys!

    Take care of those feet!

    Love you lots,

  3. sonja says:

    chris….i am missing your posts. Where are you!

    • christina says:

      Hi Son

      No internet for a few days. Just posted Day 3 but have so much more to write. I am fine, great in fact. Having a wonderful time. Bursting with happiness in spite of moments of pain. Foreign keyboard is driving me crazy as is Spanish spell check that shows every word is misspelled. Will try to post Day 4 now.