Roncesvalles to Zubiri
Overnight – Sleep came easy, walking and shivering are great ways to burn energy. And as wonderful as the bed and rest were, those first steps out of bed in the morning were a painful contrast. I walked across the room in a strange, hybrid cross of Frankenstein and Festus from Gunsmoke.
Contrary to normal pilgrim behavior, we slept in. Most are awake and on the Way before the sun’s rise.
Casual Plans – As a reward for enduring Day 1, we planned on a short day – an easy stroll to Burguete, 3.1km away, or maybe as far as Espinal, another 3.6km away. This unambitious plan allowed us to sleep in, eat a large (by local standards) breakfast, and hit the trail before noon. That part of the plan worked better than expected, we strolled out of Roncesvalles at 11:00am.
The plans o’ mice an’ men – The poor weather carried over from yesterday, more rain and cool temperatures. By the time we arrived in Burguete (3.1km, or nearly 2 miles), we were no longer walking like Franken-Festus and had settled into a nice gait. We walked on to Espinal for a coffee break. Then on to Viskarret, then over the Pasos de Roldán, and down into Zubiri. Our casual day turned into a full stage hike, 21.9km (13.5 miles)!
The day’s walk was much like yesterday; cold, rainy, and the descent into the town was treacherously steep and slick. We settled into Zubiri wet, tired, and hungry. A good meal and good conversation (what’s your favorite dish at McDonald’s?!?) soothed the weary bodies and souls.
To and Fro – A couple of notable things from this day. First, I loved walking through the Basque region. The architecture, the agriculture, and the people were amazing. Secondly, the Most-Interesting-Person-of-the-Day Award goes to a young Italian lady we met in Espinal. She solo-walked from her home in Italy, across southern France, on the Camino Frances all the way to Santiago de Compostela. An amazing feat in and of itself. When we met her in Espinal, she was walking home, a reversal of her trek. What a wonderfully irrational thing to do!