Hola, amigos. I’m grateful for your support and comments. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to answer each one individually. We are a day off this blog, with spotty wifi, time and simply the mechanics of writing from my phone. Yesterday, 19 of August was our third day of walking the Camino, but when we arrived in Zubiri, we had walked about 25 km out of the clouds and into reality. We hadn’t planned on walking this far, but easily reached our first reserved private albergue/hostal before 10 a.m. finally wearing our backpacks. Now I understand the meaning of “one step at a time.” We cancelled our reservation in Espinal, (losing our prepayment) because it was too short of a walk and we were eager to move on. We were able to change the next reservation, for Pension Amets in Zubiri, which is where we are now.
The countryside was pastoral, inviting us to meditate alone and other times walk together and learn more about our Camino amigos as we all hiked to the next destination. The day was filled with lessons and ah-ha moments that will continue long after I return home. Staying in an Albergue several days in a row with little space, privacy or quiet left me ready for this reservation of a guest house. Little in the guidebooks or numerous films and shared stories and videos prepared me for this next stage. It started out green countryside, cool, with little traffic. We stopped at a bar, the frequent village food stops, for lunch and some fun with Camino friends.
Moving on, we hiked through small villages, then the last kilometers, I think at least seven, more up and down and rocky isolated path than I could imagine. I thought I was in a trail through a quarry. It was the Pass of Erro. Very hard hike with long, hot, open stretches of paved ways or slippery dry rock and little shade. Although I think this stretch was hands down harder than hiking over the Pyrenees for me (I didn’t carry a heavy backpack then), everyone had differing views. I was elated to hike into the view of Zubiri, our destination.
Luckily, the proprietor met me on the bridge to town and I checked into this little guesthouse with private room, luxurious hot water and shower. Only missing is a massage. We have a view of the Argo River and the Bridge of Rabies, Puente de la Rabia, medieval bridge in Zubiri. Legend has it that leading any animal around the central arch three times would cure it of rabies.
Prediction: we will continue to meet amazing hikers and be surrounded by kindness and surprises. Rain forecast for today. Who said, “plans are made to be broken”? The next few days will be unplanned, the way most of the pilgrims we met have “planned.” We had a satisfying dinner and will be off this morning to an unreserved albergue or guest house. Buen Camino.