Yesterday morning after a breakfast of huevos fritos (fried eggs) and bread at the same little rstaurant we ate at the night before, we stopped to buy some provisions for lunch then started off from Valcarlos for another day of walking along the Camino through the Kingdom of Navarra, which is the name of Spanish Basque country, which I call the Kingdom of The Snails, as these cute little critters are everywhere around here.
I myself kind of identify with the Basque Country snails, being a Camino Snail myself. I'm surly the slowest pilgrim along the way, which slows down my faithful mate, who doubtless could finish the Camino in half the time if he weren't always waiting for me.
Besides the snails, I also had an encounter the day before yesterday with another inhabitant of the Camino.
Along the path there were clumps of what looked exactly like lemon balm, but when I reached down to break off a fragrant leaf my thumb was bitten by tiny sharp bristles lining the underside of the leaf. My thumb stung like crazy for a while then was numb for the rest of the day. Did I learn a lesson about messin' with the flora & fauna! The exception of course, being the sweet, ripe, backberries that grow along the way and which we do regularly partake of.
Though we passed though fairy-tale forests and towns,
...and passed by flocks of sheep gazing on the mountainside, still yesterday was a rough day.
We schlepped 8 steep miles up the mountain then another mile downhill to reach the town of Roncesvalles, which has been a major pilgrim watering hole since the 13th century when the monks built a monastery there that included a vast hostal for pilgrims as well as a hospital for ill or injured pilgrims.
We did not stay the night at the Roncesvailles monestery, but just dragged our weak, weary bodies over to a bench on the monastery campus where we ate our lunch of bread, cheese, and fruit.
After our lunch break we walked another three miles - a total of 12 miles in 9 hours- to the town of Espinal, our destination for the day,
In Espinal we stayed at the cute Hotel Hazaiea, which reserves its top floor as a pilgrim albergue
The pilgrim dorm:
The albergue sitting room:
The hotel dining room, where we ate dinner with some dorm-mates, a Canadian couple and a physical therapist from Denmark.
In the above photo we'r eating the first course of the 10.5€ pilgfim meal (wine included), which was followed by the second course, the tastiest, juiciest chicken leg and, of course, a mound of french fries on the side. Dessert, which I skipped, was yogurt.
So, for our lodgings, dinner, breakfast - a warm ham and cheese baguette sandwich with coffee for Tom and a toasted split baguette with butter and jelly and tea for me, and a lunch of foot-long ham and cheese baguettes for the road, we paid a total of 65€, about $70.
The church bell in the town of Zubiri, where are tonight, just rang 9:00. Time for all worn-out pilgrims to rest their weary bones.
Everyone have a wonderful day!
A romantic comedy of errors.
Lots and lots of errors.
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Kindle:
or in print:
The Book Loft
of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library