A Long Day

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Europe » Spain
September 10th 2016
Published: October 22nd 2017
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Geo: 42.82, -1.64296

The noise and lights coming on and off had us up, packed and on the Camino by 8:15. The bar area of the albergue was packed with those needing a caffeine fix before starting their trek. We opted to do a few miles to Viscarret where we had a couple of caffe con leche and a boiled egg each; which were very good with olive oil and ground pepper.

We thought all the elevation gain was over the pass in the Pyrenees, but we were mistaken. This was a hard day of up and down; with rugged rocky trail, pavement and smooth gravel. There was thick forest and open stretches of high grass land, very diverse but never flat.

We stopped in Zuburi where we found a small market and bought a baguette, salami, cheese, a couple of apples and a large can of San Miguel (a local beer) -- all for 6.50 euro. Sitting in the shade, in front of the market with this gourmet lunch, priceless!

We had three towns picked out that had albergues and opted for the 2nd. We got there about 15:00 and it was booked�� the next town was another 3 miles and we were running on empty. We finally arrived at Zalbaldika about 16:00. Nearly a 28 kilometer day!

Here the 18 bed albergue San Esteban had beds and our prayers had been answered! 30 minutes later it was full. San Esteban was run by the local parish and staffed all with volunteers. The attached church dates to 14th century and the bell tower is home to one of the oldest bells in Spain, 1377. After mass we were allowed to climb the 57 steps up a steep spiral stone enclosed staircase to the bell tower and ring this bell - very cool.

We were taken to our 4 person, 2 bunk bed room. After cleaning up, we went down to the kitchen/dining room and helped peel potatoes, carrots, and onions; all of which went into our dinner of mixed salad and chorizo stew. All the pilgrim meals come with wine and our second glass was had on the patio while working on our journal and watching the sun set. We were to bed before 22:00.

Our roommates were a French couple who spoke no English, so there was no bedtime chatter.

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13th September 2016

Just got caught up on your journal. Great writing and pictures. Really enjoying your story. Thanks for sharing.

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