An interesting thing it is – to lose track of time and even space. Where am I, exactly, and what day is it? Spain, I think. Friday?
Other pilgrims were up, packed, and departed before I even awoke. My body was responding to the long mountain climb yesterday, needing more sleep. My hips and knees had ached through the night. I was the last to depart, at a late 9:15am.
Forest paths filled the day, reminding me of endless green and shadowed wooded corridors, as I have been accustomed to seeing in Oregon, on the west coast of the USA. It was beautiful and serene.
I sang Ave Maria again, it was still ringing continuously in my head from the blessings of Lourdes in France four days ago. I even recited some good ole Catholic Hail Mary prayers (sans the sinners part), in honor of Our Lady at Lourdes and in honor of the deeply established Christian traditions imbuing this pilgrimage walk. Other devotional chants filled my mind, and I walked along with a happy meditative step, enjoying the pleasant morning.
I came upon a “bar,” which is a common place to order food along the Pilgrim Way. This particular establishment was well set up for the many walkers, and I was glad for the cooked food. I had eaten some nuts from my backpack about two hours ago, as well as some nice cheese I stopped in to purchase at a tiny little store on the way out of town.
I ordered a “tortilla de patata” which is undoubtedly something I will eat often. It is an egg fritata with already cut and fried potatoes cooked in. Well-doused in oil, the calories will keep me going a few more hours. I also had a hot milk (sans coffee) and I saved the hard boiled eggs for lunch later…..which makes great backpack food.
Passing a little village with a few homes I delighted at the lovely stone entry sign, as well as the morning news and a baguette on the post box of a local front door (featured image). Life in rural Spain.
An Australian couple, Greg and Anne, were just ahead of me on the trail. We walked and talked together for nearly an hour about US and world politics. They were pleasant and gentle company along these shady forested paths.
Arriving at Zubiri after 12.9km (7.6 miles), and mostly downhill the whole way, I crossed the Arga River on the Romanesque stone bridge. The bridge is named Puenta de la Rabia, because farmers would cross their sheep three times across the bridge to protect them from rabies. Good tradition,I suppose…I only crossed once!
The building in the photo above is the Albuerge Rio Arga Ibaia, you can see the river below as I am standing on the bridge. Once across the bridge and at the front door my feet turned left into the building on their own accord. It was only 1:15pm! My fatigue had caught up with me and I went inside to register.
A very nice Spanish man runs this hostel, and it is a lovely place to stay. I set up my bed, took a HOT wonderful shower, washed all my clothes except what I was wearing, and hung out on that balcony above the two windows in the photo for hours.
A walk around town later revealed its tininess. The church was locked. I prepared my meal in the kitchen, contemplating gratitude and relaxation. All things are infinitely good.
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My Camino walk is a personal inspiration experience as well as a fundraiser for the new Ananda Temple of Light. If you feel inspired to Walk with me, follow the link at the top of the page. All donations are tax deductible. Bless you!