Yesterday evening I rushed to finish last night’s post so I wouldn’t miss dinner. After I burst through the door of the Refugio and asked the Dutch volunteer if I had missed dinner, he laughed and moved his palms up and down in an effort to calm me. He explained that there were two dinners, one at 7 and the other at 8:30.
Sitting down to dinner, I spied two other groups already eating – one with three Italians and an Irishman who I would later find out is walking the Camino in sections (3 days now, 4 days in October and then who knows) and two Americans from Texas. After digging into my pea soup, the American’s, L and M (names hidden for their privacy) struck up a coversation with me. They had just married in Austin and were using the Camino as a honeymoon of sorts. Three weeks before heading to Europe, first to visit M’s father in Switzerland and then to hike the Camino, they had let the lease expire on their flat in Austin. L had just quit his job working for a video game company. He was frustrated with how the company was treating its employees. L further explained that he wanted to become self employed, however if that didn’t work out, he could always get a job with M’s father in Switzerland as a cook in his hotel. L was a jack of all trades, as he put it. They both decided that the Camino would be a great place to clear their head and get a plan started for their next move.
With 50 people in one giant room divided into 25 four person sleeping cubbies, I thought for sure there would be some snorers to keep me awake, but I got a great nights sleep. In the morning I joined Leah and Caitano, the Germans I had met the day before, on the camino. After lunch I decided to lag behind to write, take pictures and walk the next 8 km by myself. I enjoyed the solitude of the walk, the sound that my shoes and my poles made as I plodded along. The green and yellow moss that gathered on only one side of the trees.
After arriving at Zubiri, with its white, cookie cutter apartment housing, I consulted the map to decide if I should continue on to Larrasoana. Zubiri is 21 km from Roncesvalles and Larransona is another 5.6. Earlier I had decided that the elevation change bwetween the two villages would be the deciding factor. On the map, there is a straight, flat line indicating the altitude change between the two villages. I am calling bullshit on that guide. Although in total, the two villages are separated by only 20 meters in altitude, the hike itself has lots of elevation change. 50 meters up, then 50 meters down. Going down hill was significantly more difficult than up. Perhaps it’s because you don’t use those muscles very often. Whatever the reason, the last five km was more difficult than I expected.