Vizcarret-Guerendiáin to Zubiri – 10Kms, 13,721 steps
Roncesvalles to Zubiri is a typical stage but I decided to give my legs a break in the first week by dividing the stage in two. Today, I went to Zubiri, a relatively short distance at 10 Kms, but a challenging walk at times nonetheless. At the end specifically, I went down some steep paths over sharp rocks and large rock slabs – good opportunities for a Camino-ending fall.
The two long-haulers in our albergue jetted off at dawn and will probably go all the way to Pamplona today. The Irish lasses passed me in the first 20 minutes and disappeared. I caught up with the Aussies and walked with them on and off throughout the day.
The day started off with a nice, long, steep climb out of town and then the beech trees were replaced with pine. The way was mostly on forest paths but not necessarily easier on the feet.
The weather was simply outstanding! Sunny, low humidity, and with a nice breeze. I passed through several smaller villages, ever vigilant for the Camino markers.
The fields are pretty brown now, what with the drought and unusually hot weather. The path had a lot of brown deciduous leaves littering it and other plants were dried out too.
The thing about the walk to Zubiri is that the last kilometer or so is really hard. It’s a steep downhill and the path goes over jutting rocks and slabs. As I mentioned earlier, it’s dangerous and requires careful attention to where you’re putting your feet. Imagine my surprise when, in the middle of this section, I found I was sharing it with a herd of cows!
The cows were calm, even shy of me as I passed by, but then they followed and I didn’t want to be crushed by a cow on a descent! They had no problem negotiating the rocky surface with their hooves, probably do it every day. Nonetheless, it as a surprise to encounter them.
I have such horrible memories of how bashed up my feet and legs were when I arrived here in 2019! How nice to arrive in good shape, if tired, this year.
I arrived at 12:30 and was pleasantly surprised when the hospitalero let me right into my albergue (usually they open around 2:00). I showered, got my laundry going in a machine, and had lunch. Very civilized.
Tomorrow is my first really long walk, 21 Kms, to Pamplona. There’s a rumor of rain but I have yet to check on that. Thanks for coming along.