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Camino de Santiago, Day 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri

The hills are alive!

The hills are alive…

Everyone said today was going to be so easy after yesterday.  Liars!

Today we walked 21 kilometers (13 miles) and it took me about seven hours.  Jamie made it in six.  We walk separately after the first hour and that seems to work well for both of us.

There are so many pilgrims.  I can’t imagine how many there are in the Summer.  But after a couple hours, the spacing between us broadens and it’s not unusual to walk alone for twenty minutes before seeing someone.

It started out so peacefully, a flat path winding through a forest.  Through a tiny town where Hemingway brought his wife to relax.  We walked through a field of glowing green grass that was so breathtaking that I was inspired to mimic Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music and sing “The hills are alive…while doing my best to dance despite the 30 pounds on my back.  We walked up rolling hills.  And of course, what goes up must come down.  There were many miles walking on descending muddy paths and knee pain followed.  By the time I got to Zubiri, I had tears in my eyes from the pain.

Walking through town, I wasn’t sure where Jamie was but our German roommate from the night before, Ingo, flagged me down from the street and told me where he was.  Jamie had already reserved beds for us at the refuge – a room with twenty bunk beds.   Most of our roommates are Korean.  Oddly enough, a huge portion of the pilgrims on the Camino are from South Korea.

We met Ashley from Australia who decided to walk the Camino after graduating from college.  She wanted to join us for a drink so we walked into the nearest place and saw our friends from Guadalajara, Spain.  They are our closest friends so far.  So we all drank together and then Ingo joined us.  How often do you get to drink and eat with two Spaniards, a German, and an Australian?  We drank a lot of beer but it killed the pain so I considered it medicinal. 🙂  In the bunk beds by 9 pm.

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