Yesterday was about conquering the mountain… today about enduring the pain.
We almost didn’t get a bed last night because there are a lot of pilgrims walking with us and the hostels fill up. Consequently we left Roncesvalles this morning at 7 am., before the sun came up, walking by the lights of our headlamps to make sure we would get to Zubiri early. It was very cold at the start and we were all bundled up in jackets. We walked 24 km today, up and down, alternating between woodlands, pastures, and small towns.
The towns were cute, with white-washed buildings with red tile roofs, dark wooden shutters and window boxes of cascading red begonias. The trail has lots of delicious wild blackberries growing along side it, which a lot of the pilgrims seem to be enjoying.
The pain of walking kept increasing as the day wore on. The down hills are the worst because of knee pain. Thank goodness we packed the trekking poles at the last minute because I’m not sure I could do this camino without them. This afternoon after beer/wine at a bar we’ve been cleaning up and hopefully now we can just chill out until dinner. We are all so sore that one of the other pilgrims described the way we walk as the “camino shuffle”.
We learned a fun fact last night from a Spanish pilgrim who dined at our table. He says the country that has the most pilgrims on the camino these days is South Korea!
Note: The wifi at the albergues has been really slow so I haven’t been able to upload photos 🙁