August 13, 2018
Today I had considerable success in my Camino Themes of “let it go” and “go with the flow!! We set an alarm to get up at 5:45 to get a hot breakfast down the street, having learned last night that the “bar” opened at 6:00. My Camino partner is still trying to get into the swing of living out of a backpack, so we finally got out the door at 6:30 and then ultimately “hit the road” at 8:00. I avoided my normal MO of chomping at the bit by taking advantage of the rare, excellent WiFi connection.
It was a relatively easy day in terms of the terrain, though there were still plenty of steep inclines and declines, loose rock, and at the end of our walking day, high temperatures as we trudged along a very exposed hillside. We stopped MANY times for shoe, sock and other gear adjustments as well as to chat with fellow peregrinos we have already come to view as family. And we also stopped for dinner, the sake of stopping and for close to an hour at a lovely riverside bar, La Parada de Zuriain, for a café con leche (and my leftover breakfast) as well as at a couple of riverside alcoves in the pleasant shade.
All in all it was very relaxing from Zubiri to Trinidad de Arre – as much as can be had for spending six hours to travel twelve miles! The scenery was beautiful yet not quite as stunning as it has been. We trekked past a huge magnesium plant and the “Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz”, built as a fort in the 12th century and converted into a church in the 13th century. It has recently been purchased by some past pilgrims with intentions of restoring the Abbey and Seattle University is also participating! We saw some horses, geese, chickens and lots of Camino cats, with our day’s environs feeling more of a walk through the woods and parklands rather than through rural country and mountainside. We decided not go the distance to Pamplona, the largest town on the Camino Frances, and another three miles. Instead we are staying in Albergue Amigos del Camino de Santiago which is part of an old church and has a private garden courtyard. It’s still the-room-full-of-bunk-beds style setting, yet it feels quite private. We are in a college town and there is not much action in town though there is one restaurant serving a peregrino dinner!
Tomorrow we may even give ourselves a light day and and stay the night in Pamplona, giving us plenty of time to “let it go”, “go with the flow” and explore!