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    • Day 6

      Hiking into the clouds- Orrison

      June 19, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      We left our sweet little pension in St Jean and headed into the Pyrenees this morning. Wait- let me talk about the pension before I forget. Last night I went to sleep listening to the laughter and murmurs of the bar down the street and happy pilgrims about to begin their journey. I woke this morning to the sounds of pilgrims on their way down the street and at 7am when I set my alarm, the church bell drowned out my artificial ring tone- calling everyone in. Soon sounds of singing drifted down the street into our window. It was lovely.

      Last night was hot… remember… 108 degrees yesterday?! And Jon and I only had a window. The boys slept in the attic and had an air conditioner and when I went up to wake them up their room was actually chilly!!! At least THEY had a good night’s sleep.

      The heat wave broke today and although it is still very very humid, the temperature was suitable and an answer to my prayers. We left at 9am and the breezes from the mountains kept us moving higher. I could NOT have done today’s hike with yesterday’s temperatures. The Way provided.

      We are staying the night in an ancient shepherd’s house in an alburgue. There is a community meal tonight and we ordered sandwiches for our lunch tomorrow. I made all of these plans months ago at Christmas so it has been hard for me to remember what I planned which has been fun because it’s like a surprise for me!

      The community meal felt like a scene from an old epic poem. We all sat and ate as a community at the hearth of a large stone fireplace and everyone introduced themselves and explained why they were there. The conversation was really cool-listening to stories of people from all over. I sat by a young 20’s German kid who quit his job as an engineer for Mercedes’ Benz to live on a commune and teach yoga. The dinner was chicken soup and veggies with a basque cake. I was starving and it was delicious. Even Daniel ate his veggies!

      Oh also huge shout out to Jon for Fathers Day. I am grateful that he is willing to follow me on this crazy adventure! (And we really do make a good travel team- ask us to clean out the garage together and that’s a different story.)

      It didn’t rain today. Will the weatherman be wrong again tomorrow?!
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    • Day 7

      Orrison to Roncesvalles

      June 20, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      There were no storms or rain today in the Pyrenees as the weatherman predicted but we did walk through the clouds.

      Breakfast was a small pilgrims breakfast of bread and jam. I think the boys had hoped for more. But we grabbed our sandwiches for lunch and took off up the mountain following the yellow arrows. Most of us were prepared with waterproof backpack covers but Jon sent his pack ahead with a courier because he was worried about his backpack getting soaked. He went with nostalgia when he chose his backpack because it’s the pack he had carried through Europe many times. He didn’t have a cover for his as a result like the rest of us. He enjoyed a pack-free hike today as a result.

      We climbed and climbed into the clouds- only seeing sunshine at the very top before heading back down on the other side. My hair and raincoat were soaked but everything else stayed dry. Along the way we could hear the baaa’s of sheep and mooo’s of cows and especially the eerie sounds of the low ringing from the bells they wore around their necks. We could only see them when they were very close because the fog was so thick but we knew they were around us.

      They trail was tough but as we climbed higher and higher there were safety stops for shelter in storms or for calling for help. I think many people have died en route (we saw a few memorials) and this is a modern solution. Wells for water are plentiful too. There was even a food truck in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. It was on our map and a true landmark on the trail. We bought a mid morning granola bar from him and used his WC (a rock behind the truck) and got another stamp and felt refreshed for a few more hours of hiking.

      We made it to the old monastery in Roncesvalles by 1:30 and reunited with many of our Orisson friends. The alburgue is very old (end of 12th century) practical and clean. Extremely efficient. No shoes inside at all! We sleep in cubbies of 4 bunks in huge rooms. Each room holds 100 people. I used my Z-quill to sleep last night and it worked great so I think I’m going that route again tonight to drown out the snorers.

      We had a snack on the patio of fried food and beer while we waited for the room to open at 2pm and now await the evening meal by showering and taking an afternoon siesta. (We are in Spain by the way now.)

      Dinner was a 3 course meal (The hungry pilgrims were very pleased except for the poor vegetarian at our table). Again we sat with some fun Americans we roomed with last night in Orisson (one is a middle school math teacher) and a fun German woman we met in Orisson. I’ll be sad to lose them when we pass them up in Pamplona.

      Speaking of… I have heard rumors of fires driving pilgrims off the road near Pamplona. That could be the next obstacle.
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    • Day 8

      Lintzoain (13.4km/37.7k)

      April 20, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      We woke up to the most gentle group “alarm”, a Gregorian chant softly playing through the loudspeakers, followed by a less gentle turning on of the lights and then a healthy baritone walking the corridors singing us awake and making sure we all left by 7am! Then the now normal process of getting dressed, packing backpacks, eating our communal breakfast, boots on and get on our way.
      This morning was quite fresh walking along near the river through the forests. We walked in the most peaceful environment of forests, shaded country lanes between farms and through 3 tiny villages. Just as we had imagined the Camino.
      We had decided before the start of the Camino to start slowly and build up so today was a bit if a recovery day with a slow paced “stroll” to Lintzoain, a tiny village that doesn’t have a shop or restaurant or ….
      The highlight of the day was chatting to the other pilgrims before and during dinner. Somehow between the 9 of us I think we had an inclusive conversation in Spanish, French and English. There were the 2 of us, 2 ladies from Barcelona, 2 ladies from France, a couple from America and a lady from Korea. Add in the crazy Spanish hostess who treated us to a local meal of potato soup, pork and pasta accompanied with red wine followed by a local “Crème brûlée” type dessert topped off with a Pacharan liqueur from the local Navarra region. Now off to bed for an early start tomorrow! Beunos Noches.
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    • Day 5

      Roncesvalles to Zubiri - part two

      March 27 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      Today's path is almost all off the road, which is good because I'd started to wave to cars that gave me space yesterday and clearly I was losing my edge. The mud got a bit annoying, but you can't have everything. As a result, there were long stretches of the day without an interaction (like a passing car) which made me *feel* more alone than yesterday.

      From my conversations so far, it's clear that medical motives are behind many journeys. A lot of what I hear is that they had a stroke (two at my table of eight last night) or other serious scare, and are walking with eyes freshly widened to life, in triumph and celebration of their opportunity to have a bit more of it.

      There's lots I want to reflect on and resolve on this trip, but also the need to balance that with being present for the experience. I think if I'm not careful it'll turn into my rot days at home, where I manage to completely inhabit the grey between productivity and relaxation, not doing either properly and feeling guilt about failure on two fronts.

      Yesterday I was completely mentally present on the walk. It was challenging, I had to pay attention, it was uncomfortable and beautiful and new. Maybe because today was less difficult, I found myself in my head for long stretches, asking myself questions I think I will only know the answers to once I've been doing this for a lot longer. I'm trying to show myself grace and not rush. Today is my third day of leave for Christ's sake. You probably can't get enlightened in a long weekend.

      To distract myself, I started thinking about how, at work, we could make the process of network variations more efficient (its going to need a LEAN workshop) and that was so boring that it forced me out of my mind and back into my body. While I was there I had a look around and realised steak was still on the agenda, which is interesting because I was - not consciously but in practice - reasonably vegetarian at home. We discussed at dinner there might be something about the experience that's sending us all a bit primal, and by extension, protein oriented. Perhaps tomorrow I'll kill a wild boar with my bare hands.

      Slugs: 1, at 9.54am
      Cats seen: 4
      Cats pat: 1
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    • Day 5–6

      Roncesvalles to Lintzoain

      April 18 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      After the long day yesterday crossing the Pyrenees mountains, we decided to make today a shorter stretch and only walked about 8 1/2 miles. We passed through the cute villages of Burguete, Espinal, & Bizkarreta along the way. It was nice to get to our Alberque in Lintzoain early to rest.Read more

    • Day 7

      Day 6. Roncesvalles to Lintzoin

      May 21 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 57 °F

      We had a much more pleasant walk today. Plus it was shorter. Only 10 miles. Tomorrow will be a doozy…..15 miles mainly uphill. Need to get an earlier start. Today it was partly cloudy when we left and 45 degrees, no wind. We passed the little chapel and ended up going through densely grown forests. What a nice change. One group of trees was so dense that it was pitch black. It made me think of the wizard of oz. The trees were covered in moss. I thought a few might throw apples at us. Ha
      We had pizza for lunch and then it started raining.
      I was so grateful for a shorter day to rest my knee also grateful for less rain and a private room tonight.
      We had a great meal last night of pasta, fish and potatoes. And I had the best nights sleep as well. 23,217 steps today
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    • Day 4

      Weiterreise nach Zubiri

      August 22, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Gestern Abend war ich noch mit Nigel, einem Mitpilger, im Restaurant Haizea abendessen. Das Menü war mega fein. Es gab als ersten Gang einen Salat mit warmem Ziegenkäse 😁, der sehr fein schmeckte. Als Hauptgang gab es ein riesengrosses Kalbsschnitzel mit Pommes, die leider fettdurchtränkt waren. Als Dessert gab es eine Crème Brulée, die wiederum ausgezeichnet war.
      Als wir aufbrachen, regnete es in Strömen. Ziemlich nass kamen wir in der Herberge an.
      Leider sind die Kleider am Morgen feucht geblieben.
      Die Nacht in der Herberge habe ich gut verbracht. Das erste Mal in einer Herberge. Im 10-er Zimmer waren wir nur zu dritt einquartiert.
      Gutes Frühstück.
      Um 8 Uhr habe ich mich auf den Weg gemacht.
      Es warten rund 15 km auf mich bis nach Zubiri.
      Schon Ende des Dorfes ging es wacker bergauf. Der, gefühlt zentnerschwere Rucksack zog mich entsprechend stark nach hinten und nach unten. Mein Marschtempo entsprach in etwa dem einer durchschnittlichen Schnecke 🐌😁. Nachdem die grosse Steigung einigermassen geschafft war, ging es wieder leicht nach unter nach Viscarret. Dort war ich dann überreif für einen Kaffee. Nach der eingermassen erholsamen Kaffeepause ging es dann weiter nach Linzoain. Unterwegs habe ich nach einer Pause fast meine Stöcke stehen lassen 😯, die ich später noch sehr gut brauchen konnte, z.B. beim steilen Abstieg nach Zubiri.
      Gegen Mittag, als ich in Linzoain war, musste ich mich entscheiden was ich machen sollte. Entweder dort bleiben oder - mindestens subjektiv gesehen - über einen zünftig hohen Berg nach Zubiri zu laufen. Ich entschied mich dafür, die Erfahrung zu machen, ob tatsächlich ein Schritt nach dem anderen zum Ziel führt. Und das war tatsächlich so, obwohl mich dieses Unterfangen einiges an Energie und Schmerzen in den Schultern und am ganzen Fahrgestell gekostet hat. Step by step und unzählige Pausen liessen das ganze Unterfangen schlussendlich gelingen 😖😖🥺😒🤠!
      Jetzt sitze ich gerade im Café Camino in Zubiri und habe mir einen feinen Hamburger mit Salat und Pommes gegönnt. Jetzt bleibt mir nur noch zu hoffen, dass ich morgen früh einen erholten Rücken habe.
      Auf jeden Fall werde ich morgen bedeutend kürzer treten 😄.
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    • Day 4

      Day 2 COMPLETÉ

      October 4, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Roncesvalles > Zubiri and some mighty treacherous downhills in the bag WOOOO

    • Day 2,958

      Lintzoain, Fronton Errekalde

      September 26, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      In dieser Halle wird Pilota gespielt, das baskische Nationalspiel. Im Ort gibt es keine Verpflegungsmöglichkeit, danach geht es relativ stark zu einer Passhöhe bergauf.

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Erroibar, Erro

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