This was supposed to be an easier day.


So I’m sitting in my room at Pensione Tau in Larasoana typing this on the bed.  I’m 5.5 kilometers further down the road from where I planned to spend the night – which was Zubiri.

So why am I here?

Well, I had a perfectly rational plan: after the night in Roncesvalles I would see how I felt and book a hotel in the right town.  I hoped it would be Zubiri, but had I felt really bad I might have stayed in Roncesvalle another night.  Great plan, but I missed one thing: the Camino has a lot more folks walking this year and they seem to prefer hotels to Alburges.  Meaning that the hotels book early.  

And such was the case with Zubiri.  And the only room I could book in Larasoana was in this pensione.  So I took it.  

(Pamplona tomorrow will be easier, I booked a nice hotel for Euro 95/night).

So I walked an extra 5.5 kilometer, for a total of 27.4 km.  And my phone says a lot more stops than yesterday. And no, it’s not flat.  And the downhills were especially hard due to the weather.

You see, it rained today.  Not much, but enough to make some of the exposed sedimentary rock on the downhills slippery.  The leaves, too, though believe it or not the rocks were more treacherous. 

There are two big positives to going the extra distance (and I didn’t even hear the James Earl Jones voice saying “go the distance”). 

The first is that it makes tomorrow’s walk shorter by the same amount (so I can sleep a bit later and leave later).

And second is that I am living one of my reasons for the trip: to travel as I haven’t in the past and meet more true locals.  Both the pensione and the dinner at a bar/market delivered.

The pensione was basic, but nice.  it is owned/operated by a mother and her son.  I ended up in a room with a shared bathroom, not ideal, but still better than an albergue.  The energy crisis is real, as are the heat reductions mandated by Spain.  The family spoke very little English, which perfectly complemented my very little Spanish.  Still, we got it done and the stay is nice.

The small village apparently had no open restaurants, so the pensione suggested a market and bar about 2 blocks away.  The owner of the bar offered a “pilgrim menu” and asked what I wanted, while rattling off some suggestions.  I settled on a salad (with garbanzo beans and olives) and a vegetable soup, with a chocolate covered waffle as dessert.  Again, not fancy, but adequate.  I had to sit outside as there was no seating inside (no tables at all) and by this time it was getting raw and cold.  Still, I left feeling sustained and trudged back to the hotel.  

Did I mention that it was getting cold?

The heat was on in the room until about 9:30, which warmed me up and I settled int bed by about 10.  Time to call it a day.

Tomorrow: Pamplona.  No Bull.