Walked today: 10.1 miles
Walked Camino 2019: 39.3 miles
Today’s walk which began at 7:15, and an initially cool 51 degrees was our longest so far and probably too long for so soon. Our bodies (vintage at 70+) are still adjusting to the routine and building stamina to accommodate the daily physical challenges but it’s a gradual, week to 10 day process and pushing too soon can make you lose ground rather than gain some.
Last night, a father and 22 year old son from Germany stayed at Amatxi Elsa and we chatted with them briefly. They had started at SJPDP yesterday morning and walked the entire 25+ miles to Bizkarreta in one day!! We thought they had already left ahead of us this morning, but about 30 minutes into our walk, they passed us and said they were tired from the previous day and slept in! Duh! They only have 27 days vacation time, but at that pace, they should easily make it to Santiago before having to return home.
We, on the other hand, were both exhausted from today’s walk due to the total length and the heat of the mid-day sun plus a combination of: (1) frequent up and down sections, shorter in duration than crossing the Pyrennes, but nonetheless, physically challenging.
(2) more than half of the time, paths consisted of treacherous footing on sharp, shale-like layered rock either loose or extending vertically or at an angle instead of horizontal… almost continuous for the last 1.5 miles into Zubiri
(3) the only potential stopping places for food or restrooms along the way were closed.
Our first opportunity for breakfast came at Zubiri at 11:00. We had cafe con leche and croissants and only a brief rest before continuing the final 3 miles to Larrasoaña and the Casa Elita (60€, incl. bfst) casa rural, our retreat for the afternoon and evening.
There was only one bar/restaurant in the village of Larrasoaña (pop. 120) and we didn’t want to wait for the pilgrim menu served at 7:00, so we ordered omelettes and local wine for dinner, enjoying it outside in the shade, cool breeze and quite ambiance of this residential Basque community.