Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

Day 2: Roncesvalles to Larrasoana

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Woke up at six to the sounds of fellow pelegrinos getting ready. Brushed my teeth, packed my bag and I was on the road by 6:20. A short walk through a misty forest was a nice beginning to the day. Turns out this forest was a notorious haunt of witches in the xvi century …. the forest did have a bit if the Blair Witch feel about it.

Stopped off in ….. for cafe con leche and baguette jambon next to the centuries old church and facing stone walled houses with heavy creaking window shutters painted in primary reds and greens. A good way to start a day’s walking.

The start of the day was cool and mist hung on all through the morning. Only later in the day and out of the forests did the heat and sun become a factor. The pathway varied from roads to concrete walkways to rough country paths and dry river beds and my feet felt every inch of the walk.

At one point I walked the way of the Sheep Shit, a perilous journey if ever there was one, if not quite in the manner I’d expected. After surviving the way of the Sheep Shit, which relied on accepting that there was no escaping the bovine faecal matter and just getting on with it, I arrived in the village of the sheep.

I know it was the village of the sheep because they gathered at the fences to mark my entry. You never heard such bleating and baaaaaa’ing. Then again I never did see a human in that village so perhaps they were bleating about feet … all very Orwellian. Perhaps you notice that I’ve got feet on the brain today?

Following the village of Animal Farm I walked through the forest of pine cones. The path went up and you saw pine cones, the path went down and you saw pine cones – you get the idea.

In this forest, about 5km out of Zubiri, most people’s halt for the day, a got talking to a well travelled South Korean kindergarten teacher. Our conversation spanned teaching and travel and took my mind off walking. The nature of el Camino is that you often walk and talk with others although, perhaps more often, you walk by yourself and stop to talk at villages and their cafes.

In Zuburi I said goodbye to my companion, bought a gatorade, ate a snack, admired the beautiful stone bridge spanning the river and then headed out for my destination, Lorosoanna. Wow, was that a bad decision. My feet had been aching and my chafing, despite strapping had got worse (I’d find my legs bleeding later in the day) and much if the journey was in sun. Part of the journey was through an industrial estate with it’s pounding machinery and scenic views of black conduit and rusting drums.

The scenery at the end of the walk got better with little farm houses and bales of hay. As wonderful as this was I was happy to get to Larasoanna just before 2pm. There I dumped my pack, changed shoes, sat down and waited for the Albergue to open. Later when I had to stand up I felt 50 years older but I was happy. Today I have a sense of achievement. I pushed myself a bit and I’m ok for it, better yet tomorrow will then see me in Pamplona with more time to spare. They say the Camino is full of messages about life – perhaps that was one of them.

— Posted from my phone


Written by backpackingteacher

July 5, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I am glad I discovered your blog. You make it sound fun. Very entertaining, even when one can see that you are tired and hurting.
    Good Luck


    July 8, 2009 at 10:45 pm

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