Camino de Santiago: Day Three – part 1

Day Three – Zubiri to Zariquiegui (9th of Aug)

This was the first day I had some struggles, but let us start at the beginning.

I got up early, I can’t remember how early but around six is my guess, My bag mostly packed the night before I only needed to pack my sleeping bag, and other essentials that I had out of the pack for the night, so I was out walking quite quickly after getting up, not letting my brain contemplate what I was doing.

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Hey, only 728km to go to Santiago, at least according to this sign, the signs marking the distance left varies in accuracy as sometimes they actually increase as you go on, more on this later.

This picture was taken in front of Planet Agua, the only sports shop/outlet in Zubiri .. it was open. I needed a bite-valve for my Camelbak as that had been ripped off during our hasty run to the albergue in Roncesvalles. The woman in the store did not speak english but we somehow managed to communicate and it turned out she did not have just the bite-valve only a complete Camelbak which would be more expensive so I passed. Using the lock valve as a makeshift solution.

2015-07-08 11.59.24The top picture features a bite-valve, you bite it to open it up and then suck water out of the bladder stored in your backpack, the bottom picture is the tube without the bite-valve, the yellow thing is a lock valve used to well lock / shut the tube completely avoiding water leaking when transporting etc. Made the whole sipping water requiring a bit more effort. However I was sure to find a shop that had a replacement right ? … (stay tuned for the conclusion of this miniscule cliffhanger)

Heading out of Zubiri I tried to find a supermarket or something similar where I could buy some snacks to serve as breakfast and keep me going until brunch.

Brunch, n.

a meal that combines breakfast and lunch and that is usually eaten in late morning.

On the camino brunch is basically second breakfast whose purpose it is to keep you going until your first lunch whose purpose it is to keep you going until 2nd Lunch etc. etc. ad nauseum…

But back to the story of this day, I spotted some fellow pilgrims and asked if they knew where the supermarket was… they did indeed and provided me with accurate directions.. which is needed even in small Spanish villages, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to miss things some places look quite anonymous without the glaring neon signs, large billboards, flags and such.. but I got directions… and found the place. It was a pub / cafe called, you guessed it, “The Supermarket” There was a waitress cleaning tables and setting them up in preparation for opening, so I asked her if she knew, she pointed and gave directions rudimentary but understandable english, “down there, right, left” … I followed them and found myself walking out of Zubiri heading onwards on the camino. She had apparently not understood my question and just answered the most common question asked of her I imagine… “Where is the camino?” I decided to head out without stocking up on breakfast snacks… I had one pack of mini-candy-donuts called Filipinos I figured they would last me until I could find a suitable brunch spot. Which I did ~10km later, but first I had to walk those 10km…

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As I headed out I passed a few italians walking together in a group I said “buen camino” and walked past. Maybe 20 minutes later as I was walking through a collection of houses somewhere and as I walked past some really stunning houses…

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I was in the zone, apparently so much so that I had missed one of the camino markers. Next thing I know there is an italian guy behind me shouting to get my attention.. and he had dropped his backpack and taken off at a run to catch-up with me just to get me back on the right track. I thanked both him and the group he was walking with profusely for getting me back on the camino. I walked with them for a bit before heading on at my own pace again. After a short time, let us say 45-60 minutes, I came upon a fork in the road… one ran along a stone quarry and had lots of “do not enter” signs around it, the other a small forest trail taking off into the wilderness. Now I am norwegian so when faced with a choice like this I am hard-wired to go into forests and over mountains… so I followed the forest path for maybe 5 minutes… and guess who comes running up behind me? Yes, the same italian guy… I had indeed taken the wrong fork in the road, we laughed a bit and then he said “you walk with us now, I can’t run anymore” and then I nearly doubled over in laughter, and he joined in.

I walked with those italians for the next few kilometers but eventually they let me split from the group after promising not to go off in the wrong direction again…. and shortly after I arrived here…. La Parada de Zuriain
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If you should find yourself on the camino and pass this place, take a break and enjoy the nice view and if that is not enough to entice you to stay; they had cats roaming around, kept cats not stray ones…..

Brunch was ordered and devoured along with fresh orange juice and coffee… more precisely café con leche…

The break was over too soon, this place was one of the many that just made you want to spend a full day just sitting there and enjoying the view and the people.. and cats of course… But I still had a few kilometers to go and before I lost the will to leave this place I got up and continued on (after having bought some snacks and a banana to keep me going)

To be continued…..

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