22 k, 39042 steps, 29 Euro.
Light on at six. I manage to fix the phone and get some messages and posting done. Charging devices and packing absorbs over an hour. Still can’t read anything on Facebook but I can post.
Giovanni is waiting for me. I get my credentiale stamped and we are off to breakfast as arranged. Hueves e Jamon with cafe con leche followed by espresso piccolo.
Giovanni departs and I’m off at a slower pace. I keep overtaking a bicycling pair with transport troubles. The path is gentle forest downhill. I catch up with Bill and Anne in a party walking from France to Pamplona. They are from Longueville but don’t know Michael. After two hours walking, a rest of 10 minutes and while I’m there the Korean couple from yesterday goes by. Time to hoof it again.
At the bottom of a long hill is a water fountain so I stop for a drink and some photos. While I’m waiting who should turn up but Jessika and Robyn from the first night. They are in temporary company with some stocky Spanish ladies dispensing walking tips.
We continue on and the ladies disappear in the distance.
Eventually catch up with Jessika applying suntan. She has Laura’s complexion. We walk together for a bit and I learned about an engineers life in Invercargil. Hunting hiking and fishing.
The Korean guy comes running back and yells “John, have you seen my jacket?” Which I haven’t.
I eventually leave the ladies behind and push on for Viskarette. I’m worried because it’s after 12 and maybe everything is shut but lo and behold a cantina!
Coca-cola, tortilla and Peach for 4.50. I rest for an hour conversing with old friends Jim and Dairy and Jackie. She has busted her knee and is calling it quits with a few days in Barcelona before returning to California. Also met Nancy from Colorado.
I call Ali and get through on the second try. It’s good to hear her voice.
Change socks and off again walking solo through the forest to Linzoain where there is a long water through. While I’m writing Nancy from Colorado turns up. We chat for a bit but she’s off ahead of me and it’s time to wrap up and go.
Next is a long pull up to Paso de Roldan. I swear Spanish kilometres are twice as long as ours.
I pretty much have the forest to myself. Eventually two French ladies I’ve seen before, cruise past. It flattens and begins to descend. These and ascents tend to be washed out gullies with lots if rocks. IGOF. (It goes on forever).
I practice the Spanish lady’s tips. It’s basically running down hill with tiny steps, bent knees and balancing on the ball of you foot. It seems to work.
A road appears and on the other side is a van, chairs and tables.
A coke and a banana and I sit down next to Steve and Sue, librarians from the Sonoran Desert. I was under the impression that L’s we’re prim and proper. Not so and we have a whale of a time as they like deserts and have visited ours.
The van shuts and I’m off. What follows is 3.4 kilometres of absolute torture. Downhill, steep, rocky. My feet are molten.
I stagger down the hill, cross the roman bridge, note the cool River Arga (I want to fall in) bump into Jean-Pierre already missing Jackie, and tramp up to the Municiple Albergue.
No beds. I’m on the floor for 4 Euro.
I bump into the Hungarians again.
I can barely move but somehow drag out clothes and stuff and make it to the shower which is hot.
I’m now sitting in the courtyard with three girls from Finland, Argentina and Japan, chatting while I type.
5 minutes till my floor is ready.
Sounds exotic. I need a beer but it will have to wait.
I go check out my floor. Cool! It comes with a mattress so I feel like I’ve won the lottery. I take it for a test drive.
Now for laundry. This is the lot if the pilgrim.
Wake, pack, breakfast, walk, lunch, walk, walk, walk, check in, shower, change, laundry, eat, sleep, repeat!
And it’s only day 3.
Laundry is in for 3.50 including the drying so it’s just a bit of a wait to eat.
While I was chatting with Nina from Finland, Nancy showed up and we revisited the day. She told me that after my laundry is done to go down the street. There’s a bunch of Americans drinking and I’m to say the secretary sent me.
Wel,l after 4 hours of drinking, the Americans are tapped out and the cantina is closing but there’s another open so I enter and negotiate the ” sin gluten” fare. It’s white brand followed by a vegetable soup washed down with a beer.
The most amazing thing about today is I don’t appear to have blisters. I’m feeling better but missing a bed is something I have to work on. I’ll be off to my floor soon and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
The soup turns out to be a plate of vegetables and it is delicious.
A nice end to a challenging day.
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