Roncesvalles to Zubiri

The recalcitrant cows

The recalcitrant cows

Route segment: 3

Thursday 28th September 2000

This is my second day of walking the Camino. After the sleepless night I am tired but want to get a move on, as today is a 20 KM trek. The official guide lists “Larrasoaña” as the destination but it seems that most people are going to try to get to “Zubiri” today and then onto “Pamplona” the following day.

I start off on my own but it is still dark and I have difficulty in finding the path marked with the yellow arrows so I hang around for half an hour or so. I see two people also hanging around looking at a notice board and go to see what they are looking at so intently. It is a map of the route from here to “Pamplona”.

We say hello and I start walking with them. The Spanish girl is called “Olivia” and the man with her is her brother “Daniel”.
Another Spanish chap joins us called “Geordie”. I noticed the girl this morning when getting out of bed. She is definitely the
most attractive woman I have seen in a very long time. I find it a little embarrassing to be this close to such a gorgeous woman. I find that she and her brother will be starting university in a few weeks and they will only we walking as far as “Logroño“.

They will both be studying law and Olivia promptly announces that she wants to be an “Estate Agent” when she finishes. I start choking and she is rather perplexed at my reaction. I have to explain that in the UK, being an estate agent is not regarded as a desirable professional career when you have a degree in law. It seems that in Spain you must have that degree to practise as an estate agent. Cultural differences can easily lead you astray and that little exchange with someone more easily offended could have been disastrous. I should read a little about Spanish custom.

My feet have still not recovered from yesterday and the problems with my thighs are increasing. The path starts off level and
eventually we reach the village of “Burguete” but it is too early and there is no bar open. When I walked my second Camino in 2001, I walked through “Burguete” at a similar time of day and really wanting a coffee, I persevered in my search for one and discovered that the main bar was in fact open after all, you just had to push hard to open what looked like a closed and locked door.

A picture of
The village of “Burguete”

After they have their pilgrim passports stamped at the local “Ayunamiento“, I didn’t bother to get mine done, we move on through more old path. The path starts to climb up through woodland. I hear the sound of sheep and cowbells and Olivia makes some comment that translates as “lots of sheep”. She seems to be fascinated by sheep and takes umpteen photographs of them throughout the day.

Perhaps they have grown up in a city and have not been out to the country much. She and her brother look like city folks and even though they are only 20 and 19 years old respectively, they seem to be wise to the ways of the world. Eventually we come across two cows that, despite the horns, are female. They won’t move since they think they should be there and we shouldn’t.

Geordie manages to get past one of them and persuades the other to move out of the way with gentle prodding from his walking stick. The other one however still won’t move and we have to walk between the two of them to get past.

The view from up here is pretty impressive and I take a few photographs. Here is one of them:-

A picture of
The view from the pathway

The path becomes a strange crazy paving affair, which is actually harder to walk on for me. I am having major trouble keeping up with them and fall behind. They keep stopping for me every quarter of an hour or so and when we stop later, I ask them not to stop, just for me, as I sense I am keeping them back and they would rather walk faster.

A picture of
The crazy paving pathway

A picture of
The refuge at “Zubiri”

A picture of
The sleeping quarters at “Zubiri”

A picture of
The resident cat at “Zubiri”