Hiking the Camino de Santiago France/Spain travel blog





Pilgrim drinking fountain


Full of bras and undies...um, ok




Pilgrim laundry, a daily chore

Roncesvalles to Larrasoana. 27km 6 hours

For me leaving Roncesvalles was a dream as the route was mostly downhill, a welcome change after yesterday, though very rocky and challenging in its own way.

The Camino Frances followed the side of the N135 for most of the day – which is a quiet country road that weaves down the foothills towards Pamplona; initially its tree lined and most of the day was easy underfoot

Two km after leaving Roncesvalles the track turned towards, and passed through, some farm buildings. This was my first experience of barking Spanish dogs. I'll just say here that trekking poles serve a duel purpose...

I ended up walking and talking with Byron a retired American school district principal and then we we joined by a Beaujon, another American who has just finished school. We had a great time swapping stories and the time passed very quickly. Our paces matched and we spent the rest of the day together, headed for the same stop in Larrasoana.

The Camino descends towards Zubiri, where I stopped for lunch. Most pilgrims stop here rather than continuing to Larrasoana, however I carried on, planning on more time in Pamplona Tomorrow. The worst part of today’s route was just after Zubiri where we passed the garish factories and my pace slowed dramatically as the pain in my feet from 3 thumbnail sized blisters took hold. I stumbled on slowly, but found cursing under my breath regularly really helped.

Zubiri is Basque for Village of the Bridge; it was believed that this Gothic bridge over the River Arga was able to rid animals of rabies by driving the livestock three time around its central pillar – this is why the bridge was also know as the Bridge of Rabies. This power to ward off the disease was attributed to the relics of St Quiteria which are buried in the abutment of the bridge. How's that?

Larrasona is also entered over a bridge however this one was known as the bandits bridge, as narrow obligatory passing places like this were favoured to rob pilgrims. Made it out with my wallet intact you'll be happy to know.

I found a small supermarket and bought them out of all foot care related products I could find. After some minor surgery (involving huge amounts of blister fluid spraying everywhere) I taped my wounds up, took some painkillers and hope I'll be good as new in the morning.

Staying in a new alburgue tonight that's only been open two weeks, in a four bed dorm with today's Camino buddies.

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