Solo Camino 2019 travel blog

Outlet stores on the Camino from Valcarlos to Roncesvalles

Along the way to Valcarlos

veranda in hotel in Valcarlos

Palm tree on route Valcarlos to Roncesvalles

29 March

It was a hot and sunny day all the way to Valcarlos. Didn’t get lost even once. I must have started late because I saw few pilgrims on the way and not a lot in Valcarlos so I suspect that most just hiked on through to Roncesvalles. Which made sense.

I left SJPP at 9:00 a.m. and arrived in Valcarlos as the noon church bells were ringing. Which left me lots of time to look about.

Valcarlos has a store dedicated to Jamón here. Not much else. And no snow anywhere along the way or in the mountains (hills) around here.

Met an interesting fellow here who is just back from Qatar who helped build the audio-visual displays in the newly built museum there. He works all over the world doing this specialized work. He speaks French, English and Spanish (and who knows what other languages). I do so admire that versatility.

He was joined at dinner by a French woman who biked across Canada a few years ago. 6,000 kms over the course of a few months. She spoke no English but I could understand her French (to a certain extent) and the fellow helped to translate when we reached an impasse.

Last night it blew like hell here and I expected it to be cold this morning but I think it will again be a hot day so I will dress for heat rather than cold.

I’ve been invited to join the lord of this manor for breakfast. Not sure what that means. In any case I will go for breakfast shortly and then begin the rest of the walk uphill to Roncesvalles.

30th March

The Lord of the Manor says it will take 5 hours to hike to Roncesvalles. We will see.

The hike to Roncesvalles is mostly uphill with a short steep .5 kms down to Roncesvalles. Like most mountain hiking, just when you think the end might be close there is another steep part. I was following Kusang’s advice “Walk slowly but steadily”. (Kusang was our guide in our Nepal trips). So I walked along so slowly that I was imagining leaves turning colours and little plants along the trail growing.

Along this trail though the mountains I came across one small village with a palm tree growing in the middle of the town. It was quite disconcerting. How can a palm tree grow in an area where snow sometimes closes the roads?

Arriving in Roncesvalles (at 12:30 after 4 hours of hiking), I was informed by the receptionist that tonight their clocks leap forward an hour. It’s ridiculous. I’ve now leaped forward twice in the last month.

Opps, the sun is now up. I’ve got to get going for the day. I'll add the photos tonight.

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