Roncesvalles to Zubiri – this wasn’t in the guidebook!!!

All the preparation in the world can’t prepare you for what Mother Nature will throw at you, but today she decided to bless us with awesome weather. 23 and sunny!

We stopped in Burgete for tortilla and a café con leche. It was delicious. Picking up some supplies, we hit the road. Earlier, I met a mother and father from British Columbia who are traveling with 3 young children. One is special needs and in a stroller. I said a little prayer for them because whatever I was feeling they would be going through so much more. I am truly blessed to be experiencing this Camino.

On the way out of Burgete I went to a farmacia for an over-the-counter sleep aid. Tonight I will sleep!

If there was a decision to be made and it was at Viscarreta where a bunch of us from our Orisson family happened upon this cool cafe with Spanish music playing and the best tortilla patatas sampled so far. The decision: stay here or move on to Zubiri. Ann from Ireland and Iris from Germany stayed. Ann has more time but our dear Iris has horrible heel blisters. Sue and I decided to go on.

My feet have been holding up quite well. I still have black toe but I had that before I started this hike and there are a couple of hot spots that I treated as soon as I felt them. Moleskin and Compeed have been a saviour. Taking boots off for a little while helps too. Considering what has been accomplished so far, I’m feeling awesome!

Camino Lesson: Don’t let your ego rule decisions!

Sue from South Africa and I continued on and the uphill stretches were getting easier for me but the downhill stretches were hard. Loose gravel, concrete steps with inconsistent levels and drops and rocks jutting out of the ground. These rocks formed part of the original medieval road. I can’t imagine what it would have been like for pilgrims traveling this path in centuries gone by with nothing but a piece of leather or even barefooted. Ouch!


Each step had to be thought out and personally I found it at times meditative. I didn’t expect this much rock though.

At Alto de Erro I was exhausted and tried to get a taxi into Zubiri but the reception was very poor. My Spanglish and the poor reception didn’t help. I woke up a gentleman who was sleeping in his car but he was not familiar with the area as he was from Madrid. He was no help. Having no other choice we moved on. 5km down hill on rock! Take a look at this terrain!


At one point an extremely handsome gentleman ran uphill past us. I just shook my head and tried not to cry. lol The pain in my knees was crazy and suddenly I developed this weird pain on my left ankle. Nothing serious just weird.

The sun was getting lower and we were tired, hungry and sore. Just when the path looked like it was ending, another bend brought us another downhill rock-path. My poles were more like crutches.

21 kilometres later we arrived in Zubiri so thankful this day was over and looking like the walking wounded! The first albergue was full but the owner was kind enough to find us bed. It was lovely.

At 8:30 pm we had a communal meal but laundry was closed.  The communal meals are so fun because you tend to meet more people and learn more. Tonight was a rib or fish (bacalao), with papayas, ensalada, a special appetizer made with rice and egg in a tomato sauce and lemon mousse. Guess what I had? Definitely need to arrive earlier at the next spot. When we arrived at the monastery the laundry had closed as well and today the same thing happened. There is definitely a need to plan ahead for these things especially when you only have 2 set so if clothes. Peee-eww! lol

My bed was a top bunk (OMG) in the rafters of a his old building. The beams dated back to the 1600’s. As I lay in bed trying to fall asleep to the gentle rhythm of snoring trying not to think of what could be in the rafters, I heard my ringtone on my phone. It would have taken me all night to get down so I waited for the sleep medication to take effect and prayed there wasn’t an emergency back home.

Wifi (pronounced wee-fee) is scattered but frequent so no problem keeping in touch.

Sue and I decide to split up tomorrow.  I wanted a late breakfast and she wanted to get out on the road early to find another place close by to rest. I want to get to Pamplona and spend a couple of days there and she was unsure of Pamplona was her thing.

Lights out at 10:00, sleeping aid swallowed, ointment rubbed in. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Please bring me sleep!


  1. You are such an inspiration Donna! Love hearing about your adventures and all the interesting people you are meeting. Just remember when you get weary, we’re all here supporting you in spirit!


  2. Adventurous is one thing but crazy is another Donna, take Dad’s offer and get some well deserved SLEEP!


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