Day 3 Roncesvalles to Zubiri  

Physically I woke up feeling refreshed and well-rested. 

Although mentally and emotionally, I did not feel the most “grounded.”  I think I am adjusting to sleeping in hostels. So this lack of feeling grounded could be from sleeping around so many people or simply that my mind was exhausted from the previous days’ events.

Regardless my body felt more robust and ready to walk. This is probably attributed to stretching for an hour in the sun. So I recommend that at the close of each day. If you don’t have a stretching practice, then definitely start that, or try to do that when you get to the Camino. 

My collarbones have been hurting me, so I need to find some resolutions for that. 

Walk summary: 

Left at 8 arrived at 5:00 pm! 😓😓

The walk to Zubiri was not AS challenging as the day before, but it still required so much cardiovascular strength at certain moments, and the distance got to me towards the end. 

There were quite a couple of stretches of steep inclines. Many people have told me to hold tight because the inclines will lessen once I get past this stage. 

But I felt very discouraged on those parts of the walk from the previous two days. So I am learning my walking rhythm and taking it slow, and I recommend that. 

One regret I have is that we left late again. We didn’t leave the hostel until 8 am, which was way too late. Because again, we were caught out in the middle of the sun towards the end of the trip when we were exhausted.

We didn’t end up getting to the hospital until four, which was confusing because we weren’t going particularly slow, but we did take a lot of rest breaks and stops. 

Once again, the scenery on the Camino is out of this world!

I’m just amazed at the level of diversity of plant life and landscape that a small country can have. The Camino is inspiring me to continue to see more of the world. I am hungry to explore. 

Certain parts of the walk reminded me of the west coast of California and visiting the redwoods and sequoias. However, parts of the Camino also reminded me of temperate forests in North Carolina and even updated NY. 

So that was interesting — observing how the landscapes can change just within an hour. 

Something disappointing on this part of the Camino was the lack of food available. I think that was because we were walking on a Sunday, so many shops were closed. 

The two open restaurant options, Bar Dena Una and Cafe Juan, were not very hospitable or welcoming. So we ended up walking in and back out. I asked Juan if he was okay because he seemed upset we wanted to order. 

Our best bet was making something for ourselves. So we ended up just going to a supermarket that was a couple of steps further. And it was stocked with enough groceries for us to made sandwiches. 

I made a tuna fish sandwich. They had easy to open tuna cans. We split a baguette and added in some mayonnaise, carrots, and bell pepper. It was delicious. 

So I would recommend that you prepare yourself a lunch, especially if you are walking on a Sunday or don’t want to deal with people who aren’t very kind in the restaurants. However, it could have been a bad day for them! 

We walked through a few cute villages, passed more farm animals, a few dogs starving for attention, and even a tiny intimate cemetery tucked away in some trees.

There were intense declines, which were very rocky! 

This was a dangerous stretch, so I could see where having hiking sticks would be helpful for those parts and just going very slow.

The Camino knows how to push you right when you are at the point of exhaustion. We often sang to ourselves to continue walking. 

Then Zubiri came into view!

It is a tiny town nestled in the valley. Nothing was open because it was Sunday, but there was a rec center food place by the pool and a restaurant at the edge of town. 

Oh, there is also a river that you see right at the beginning of town where I dipped my feet in and soaked for a little bit. 

I am staying at El Palo de Avellano hostel, which is okay. I just, again, had to clean my bed with sanitizer because it had a couple of stains and crumbs. 

There were no disposable sheets. 

This setup was odd because the bathrooms are also connected to the dorm rooms. So you walk through the shower/bathroom, and then your dorm room is behind that. Which was weird, but it is what it is. 

This hostel has a keycard entry. Laundry that they will do for a fee or hand wash your clothes for free. 

I am thinking about including more expensive hostels here and there. But I see at the end of a long day; comfort is everything. So, if your budget allows you to spend on a private room and bathroom…go for it! 

I never used hostels and was curious about the experience. However, I don’t want my experiences to be limited by traveling with a bigger budget. 

This isn’t a trip for luxury, so I’m learning to accept discomfort. Today I felt like I was pushing myself physically and emotionally again. There were certain parts where I questioned why I was doing this, but I just had to remember that this is a part of the journey, and I’m just going to be stronger at the end of it.

I ended my day by stretching alone in the elementary schoolyard on a blanket, and I listened to a podcast. I plan on leaving very early tomorrow. I want to go at least to 6:00, or 6:30 am. And I want to get to Pamplona very early, and I will be resting for two days. So, all in all, I had a great day. Beautiful conversations with my friend while walking, beautiful scenery, and once again extreme highs and lows emotionally and physically, but I made it, mission accomplished.

Also, it is not empty and a bit more crowded than I anticipated. On the contrary, I am enjoying spontaneous deep conversations with people I will likely never see again from all over the world! If you wanted a low-key time to come, now it is! 

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