I must confess, my pen and paper notes started to become a bit sloppy at this time. Our days (although each unique) began to blur together. I do remember starting this day by climbing 200 meters over two kilometers and then descending 300 meters over the next four-and-a-half. Although there was a cool photo op at the top of our ascent, as well as a food van to help console my self-pity, my whole body screamed, “when will there be an end to this merciless up and down?”
What I also remember, even more clearly, and much more fondly, is that when we finally crawled into our auberge late that afternoon, our Camino Angels were there. As the Angels had left Zariquiegui about the same time as us, I asked when they got in. “A wee bit ago,” Karen replied softly, compassionately downplaying their much earlier arrival. I blinked and looked again. Yup, the Angels looked fresh, well-rested and ready to conquer the world. This was a stark contrast to our haggard exhaustion. But once again, it was incredible what a hot shower and a warm Spanish meal could mend.
“As there is a terrific kitchen here, we’ll fix you breakfast in the morning,” Grace offered. “Eggs and toast okay?”
It was more than okay. It was like a mini-miracle!
Noel (who we had met previously), as well as Mark and Angela, also shared that Auberge and breakfast with us. The laughter, chatter, and stories continued long after the toast, eggs and coffee had run dry.
Although she was staying at an auberge across the road, I also need to mention Birte here. I have been remiss not to mention her previously. We met her in our auberge that first night in Saint-Jean. We were walking similar lengths of the trail each day, so we sometimes walked together. Birte had just finished high school. Her mother had always wanted to walk the Camino, but now, for a variety of reasons, was not able to fulfill that dream. Birte was making this pilgrimage for her mother, and for herself. She was bright, fit and determined. We admired her grit and her resolve.
This is one of the incredible offerings of the Camino – the strong community that you build with others who a mere few days prior, were total strangers.
La Bodega del Camino (we highly recommend it)
+34 948 541 327
8 euros per bed, 20 euros for private room (with shared bathroom)
Our reward for another tough climb: a very cool photo op!
La Bodega del Camino
La Bodega del Camino (attached) Bar and Restaurant