søndag den 17. august 2014

Orisson to Espinal, 17.08 - 24,9 kms

After a nice long sleep I woke up at 5:45 and got ready to leave. As I wrote earlier breakfast was included but since breakfast consisted of bread and jam I skipped it and ate some of the food I carried later. 

At 6:15 I was ready to leave. I knew I had another ten kilometres to the summit and would have to go from little under 800 metres altitude to 1450 meters. So ten hard kilometres lay ahead of me.

I started out in the dark and since I learned from the mistakes I made last year I used the head torch I had brought along for the dark mornings.

At around 7 I could turn it off and by then I was surrounded by heavy fog. I hoped the weather from the yesterday wouldn't repeat itself. The good thing about the fog was that I couldn't see the road too far ahead thus I couldn't see how steep it actually was. ;-)

After a bit more than an hour of climbing I was hungry, so I sat down and had my first breakfast.

Tuna in virgin olive oil and not some dodgy "vegetable" oil. Yes please! Too bad the fish wasn't MSC labelled but I guess I can't have it all. :-)

When I was done the sun had done some magic and a beautiful sunrise a little minus the fog was on its way.

Very hard to capture and these pictures does not do it any justice.

The light was so beautiful I almost forgot how hard it actually was.

Mountains and sheep. Both were heavily represented the entire day.

My first stop was Roncevalles (or Roncevaux as the French apparently call the village) so I still had some distance to walk. And still 220 metres altitude to the top.

While climbing I came by this sign and I most admit that right at that moment I was glad I am getting off in Burgos and not doing the entire Camino. I would live to do that one day though. :-)

I knew I was going to cross the Spanish border before the summit but I either missed the sign or it wasn't there. A shame really because I was looking forward to the picture of one foot in each country. Oh well. The only sign I got was a message from my cell phone operator saying "welcome to Spain"

I did come across this sign though and even though my knowledge of Spain is limited I do know that Navarra is a Spanish region. So I presented this was the border. Forgot to take the foot picture though. D'oh!

Pretty much at the summit. It was so so beautiful (and very windy! One thing is climbing but where's the fairness in climbing with a strong headwind?! As if climbing in it self is not hard enough)

After ascending comes descending. The descend is infamous because you have to go from 1450 metres altitude to 950 metres in around 4 kms. You do the math. As always it is hard to capture in pictures but believe me, it was no walk in the park. It was also a little muddy and since it was all in a forrest one would have to mind tree roots and sharp loose rocks as well. I made it down in one peace but my thighs were a little wobbly I must admit.

I had then reached Roncevalles which is the natural first stop if not stopping at Orisson. It is a very small village and I think it only caters to pilgrims. The atmosphere was nice and the place is very cosy. 

And then it was time to the first coffee of the day and a cold coke zero. Yes, a spartan is bad for me but this one was just what I needed. Shoes off, (swollen) legs up and then I didn't move for 45 minutes. Lovely! 

The stop of the day was in Espinal so after Roncevalles I still had 6,4 kms to walk.

It was somewhat flat the entire way (as flat as Nothern Spain is, that is), so compared to what I had already done it was an easy stretch. I could have walked on but the next albergue is around 15 kms from Espinal and I don't want to push it in the beginning.

Nice scallop fence along the way

Littering is never sexy but when you are a  guest in a country it is simply a no-go. So I carried my empty can and some toilet paper (I has used for my nose!!) all the way until I found a trash can which unfortunately is a rare thing on the Camino.

Old abandoned boot along the way.

I walked by this church will the bell was rung (rang? Ranged? Ringed? Haha) for mass. I considered joining but decided not to. I'm not a catholic and I wasn't really dressed for going to church.

It seems like it doesn't matter of you've walked 7 kms or 38. The last km is always extremely long. But finally I could see Espinal in the distance. Yay. It was quarter past one when I reached the village and since Espinal is roughly the same altitude as Roncevalles I could feel the sun was starting to get really strong so a long siesta or a complete stop for the day was in order. I actually ended up being a tiny bit red despite the fact I walked in a forrest when the sun was strongest which just proves that sunscreen is very important. Right, enough lectures (for now at least..)

I ended up staying here. They actually "tricked" me by using sign shortly before the village to point me to their place. It was quite an alternative way which started by a gravel road but after 50 metres I had to cross a big field! That meansI am actually off the Camino by some hundred metres now. I wouldn't have passed the place if they hadn't done that. I am a little annoyed by it (and it is something I have seen before actually) and how was I to know that their sign wasn't quite legitimate? Oh well. It's a private albergue meaning it is €12. It comes with free fast wifi (or vee-fee as it is called in Spain) which also explains why I have been spamming Instagram and have uploaded 3 posts. I don't know when I will get stable wifi again so I need to use it when I can. :-)

The room for the night. I was the first to arrive as you can see so I quickly took one of the single beds. After having slept in bunks the two last nights I look forward to sleeping in a regular bed with no one above me or below me making the bed feel like a roller coaster when the person turns.

Till next time. Goodnight and BUEN CAMINO. :-)

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