Day three started out with us on the camino by 0815. We felt great after our relatively relaxed second day. I documented Sandy actually crossing a stream without falling in it. (see prior post re: Deer Creek)
It is difficult to explain how steep the camino is. Even pictures can’t accurately portray the elevation. The original pilgrims from 1000 years ago obviously did not know the concepts of switchbacks nor did they think about maintaining elevation gain. Every massively steep incline is followed by a harrowing decent. Some of the trail near towns has been improved by cementing in the local slate rock. Most of the trail was protruding rocks surrounded by mud. Our trail focus today was A. Trying to keep from twisting an ankle on the upwardly protruding slate rock = SUCCESS and B. Trying to keep our boots tops from being completely covered by the mud = FAILURE.
While walking your mind clears and thoughts come together. My thoughts today were how, much like life, we experienced highs and lows, ups and downs, success and failures.
They say the camino provides. Just when you start thinking the hills are beginning to kill you, you come around a corner to see a friendly dog, tail wagging. He first sniffs your pack to see if you have a treat for him. Then he walks with you for a half mile or so and dissapears. Or you come upon vistas like the above photo.
Our lunch includes stopping at the first shop we see on the trail. We purchase two apples, cheese, slices of meat and fresh bread. It gets placed in our pack and we hike. When we get hungry we stop, make our sandwiches and enjoy. Our lunch on the camino has been averaging about €5 for the both of us.
Horses in Navarra have collars with bells on them. When hiking you hear the differing tones from long distances away. It sounds like wind chimes.
A random act of kindness by a local resident along the way.
Waterfalls are everywhere. Many little ones end up making the trail into a muddy mess. This one was too cool to pass up. The water cut through the slate making natural stairs all the way up.
Tired and sore after 7 hours of hiking, we walked up a huge hill to our intended destination in a church. They had a sign out indicating they would be open on April 15th. The nice nun directed us to an open monastery in the next town. Ugggh. We hiked another 4.5 km to the monastery.
We arrived at the 10th century bridge which led directly into the ancient monastery’s albergue. Today was a long day. We walked 27 km (16 miles). Sore feet and knees, but it is to be expected. Tomorrow we will be in Pamplona. We will take in the sights and have lunch there. Our bodies are telling us it will be a short distance day.