Day 2, Sept 30: Roncesvalles to Arres, 22.75mi

Today was long and difficult, physically, but mentally I was so excited and pushed myself a bit harder than I should have because of it.  And also because I am in the process of trying to shed some of my habits of expecting myself to go long or do as much as possible.  This is a goal of mine, to ease up on the Ironman triathlete mentality of “go long, go hard, because you can – because you are an endurance athlete”.  To not be too hard on myself, I believe there is a period of time that one must get into a new groove — walking the Camino is not a race, I know this and I dont want it to be, but there is a month’s worth of walking to be done, and a plane ticket at the end, so I am trying to wrap my head around walking long distances most days in order to get there on time, but not letting the number of miles rule me.

I met so many interesting people today.  I love how many people from so many countries are walking the Camino.  Today I befriended Kristian from Germany – so friendly and helpful; he’s been on the Camino 5 weeks, and he’s done it before; this time he’ll be stopping in Pamplona.  He began somewhere in France.  There are many routes that feed into the main Camino route (that I am doing, called the Camino Frances).  He is super-tall, and with his long legs he passed me, then paused to reorganize his bag and we chatted.  When I told him I am from the US and I have one month to get to Santiago, he said, “Oh, you are doing this American-style.  I know  people from US who do the Camino in like 10 days.  They tour Europe in 3 weeks.  Americans don’t have any time”.  It was said in a very friendly way, an observance he’s made.  I have been thinking about it, though, especially in light of my own personal goal to slow down a bit more – in my life in general.  Talk to people, take photos, get coffee, smell the roses (if there are roses).

Then I met Florence, a 35-yr old gal from France who has decent English and wanted to practice it.  She also had a fast-paced hike and she really kept me going for most of today’s hike.  We would chat, learn about each other, and also hike in silence.  I really enjoyed all of it.

It wasn’t as steep or long as yesterday hiking up from St Jean Pied d’ Port, but there were many ascents and descents today.  My pack is heavy, but really became a burden.  I knew I would have to reassess and get rid of some things, if for nothing else to ease the burden on my body.  At the end of my walk, I limped into the albergue.  Tonight’s was a converted old monastery, joined to a small, beautiful, and very old chapel with a basilica, which the chapel-keeper who checked me in, Hermano Diego, was VERY proud of and insisted he take my photo in front of it!  So, my feet both hurt a lot, my right hip was very sore, my right collarbone had some kind of raised lump on it, and I was worried!  Here is another triathlete habit:  get freaked out about possible injuries.  Something is sore? Ice it, quick!  Get it better so you can keep going (training)!  So I started to get worried that I have already taken myself out, and I would have to spend some  time not walking and recovering.  I pondered how to find an ice pack, which is definitely not available…then I went to bed.

Good sleep and a new day with a fresh perspecitive (and some prayers) does a body good!  I took my time getting up and ready (though we have to be out of most of the albergues by 8am, and the sun is barely up then!  This is very hard for me – I am not a morning person and getting up in the dark is not motivation for me), and the night before had decided to remove some things from my pack to mail home.  Already!  But better than beating up my body with extra STUFF-weight.  Another Camino Lesson:  you don’t need so many THINGS.  Stuff is a burden, bring only what you need, and don’t worry too much about the future.  Take it as is comes.  …I’m trying.  Hope to get better at this as I go.

I took about 6lbs from my pack:  cotton clothing items, one book, a small mirror (yikes, I realized I don’t really want to see myself after days of hiking and short showers and sleeping-bag sleep!), and a few other misc things.  I also threw a couple things away.  Mailing the package home cost 40 euros!  But it was worth it.  I felt better on Day 3 because of my lightened load.  I also packed a bit less water, seeing that I can fill up along the way very easily, though I love my Cameback bladder that I am carrying; it is so handy to drink while walking.

I headed on to Pamplona, only 2.63 miles, and played tourist for a couple hours before walking on…Updates about that day, Day 3 (Arres to Obanos, through Pamplona), next time!

Thanks for reading!

Florence, my fast-hiking partner today from France.  She had a great attitude and decent English!

Florence, my fast-hiking partner today from France. She had a great attitude and decent English!

Early morning light, and my bandana from Char Baker to start out Day 2!

Early morning light, and my bandana from Char Baker to start out Day 2!

There are many, many signs to show the way.  I am so thankful, as directions aren't my strength!  It is very well-marked with signs & yellow arrows.

There are many, many signs to show the way. I am so thankful, as directions aren’t my strength! It is very well-marked with signs & yellow arrows.

Me in front of the basilica in Arres, in the converted monastery where I stayed the 2nd night on the Camino.  Hermano (Brother) Diego insisted I stand there while he take my picture.  He was probably about 75 and so precious!
Me in front of the basilica in Arres, in the converted monastery where I stayed the 2nd night on the Camino. Hermano (Brother) Diego insisted I stand there while he take my picture. He was probably about 75 and so precious!

 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.