Vizkarret (Day 2 on the Camino)

We're almost there.  Only 790 kilometers to go!

We’re almost there. Only 790 kilometers to go!

Well, after the ordeal of our first day, the next two days have been comparatively easy. Not too easy, but easy by comparison. Sleep has turned out to be a great restorative and our bodies healed enough overnight to allow us to experience two days of relative comfort. Not that it was all easy. We are still in the process of clearing away from the foothills or the Pyrenees mountains and we are still encountering fairly frequent uphill challenges. But overall, the hike the past two days has been noticeably easier than our first day. I was planning to combine these two days into one posting, but have decided that Day 3 will have its own posting – stay tuned.

We have come with our second important lesson learned from the Camino – On the Camino, as in life, every day there is some UP, and some days are all UP.

imageWe have now covered about 52km (I leave it to you to do the math to convert to miles: 1 mi = 1.6 km). Leaving Roncesvalles after a typical breakfast of toast with butter and jam plus cafe con leche (coffee with milk) we followed a nicely shaded woodland path. We entered the towns of Burguete where the Earnest Hemingway liked to stay. We were told that there was piano in the hotel that had his signature on it, but the proprietor was not amenable to letting in to see it. At least we tried! We also passed a church where many local “witches” were burned at the stake in the 16th century.

imageLeaving Burguete we made our way through delightful forested areas until we arrived at our destination for the evening – Vizkarret. We stayed at a “casa rural” (bed and breakfast) which was delightful – La Posada Nueva. It was a welcome relief to have only two of us sharing a road, rather than 120 of us – and we were served a delicious dinner that we shared with one other pilgrim by the mother of the house. It had the welcome and authentic taste of homemade food – green salad, green beans and potatoes, fried pork medallions, fried peppers, and melon for dessert. Our dining companion was a delightful lady from Barcelona named Araceli. She has become my first official “guest blogger”, contributing the following post (copied verbatim, here)…

Clint with Araceli.

Clint with Araceli.

“I am Araceli Relano, estoy enchanted a en comparatir cena con dos peregrinos de Estados Unidos”

I think she was pleased to be staying with two pilgrim from the States.

In the morning we were served breakfast and headed back out onto the Camino. We encountered a phenomenon I am calling “taxi-pseudo-pilgrims” this morning. While filling up our water reservoirs (also known as Camelbacks) for the day’s hike, a taxicab pulled up to the only small cafe in town and unloaded a group of women wearing light hiking shoes (more like running shoes) and carrying light day packs. They were a jovial group as they enjoyed their breakfast. Meanwhile their taxi left to deliver their luggage on to their next destination (probably a hotel rather than an albergue). We – the “real” pilgrims – shouldered up our backpacks and trudged on by them – looking piously down our noses at them. Shortly down the trail they rapidly overcame us. We bade them “Good morning” but refused to offer them a “Buen Camino.” Perhaps we’re taking this all a bit too seriously!

¡Buen Camino!

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