Sunday, May 8, 2016

Camino Vasco - Day 3 - Zegama

Now lying on the bed writing this post at 5 pm after shower and even did a bit of laundry.
Long day. Started early at 6 am around dawn as we have around 36.2 km to cover. Today's terrain is same as yesterday, mostly pedestrian on the walking/cycling town connectors, basically up river on the Oria. There are many such path joining all the towns together. Basque people are very active and many joggers using them (road bikes tend to use the road). Wind is strong today and even the cats are taking cover on the window sill.
Dark sky followed by rain and we finally bump into the other pilgrim from Irun walking the Vasco, a Spaniard from Murcia. He is walking a short stage today, probably stopping in Besain.
In Besain (name sounds so French) there were a couple of old houses in town that according to the info sheet was recently excavated and rebuilt. The albergue is one of them. Many kids waiting to perform their Basque drums at the church opposite. They look like short order cooks in their outfits. The smallest excavated house has a shell outside. Could it have been the actual pilgrim lodge in the old days?
As much as we love to stay here we still have about 16 km to cover to Zegama (the foothills of St. Adrian tunnel pass). It would be no way to walk 16 km from Besain to Zegama, then climb a steep 900 meters to the St. Adrian tunnel (the highest point in the Camino Vasco) then come down at the other end, hence the long stage today.
At Zegama a kind old lady helped us get the keys to the albergue (3 euros), find an alternate restaurant (there is a Catalan choir singing in this town tonight so the main restaurant is full, and even walked us to the albergue. It took more than half an hour though as she has to speak to everyone she sees on the street. Oh well...
The albergue is at the edge of town, a container building opposite some residential buildings. Behind looks the St.Adrian pass and that mountain looks formidable. Knees are shaking looking at it. As tomorrow is Sunday and there are no facilities up and down the remote mountain, we need to get food for tomorrow, probably sandwiches from restaurant tonight. It is going to be a very slow 22 km stage tomorrow and hoping Michael is also up to it.
Now there is weather warning for wind on my phone for tomorrow that just came in. Yikes! Fingers crossed

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