Saturday, 13 June 2009

Roncevalles part two

Leaving Orison through the mist, legs a little stiff but going ok,felt good till out of the mist behind me came a runner looking old enough to be my father with a cheery wave and bon jour he disapeared rather rapidly into the now clearing mist which turned out to be clouds and soon (well quite soon) I was above even them and enjoying the most amazing views all around me I felt top of the world and had it all to myself till I came appon the strange sight of a picnicing couple and car handing out small books by the statue of the virgin,I soon started to catch up with earlyer starters Mairie Claude and another french lady full of the joy of life but moving rather slowly and painfully with the aid of sticks but never leaving her smile and good humour and it was in the company of these two retired ladies that I continued to walk the rest of the way learning two things, that walking slowly still gets you there and good company makes the walking easy.
the gang from the night before soon caught up and we made a triumpfull entry into Roncevalles and was soon enjoying a cold beer and soup.
having bedded down in our new home for the night in bunks so close you would normally be wedded to the person next to you my new wife was a young Spanish girl who turned her back to me the whole night.
that was not the only dissapointment of the night, in a huge place housing up to 120 there was only two sinks each for men and women and two showers each, long lines were formed,I think the women are still there now one day later.
still the pigrim meal was good and our table of 6 soon finished the 1 bottle and another was purchased, soon to be followed another paid for our german dining comrade who told the table it was her birthday (50) and this was her reason for doing the Camino,we all attended the Mass, my first which I found strangly moving, so many familiar smiling faces.Including the Irish girls and the sister.
we were soon invited to embrace our new friends and fellow Pilgrims,unfortunatly I didn,t get the chance to get round the whole congregation.
the german girl insisted we had a nightcap to finish off the night and we made it back before the doors were shut at 10.00pm.
what followed was my worst nights sleep ever as it sounded like the farmyard had been let in all around me,sleep was impossable, I came very close to hitting a large frenchman to my right and made do with trying to end his life with a pillow.
so bad was the experiance I had thoughts of not continuing if the nights were all going to be like this, it was a compleat nighmare and a bad end to a really great day.
strong yorkshire words were spoken to my bed companions who had then compounded their animal noises by packing and starting to move at 5.00 am and it nearly kicked off untill I remembered my good humour ( lol)
the 20k walk to Zubiri passed in a flash and my humour had truly returned by the time I booked into a nice 8 roomed hostal, and hopfully a good nights sleep.


  1. lololololol I had a relatively good night's sleep in Roncesvalles..... I had a French man as my companion..... yep those bunks are disturbingly close. It was Zubiri where I came across the snorer-from-hell, and she was a young Brazilian woman. I don't think she knew she snored, and she didn't like it when I hit her with my pillow.
    I met the same couple giving out pamphlets by the Virgin: they must be there every day. I didn't take their literature. I am a 'bad Catholic' but I assumed they were probably evangelists trying to tell pilgrims to give up on the Virgin as an idol... All the best. Am loving your accounts.

  2. get some ear plugs. after a few days, you won't need 'em. trust me.

    oh & the church bells in zubiri have a "snooze" alarm.

  3. Oh..we are going to have sooo much fun reading your blog!!!!! you should have walked with us I think!! funny though, because we had the same snoring problem there but it was almost like chanting or something and it sort of lulled us into sleep!!! maybe we had one more nightcap than you!!
    Glad you learnt from the ladies that walking slowly still gets you there..we are sure that is the key..
    enjoy :)

  4. Ear plugs are a must. They stopped me wanting to kill my room mates.

    All the best

  5. Well It seems that you are in the thick of it now. Purchase a good set of ear plugs for the dorms and get a private room every 3 or 4 days to catch up on sleep if you can.

    But how is the food? LOL
    My thoughts are with you. Take it slow, I wish that I was walking now too. The scenery must be wonderful!

    Happy Trails,

  6. Earplugs? Peter finds they work well - he has supersensitive hearing - an ME thing - and earplugs have made a big difference. (I 'breathe noisily' he says)


  7. So proud of you - knew you could do it! Soon be on 30k a day!
    Rosie XXXX

  8. Hi Ian. Thinking of you. Have a good one.