Another short day to get our feet used to the drill, before we start our first full length day tomorrow. Lots of uphills and corresponding downs, except for the last one that was a longer down into town. It was the kind if descent on loose rock and shale that encourages the loss of hiker's toenails. Ours look good so far.
Sometimes up feels better than down, but not those heart pounding, breath taking, sweat dripping ups that started our day today. There is a fine line between the feel good ascents and the ones that feel meant to kill you. Some day I'll find an app that measures degrees of ascent and figure out that line.
A significant part of the Camino experience is the people. Today we met Diego, 25, from north central Mexico. He, like our three, spent summers as a camp kid (in Minnesota) and then went on to become staff. He's now a chef for a cruise line and will be starting a contract on the Alaska circuit in May. We will meet again in Vancouver.
Our innkeepers have been exceptional. We are trying to stay in reasonably priced hostels and pensions that offer private rooms and shared baths in consideration of C's REM sleep disorder.
Last night was at the Pension Corozon Puro in Bizkeretta, run by two Hungarian former pilgrims, whose goal is to provide pilgrims with a positive experience. 18e each included a home cooked dinner and breakfast. An alburgue (dorm) would have cost the same after paying for meals. Barbara and Istvan were gracious hosts.
Tonight in Zubiri was $32e, no meals, but a beautiful communal living room, kitchen and laundry. The innkeeper is an expressive woman who speaks not a word of English but communicates well with her heart and her hands as well as a constant patter of Spanish and Basque.
I know it's bound to change, but I've been on the Camino for two nights with the luxury of a hot bath on each of them.