07.00am The alarm for us this morning was one of the Dutch ” Hospitaleros” ( the volunteers who run the Refugios ) walking through the dorm singing a hymn. I didn’t need waking as I had been kept awake most of the night by The European Snoring Championships which took place in adjoining bunks. Spain and Germany were in the final. Spain won but it was a close call. Hey ho.
Looks like we’ll be stopping for breakfast at Burguete , which is where Ernest Hemingway used to hang out when he wasn’t annoying the bulls in Pamplona. More later.
7.30pm Arrived in Larrasoana at 4.30pm today after an 8.00am start. Not surprisingly after a night of no sleep I missed the yellow arrows that point the route and wandered off in the wrong direction out of Burguete. Fortunately a lovely old lady spotted this dazed and delerious specimen and pointed me back on to the Camino. The daily routine for the “Peregrinos” is to stop off for breakfast , lunch, removal of boots , running repairs or foot massage at one of the little villages on the route. The faces at every pitstop are beginning to become familiar now. Many of the Pilgrims are walking only sections of The Camino for maybe a week or two. The Irish girls I walked with yesterday are doing 5 days and intend to come back and do the remaining sections in years to come.
I walked part of the way today with Bridget, a retired English teacher from St Malo who had set off on her own from Bayonne. She got lost crossing the mountains on the way to St Jean and was wandering about for hours on a hot day , arriving with heatstroke at her destination after dark. She laughed about this as if it was all part of the fun. I would guess she is in her late 60’s. She had ” couchsurfed ” a place to stay in Bayonne at the start of her walk. She’s just about the coolest Grannie I’ve ever met.
We descended from 950m to 505m over the course of the day, mainly through woodland trails. Everyone was feeling it today after the ascent over The Pyrenees yesterday. After the two long days of walking , the sleep deprivation and the effect of my over- enthusiastic Japanese stretching ( I think I’ve done myself some lasting damage trying to stretch the unstretchable ) I was pretty well done in when I reached Larrasoana. I am staying at a small hotel in the village named ” Hotel Akorreta”. Apparently some of the scenes in the film ” The Way ” were filmed here.
Thanks for all your good wishes and the very amusing comments. And please no more mentions of Blackburn Rovers , I’m suffering enough as it is.