Travel Date: Friday, April 18 2014

I set up alarm for 6 AM. At 6:02 everyone wakes up at the same time. So much for trying to get to the bathroom before everyone else. 150 people staying in the albergue and only two showers and 3 commodes for men, and another set for women. Fortunately, I get up quickly and have no wait time.

Once I am out of there I discover that everyone is now piled up into the only restaurant that is open for breakfast. Yes another line. Fortunately it is not too long since most people are still in the albergue waiting to use the restroom.

I get a ham sandwich: slice of amazing delicious and salty ham on a bagette. Wish I took a picture. I make a new friend in Groina who is from Ireland and a lawyer. I give her my business card to keep in touch and we banter back and forth on my core values for my trip Live, Love, Learn and what it reminds her of Eat, Pray, Love.

I meet up with my core group of walkers and we review the plan for the day and head on out. We are going to Zubiri instead of Larrasoana.

But first a picture with the sign Santiago de Compostela.

The first town we get to is Burguete whose claim to fame is that it has a hotel where Hemingway stayed at and a piano he signed.

Beautiful farm land and scenery along the way to Espinal and the first sight of sheep.

Josean mentioned that the next town we were walking to was one of the most beautiful towns in this part of Spain.

I forgot the name of this town, but we pass across interesting old churches in each town with trees as such. They are all over the place.
After a lot of walking we finally reach out destination Zubiri.

After dropping our stuff off at an Albergue we go have an early dinner. One of the things I love about Spanish culture is that one glass is served with a pitcher of water and a bottle of wine for dinner. You can use the glass for water, or wine, or both (as in my case). Rough life and tough decisions, no? I love that every dinner is served with wine as part of the meal.

After dinner I get my first cup of Spanish coffee (café solo). I cannot drink coffee daily especially before my walks so this is my first opportunity. I enjoy it and hope to drink more on my days off, or after my walks.

After dinner we head back home. Daniel (the only American I’ve met) has a great idea to cool our feet off in the river. The river reminds me of the river in Goshen, VA. We enjoy the sun, scenery and the cool water.

After the cool off, I go back to the albergue, shower, wash clothes and head on to a restaurant nearby to get some blogging done.

While writing I meet two wonderful and friendly Basque women (Ane and Maria) who talk to me about Basque culture and San Sebastian and encourage me to visit their beautiful city. I am intrigued by their invite and I tentative plan to go after my Camino. The beautiful two turns into beautiful six and then I am blessed with a picture. No complaints here!!!

After everyone leaves, I continue writing, and suddenly the temperature drops significantly and I’m without my fleece. After one hour withstanding the cold while blogging, I head back to the albergue, and now I’m feeling a little under the weather.

Learning Experiences:
Listen to your inner voice (not inner dialogue): I noticed a couple of times that my inner intuition kicked in and prompted me to do something. At some points I didn’t listen, my inner dialogue kicked in and responded that I could do that later and I regretted the decision I made. At other times I did listen, and when I listened I was grateful that I did. The more times I listen to my inner voice and not the secondary inner dialogue that followed, not only I am better off, but I hear the inner voice more clearly the following time it appears.
Abandon attachment:I lost my expensive REI hat in Roncesvalles, and I’m a little disappointed in myself, but then I realize the only reason I am disappointed is because I am attached to the hat that I paid for. Letting things go is important to move on, with material things, with relationships, and with past successes and failures (both positive and negative).
Practice non-judgement: When drying my clothes on the clothes line, I observed that my black t-shirt was missing. It was an expensive $70 merino wool tee so I am ‘financially’ attached to since it is one of the 3 t-shirts that I have. I walked up and down the clothesline to observe all the black tees and noticed a few black ones but none appeared to be mine. I walk back up to my room and make a public announcement that another peregrino may have accidently taken my tee. One of the other peregrinos mentions that he saw a black tee that fell to the ground and picked it up and put it in perhaps a different spot and maybe I should check. I return back to the clothesline to discover that there is a black tee with gray marks all over, and it is not the design of the tee but dust that remained from the ground. On closer observation it is my tee, and the gentleman who picked it up did me a favor. I am humble and embarrassed at myself. Don’t rush to judgement, and practice non-judgment. I don’t know the whole story even if I get consumed with what is happening to me.

Expenses: 25 Euros
Notes: I didn’t track my expenses diligently, but I did spend a little more than I did with Roncesvalles so I bumped the amount from the previous day to 5 Euros more.