We were awakened in the morning to knocking on the door. This evidently was not the Ritz. Hostel directive was 0800 checkout per unread guidebook. Obviously, I was not the only one unfamiliar with this rule. Ours was the last bunkhouse evacuated that morning. Yearning for a coffee, we had to walk 3.1 km’s to the next village to find one. Everything was already closed in Roncevalles. The large Peregrino (pilgrim in Spanish) Pack had already made good distance by this hour.
A stop at the village grocery supplied us with snacks for lunch. A second coffee was ordered in the following village, which had a ghost town feel that would reverberate throughout the Camino. Did the villagers clock the timing of the Peregrino throng, and remain indoors until passed?
Our small group started to spread out as the day continued. We all had the name of a hostel recommended by our first hostel, so we would eventually meet at the end of the day. Everyone got some alone time. I savored it. My future life was going to be planned during this solitude, or at least so I thought.
The start of the day was beautiful. A glass of delicious, local vino (for one Euro!) and a lackadaisical conversation with fellow Pilgrims delayed a post lunch start and lead to another later arrival at the hostel in Zubiri.
By day’s end, the weather became chilly with a light drizzle. The sweet Chilean offered to collect and throw everyone’s clothes in the washer instead of each one hand-washing separately. Splendid idea! I scurried to a hot shower respite.
The younger souls wanted to head to the town square for dinner. I vacillated. My feet protested. Lingering back with mostly older Peregrinos, I opted for the typical pilgrim menu offered nightly at most hostels. No desire remained to walk any more steps to eat. We waved the others off like parents.
Sleep came fast in this 6-person dorm room. The last leg into Zubiri was a steady downhill, which proved to be as challenging as the uphill climb from the prior day. Journaling was put off once again.