Day 2. Roncesvalles to Larrasoaña. 27.4 km, but according to my phone it was 32.3 km.
Today we planned to wake up at 6am. The albergue, had the lights on by 5:45am, I guess I can turn off my alarm. With bags packed and water filled, we head west on the Camino. Less than 3km laters we came into a town to gather breakfast and supplies for the day: Ham and cheese croissant (eaten immediately), large baguette (to be consumed throughout the walk), and an apple and orange (to eat when necessary). Our walk continues as we cheerfully sing songs to wake up the town, they might not be walking but we at least wanted them to know it. By 8am we had already cleared nearly 11km and had worn out our song. As our walk inclined up the remaining foothills of the Pyreenes continuing to the long decline from 950m to 500m our pace lightened as we feared tumbling down unsteady rocky slope. I jokingly mentioned to Lisa that I thought there had to be a tiny earthquake below my foot, because one second I was stepping on solid ground and the next I’m practically tripping over myself. As the day drags on times slips away from you as you rhythmically force yourself further, one more step, one more step. By 12:23pm we reach Zurbiri, the destination our guidebook had planned, but for us we decided to travel an extra 5.5km to the small village of Larrasoaña (population 200) because after you’ve walked over 20, what harm is 5 more. Somewhere around 2pm, we stumbled like zombies through this quaint town hoping to find a place to sleep.
There is a saying along the Camino: People walk the Camino to discover why they are walking the Camino.
In the few days I’ve been here, and long before I arrived, people have repeatedly asked, “Why are you doing the Camino de Santiago? Why are you walking nearly 600 miles?” While my answers have always been polite and well-rehearsed, the truth is I’m not certain why I walk the Camino. Step-by-step I move forward, some more faster, others slower, but regardless we all walk at our own pace headed to the same destination. Some stop to admire the view, others sit and chat with companions as they share a roadside meal, while other power through charging to our destination. Regardless of the pace, we all end in the same place.
Such is life. Step-by-step we each move through life at our own pace as we charge towards our shared destination. We are all guilty of spending life in the fast lane, oblivious of our surroundings, caught up in our own concerns, and altogether unaware of our bodies. We move haphazardly from one moment to the next. We eagerly search for some delightful meaning in life, but rarely allow the plant to flower after even just sowing the seed.
If this Camino has taught me anything so far it is to slow down. As I walk, I can feel the muscles in my legs expand and contract. In my hands, I can feel the blood swelling my fingers as they swing for too long by my side. In my feet, I can feel the tenderness of my soles as the press beneath the weight of my load and the jagged rock below. With the sweat no longer in my eyes, I can see clearly and notice that at this pace, at my pace, I am present. More fully present to the moment and conscious of the delight all around.
The Camino is not over and my has yet to fully adjust to this new life, but for now I go forward ready to discover what the Camino has in store for me.
Remaining songs from yesterday: