There are not enough words in the English language to describe the color of the sky today. It’s a clear, deep blue and I am in love with Northern Spain.
Today we get started a little later than yesterday because Hila, my Israeli friend, had to track down her clothes. She’d been bitten by bed bugs the first night in France so the albergue in Roncesvalles confiscated them. Free fumigation I suppose.
The walk this morning starts out on a shaded trail and slopes slightly downhill. The walking is easy.
For the sake of my back, which is feeling much better today, I’ve begun to leave the rocks my mom sent from home along the path. I’ve ditched two today and each time I say a little prayer for my mom, wishing for good things to come to her.
Hila, Eran and I walk, sometimes in silence and sometimes not. Sometimes together and sometimes apart. When I ask Hila why she’s doing this walk she says it is because she’s been so wrapped up in medical school that she’s almost forgotten who she is. She says she hasn’t looked up in a long time and she feels far away from herself. I tell her that’s the exact reason I left my job to write and travel. I kept doing the next thing, I told her, whatever life handed me and when I finally thought to ask myself what I wanted out of life I realized it was drastically different than what I had.
In the afternoon we find a dog lost in the forest. His address is imprinted on his collar. We borrow the belt of a woman from Barcelona and assemble a makeshift leash. Then we walk the dog 6 kilometers back to its home. “This is the mission of today,” says Hila, and I agree.
We walk and walk. It is sunshiny and we are on the road with no shade. Larrasoana feels as though it will never appear but then, finally, it does. My feet are sore and tired.
We check ourselves in to a municipal albergue, dirty, with cold showers. But it’s a bed and, at 7 euros, a cheap one. Now I’m off to meet my friends and have some wine.
Today I walked 16 miles.