Walking off into Spain in fine weather, belly awash with cafe con leche, I was exhilarated.
Just the words! But now I’d been pulled down a level. All through France I was able to talk with anyone. Spanish, however, is a language I’ve read often but seldom spoken. I could only speak haltingly, and hear with difficulty.
Navarre had its ruler called “the Great”. Why mention Sancho the Great? Well, he was the 11th century king who used his Spanish conquests and influence over Gascony and Cluny to lead a good pilgrim road all the way from Gascony through to León. For pilgrims. Nosotros!
The Sancho tradition of deluxe pilgrim trails is being revived in modern Spain.
And you need some pious prompting on any good pilgrim trail.
Day’s end was at Zubiri, which has a famous medieval bridge good for curing rabies.
The Irish girls, after enduring the snoring symphony at Roncesvalles, were ready to try a pensión where they could have a room to themselves. Here I must give special praise to some of the finest pilgrim accommodation on the whole Camino: the Pensión Usoa, at the bridge at Zubiri. Superb accommodation for the price, and a hostess who must have been a descendant of Sancho the Great.
And all rabies-free!