Thursday 10 July 2014

A taste of rain on the Camino

This was day 2 of our almost one month long Camino de Santiago adventure. Click on the Camino de Santiago label to see all related posts.

We were really happy about dry weather on our first day of walking over the Pyrenees. We had our wet gear with us but would not mind if it remained in our backpacks throughout the trip.

Unfortunately 20 minutes after leaving Roncesvalles it started raining. We had to stop at the edge of a forest, next to a cross, just before we got to the first village. At that point I decided to put my camera away and we prepared our raincoats for the first field test. They performed quite well.

Heavy rain started around 7 o'clock in the morning and since we were hoping it to stop, we decided to take a long breakfast break at the first opportunity. When we saw the first opened bar we were already a bit wet.

We ordered "tostadas" and expected to get some kind of toast with ham and cheese. After a while we realised we had actually ordered toasted bread with butter and jam.

We laughed about our first Spanish language lesson over a not too filling breakfast.

We learned how important it is to have a raincoat of proper length. Mine started to curl up over my knees while walking. It did not help even if I took shorter steps. I used one of my walking sticks to weigh down the front part of it. It worked well but at by the time I put the improvement into practise my trousers were already pretty wet from the knees down.

Rain continued throughout the most part of the day. When we already thought we have seen the worst of it, it turned to hail. We could not decide if it was better or worse compared to rain.

I first felt water in my shoes after 3 hours of constant walking in rain. At the worst point I am pretty sure I had half a decilitre of water in each shoe. Since we were worried of having blister problems we were thinking of stopping and changing into dry socks but after a while we both agreed there is probably no point in doing it.

Walking up and down small hills seemed to go on forever. We started the day at 900 metres above sea level and walked to Larrasoana, which lies at 540 metres. We walked 27 kilometres, most of them in heavy rain.

About half an hour before we reached our destination for the day, the rain stopped.

We were surprised how quickly our shoes dried up again after it stopped raining. All that water evaporated pretty quickly - just like sweat. I suppose this was an indication we had bought good shoes.

In Larrasoaña we checked into Albergue Municipal. It is pretty basic and the hospitalero was not all that friendly. Nonetheless we were happy we found a place to sleep and that the wet day was finally behind us.

A hot shower was followed by hand washing of our muddy clothes. Afterwards we tried our best to dry our gear - we stuffed our wet shoes with newspapers and hung our clothes outside. Unfortunately nice weather did not last and we had to move our clothes inside.

We still had enough energy to take a walk around the cute little village. Apart from a few interesting old buildings there is not much to see.

Dinner was quite tasty and fun - we enjoyed it with a group of Italians. They met on the way and decided to walk together.


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