So today is really the first day of my pilgrimage even though I am no in Portugal yet. Gregg, my husband and I have never been apart for more than a week in 30+ years. He left today and I don’t see him again till May 29th.
I will be traveling overseas by myself. Catching the train from Lisbon to Porto alone and having an empty bed till I leave.
You don’t know what you have till it’s gone. That should be a song don’t you think? Anyway, Gregg has taken care of all those details and now they are up to me. Alrighty then. Buen Camino !!
So it has taken me two days to settle down and be able to write. Day 10 was difficult from beginning to end. Wet, cold, sleet, amazing ups and knee jarring downs. It lasted an eternity and yet was over in the blink of an eye. So much given and taken in a 9 hour period of walking. One foot in front of the other. Head down to keep the rain out of my face and watch my every foot fall. And yet at the same time, such a feeling of being so connected to creation, creator, all things.
Physically a demanding, intense day, but such an amazing and grace filled gift. I am struggling with pilgramage and the need for such intensity. Something I will continue to look at in the days and weeks to come.
Buen West Highland Way!
So today my body hurt everywhere and I could hardly turn my back. What to do only 2 more days to hike. Do I push on or do I listen and rest while Gregg hikes the Devils staircase alone? I had to get very quiet and really listen to get this answer, which was to stay put and not hike.
As we sat for breakfast I started to cry both out of sadness and relief. So what is really yours to do? Take the time to become quiet and listen and then trust and follow through.
Buen West Highland Way from the bed
June 28 day 22
Ok this was a long day 26.9 Kms and guess what at the very end we had a hill. You know maybe 100 meters tall, but it went up in a hurry. Are you surprised that there are still hills to go over. I am each and every time I run I mean walk up to one. But this one today is different. For some unknown reason I decided to jog down this incredibly rocky hill into Hornillos del Camino. It was a blast and seemed to make it easier on my knees. Who would have thought.
We stayed in a private alburque with a wonderful yard in the back. Yiii grass.
Had a nice nap and then outside around a big table spent the evening with some wonderful folks. We were all either American us and a family from Dallas, a couple from France who only spoke French and a few Canadians that spoke English and French, and a couple from England who were celebrating an anniversary the next day.
We had such fun. Drinking wine and cervesas, eating cheese and sausage and singing American 60s tunes. Stephen had a guitar and it went around the table. Ian even went out an dimported Joey from Nova Scotia. He was great.
We then took over the only restaurant in town with 11 of us and had a great meal. That is everyone but Gregg, he had an attack and went back to the room and went to bed. He survived just fine and was ready to go the next morning.
This was the first time for me that I actually hung out with someone other than Gregg for any length of time. It really was fun. Thought about spending another day here resting but nope will get up and at im int he morning.
Gratitude for connecting with others on the trail. Oh yes I almost forgot. We had stayed in the same hotel the night before as Ian and Mary from England and Also Pj. They saw me slumped over in the lobby but didn’t speak at
that point. This Camino certainly has it’s interesting twists and turns that have nothing to do with the terrain.
June 15 day 9
On another 20 Km day. These lengths are just popping up a lot on this trail. We have a bit of a hill today but more to come tomorrow.
Do I seem preoccupied with the terrain? Well I am. I’m not sure hills, mountains whatever you want to call them will ever be easy. If you were to tell me they would I’m afraid I would NOT believe you or anyone else for that matter.
I am so glad we live I’m tallahassee. The heat and humidity has made us strong in this weather. To Gregg and I the weather has been great. It gets hot after 6.5-7 hours but the rest of the Europeans seem to be struggling with the heat. Ohh they kick my butt when it comes to tramping over the hills though.
I have been practicing any number of things as I walk. One of my favorites is to pay attention to my breathing. I breath in from the sky and head and out through my feet into the earth and then reverse it next round. It is amazing how the miles and bumps and time just seems to flow by. It also is amazing how connected I become with a sense of the places we are walking through. Add in some wide angle vision and my oh my what a walk
June 14 day 8
I’m not sure what it is with Spain but I must climb some sort of hill or mountain to get into or out of every town. I must say there has to be something here for me with these damn rises in elevation. I probably should just stop looking at the maps and just take things as they come. Oh my another metaphor. Who invented these things and just where are they coming from?
Not sure what was up except that I was to tired or weary or something to even care that there was a fountain outside with free red wine to be had. Gregg and I shared a capful from our water bottle and that was that. Off again.
There are so many options in the Brierly book but this round we were not feeling the extra sense of adventure to stray off the well marked path.
Landed in Villamayor de Monjardin. Run by a private group and had an English speaking young lady check us in. Great views and the village bar with the usual pilgrim menu. Have I told you that I agree with bloggers who said that one of the best and worst things about the trail was the food. Well after a long hard walk it is always great and after a short day of 10 Kms it was a meal.
June 12 day 6
Today again I wonder as I get up just why am I putting on my boots and backpack? Not a real question to get the answer of “I’m not” but just a small buzz in my head.
We are planning a 21.8 walk today. We are going to climb a mountain again. Not as big as the Pyrenees but to me still a very large hurdle. I may have gotten my legs but they get tired.
This particular mountain is around 790 meters high and we will be starting I don’t know around 420 meters. The outline of this peak on the paper from St. Jean is daunting, but at least there will be some down hill time.
It is pretty amazing to see things in the distance, walk up too or over them, and then as you look back see them recede into the distance and the past.
Wonder if that is a metaphor for life? Bet so. How often do I worry about what’s coming up even of I can’t see it on the horizon. Struggle, huff and puff, see it up close, ahhhh that’s what I was seeing. And then down the other side. Today the down the other side was still pretty treacherous. No easy gentle smooth slope for us. But, but the view from the top and the metal sculptures were amazing. The windmills are gargantuan.
Oh so much of life right here on this one stretch of road.