Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 5 Camino de Santiago July 10th, 2012

Camino de Santiago - July 10, 2012  day 5
    Leaving the Auberge and five days of no sleep was getting a bit tiring.  I enjoyed the food and drink, all reasonably priced and good quality.  But for whatever reason, I can't sleep.  This dorm had about 15 bunk beds and I, once again had a top bunk.  I can't do a top bunk after walking 20 miles. Things that are suppose to bend, don't, and things that aren's suppose to bend do, so... I sit on the couch in the sitting room and read books.  It's usually cooler and has less smell of socks!!  The words mean, "path of forgiveness". I believe I might have to walk this several times!

 I'm glad they had this sign so I would be able to calculate the number of sleepless days ahead!  I will contact Guinness and see what the record is for sleepless days!!
Yea!!  We're in the 600's!!
Don't you love how everyone is getting into the Camino spirit??  Even beer maker - San Miguel supports us!!
Aren't we lucky!
Actually, we pilgrims keep many many of the towns along the Camino financially afloat.  Imagine 80 pilgrims paying to sleep, paying to eat, buying water, buying meds, etc.

  We walk into so many beautiful little towns.  Towns that we don't even know the names of.  Sure, we could look at our maps, we each have one, but we're too tired to make the effort.  Besides, half of them are too small to be on a map.


 But the amazing thing is, seldom do we ever see anyone.  It's like one of the Twilight Zone shows.  I expect to walk into a shop and see people frozen in motion.  Maybe they're all movie sets.  Maybe they've been evacuated...

    I love seeing the incredibly manicured gardens that so many people have along the way.  I'm thankful that my Dad taught me what different crops are and that Mom taught me so many of the trees.  I'm amazed that so many people don't know a fig from a sycamore tree!!

 This is the Punta de Reina which is a famous bridge in the town of.... Punta de Reina!
Stuff was about to hit the fan.  Rebecca pulled up lame and Carmen and I had to put her down... Not exactly, but that was an inside joke.  Sorry.  Rebecca's knee was hurting so bad that we went to the hospital, and had her knee checked out and Kevin's bandage changed.  After hearing the doctor tell Rebecca that she had walked her last kilometer, I didn't want him looking at my arm...or knee for that matter.
    Carmen went to the one place you can always find people, a bar, to find someone who would drive Rebecca to the next big town, Estella, which is about 21 k away.  The only person she could find was slamming down cognacs and wine.

 Amazingly, she made it to the hospital.  !  Here are the four, Rebecca the Lame, Luis, who is a dead ringer for Charles Barkley, Kevin the Cut, and Carmen the Acrobat.  A greater group you'll never find.

We made it too, though it was a very very long day.  30k total.  Beautiful, as always though.

 The terrain changed dramatically, and we began hiking through vineyards and wheat fields.  The trail seldom was paved and that meant carrying the pack.

We came across a cool map outlined with tires on the side of a hill.  I think I would have done something like that either as a kid or as a teacher.  I can imagine a boy's dad saying, "Quit daydreaming and go pick some grapes!"  and the boy constructing the map and dreaming of far off places...yes, yes, I believe that's the origin of the tire map!

      Can you imagine the fun to be had as a kid, (or as an adult!!) atop the bales of hay??  Can you imagine one very angry farmer chasing you with a pitchfork.  I had an angry farmer chasing me in Switzerland when I was walking through his field, trampling his cut hay that he wanted to dry.  I was not aware of what I was doing, but he was.

Could be Tuscany??


This building was apparently built on rollers because as we walked toward it, it never got closer!! It looked like it was about 3k away but it took us 2 hours to reach it.

Finally, we made it to Estella.  Quite a beautiful city with an old church built in the 16th century and an older church built in the 12th century.  I think it's good to build a new church every 400 years or so.  I imagine the conversation as the local priest tried to get a new church:
Priest: our church is crumbling.  We need a new church.
Cardinal: But it's only been 400 years since we last built you a church.
Priest: But gargoyles and chunks of blocks fall off and hit our parishioners.
Cardinal:  Hmmm... might be a good time for you to brush up on your Extreme Unction skills, eh?

It was here that Luis, Carmen and Rebecca left for their home in Toledo.  Kevin and I were sorry to see them go!

To be surrounded by good folks is not something to be taken lightly.  In my career, I was always blessed to be surrounded by the best.  I valued it then and I value it now, as well.

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

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