Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 18 Camino de Santiago July 23, Fromistre

    I could not sleep, and I think that it was for no other reason than I told someone that I had been sleeping so well!  Yet, I actually woke up early, as in still dark.  I had a motivation.  The restaurant I had eaten in the night before, La Taberna, had great wifi connection on their outside patio so I thought maybe I could go there and write for 20 minutes or so.  I was right!!! I could go there!   I was wrong!  There was no wifi connection there!!  But I never would have taken this photo had I not gone.
     Knowing that there would be no cafe, bar, restaurant, Denny's open in the morning and a good two hour hike  to start, I bought an orange and big cookie to have for breakfast.  While eating on the terrace of the El Esteban Auberge, I scanned the horizon to see the one big hill.  The one big hill that we would climb as soon as we left the auberge.
      It was a "panter" as in "pant pant"  to say the least.  12% grade  going up for one k and 18% grade going down.  Rough on the knees.  Could have used my sticks!!  Could have used an escalator.

 I have only seen the trailer for the "The Way", and it seems like there is a bridge where Martin Sheen is sitting on the edge and something falls into the river below.  This bridge looked like it from my brief memory.  Is it?  If so, it was a beautiful spot.

    These hay balls remind me of me.  Everyone seems to follow the rules and then... yeah, I know, why is it so difficult?  Why do some farmers use hay balls and some use hay bales?  I wonder what the advantage of one over the other is?  The round ones seem easier to move but more difficult to store?   Ah Ha!!  I know why I am the odd ball?  I ask too many questions!  Just get in line Steve and quit asking questions.
    I liked the blue flowers with the sunflowers in the background.  The blue flowers are not nearly as pretty in a picture as they are in real life.  Maybe that's why Van Gogh went cookoo... he tried to paint them and lost his mind.

  In this part of Spain, they plant cottonwoods in rows.  Not sure why?  Ain't gonna ask though!!  Must be some sort of windbreak.  Or they could be  used for the straight trunks.  Maybe the farmers are tired of planting something that is just going to be cut down in a few months and enjoy seeing something growing for a longer period of time.

   This is a "you are now leaving the city limit" sign.  The line through it means that you are leaving the town of Itero de la Vega.    It "translates" to "No more Itero de la Vega".
     Gotta love sunflowers.  We could see this field from way back on top of the first hill we climbed.  Yet it was nearly 3 hours away.
     What do you see?  Don't say nothing!!  Marvel at the mundane, man!!  What you could see is nothing, or you could see a very happy farmer.  Yep.  This field represents success!  Imagine months ago, an anxious farmer planted wheat, then had to pray that it got enough rain but not too much, that good bugs would live there not bad bugs, that no storm or someone's careless cigarette would torch it.  Then he hoped that his reaper would work and that he would be able to harvest it, store it and then sell it at a fair price.  This picture represents all those scenarios happening!  Yes, it is a beautiful picture, no?!
   The area is getting dry enough for adobe to be used in building houses.  Either this guy's house was built a few degrees to far east or he left the bathtub running and it has washed away a lot of his home.
    This is what it should look like.  Wonder what self-induced flood insurance costs around here?

     Today's hike was very nice as we walked on a path that had been lined with cottonwoods.  They sure like cottonwoods.  Don't they know that people are allergic to them?
     Okay, this is on a different level than me.  This is not someone asking why.  This is someone on acid.  Lesson to be learned if you are farmer:  Do not drop acid if you are suppose to be stacking hay bales.  The two do not go together.

 By far one of the prettiest paths we've hiked.  I say we, though I've hiked the last two days alone and absolutely loved it.  I win every argument!!  This was The Canal de Castille and it goes on for over 120 miles.  It's over 150 years old and has several locks on it.

The locks helped boats descend over 40 feet or rise 40 feet as well.  Did you know that the Panama Canal has locks that can raise cruise ships, friggin cruise ships!!!... and the motor that opens the megagigantic lock doors... is no bigger than a lawn more engine!!  That has absolutely nothing to do with these canal doors, but it was interesting!!

   This view looking down the locks from the top (which is generally where you are if you are looking down), shows the different levels.

This view shows the side walls of the lock and seem to say, nay screaming... Holy New Orleans, will somebody call the Army Corp of Engineers!!  Actually, it's probably been leaking for a long time... yes, and that's what they said in New Orleans just before they screamed, "Swim!!!"


This is the view looking back up the locks and it makes the locks look small.  Well, compared to the Panama Canal...they are, but then, there aren't many cruise boats running this canal either.  Was a beautiful day!!  Loved the solitude.

 There is no Way to happiness...  Happiness is the Way!

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