Sunday, June 30, 2013

Camino: Day of Rest

There is a long story here, but we are just settled into this cafe for lunch and a beer.

It's Sunday, and the fiesta continues today at a slower pace starts with a marching band.

After lumch, we started to walk but didn't get far. I had wanted to see the cathedral, but you have to get a ticket to go inside. We hemmed and hawled about it, but it was the thing I really wanted to do.

We all went before lunch and it took quite a long time to do the very good audiotour. I had wanted to see El Cid's tomb.

It was a slab in the floor. Disappointing really, but the cathedral itself was magnificent.

By the time we toured n ate, it was already 2:30 pm. I had resigned myself about walking with my injured foot. Then Monica said it was too late. So we got another room and did little with the rest of the day.

Now, the bands are playing outside and the crowds getting thick again.

Tomorrow we walk again. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

CAMINO, June 29: Oh what a day and night!

I'm in my bed at the Meson de El Cid.
It's a four star hotel in Burgos, a long way from home.

We walked possibly 30 km today, and I don't want to do that again, if I can help it. But I think we will have to.

Burgos is a city of 170, 000 or there abouts. It has a truly awe inspiring cathedral, anf a fiesta has been going on for days.

We got into town around 7:30, just laid down and rested. Took turns in the shoeer/tub and hobbled out for dinner and to see some of the city.

Bands, dancers, crowds, but not like it would get in a couple of hours.

We waited our turn to get a table at a restaurant and feasted on giant shrimp, asparagus with bacon, steak with mushrooms, cod in a tomato garlic sauce, and a salad. We laughed and drank beer, and congratulated ourselves on walking instwad of taking the bus that last 7.6km.

We walked into a coouple bars for a beer and ran into Veronique. They hadn't seen each other for several days. We talked and fireworks started at 11pm. Wow! What a great display for at least half an hour, and all we could do was smile and laugh.

We went off with Veronique to her hotel bar, and wound up doing some singing before getting back on the streets.

The beer had helped with the pain. I have a pretty gruesome blister/new skin ripped off with the compeed on the toe blister.

Using Bentedine on it, and gauze with tape to protect it. I was not sure I could walk the next day.

But partying with the locals was the name of the game last night. There was a big stage and a rock band playing, of all things, "I'm on a Highway to Hell", right there by the cathedral.

We didn't get back to our rooms until 4:30 am. We did get invited to the after party, but we didn't go.

Spain, it knows how to party.

Camino, Day 16: Burgos

Saturday, June 29, we walked 30 km. I figured out the day before that maybe some of my foot pain was coming from tying my boots too tight. I was right. My feet were feeling so much better.

What I also learned was that I have gotten all my blisters while walking on flat ground. But mostly it's not just flat. There are small gravel or rocks, larger stones, embedded rocks, dried tire tracks in the mud and more, and each surface demands somethiing of your feet.

Once you have that blister and your feet are tossed and turned and beaten up by the surface you walk, the blister talks. On my left foot, the blister was on my the toe, on the right, it was on the side of my heel, but your body keeps moving somehow.

The hostel had been cold and damp and I hadn't sleep well. I thought that Monica had gotten up extra early, so I got up and packed by 6:00am only to find her still asleep. It was cold, too cold to stand and wait, so I started walking with Carey. We like to sing, and she makes lovely line drawings. This morning we talked about etching.

Monica caught up to us at the village 1 k away, and then Diane. We had coffee and breakfast and carried on stopping at each village for a coffee or coke and took off our socks and boots to air dry our feet.

Yesterday we climbed up to 1080 m, the highest we've been since the Pyrenees. Of course we had to climb down to go up. The uphill was all bare rock jutting up, like bare mountain where the soil had washed away. Constant changing patterns to maneuver. My feet were "broken" when we reached to top. But we had so many more kilometers to do.

The surprise was a huge cross where we had a photo fest! Here I am with Diane from Ireland. She also has a lovely singing voice.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Camino, Day ?, June 29, 2013

Saturday morning. Cold, but it's sunny. We walked 3.4 or so to get breakfast, and coffee. Now on our second cup.

I have one new blister that I didn't know I was getting. But I felt it after I Put my boots on this morning. So I coveered it, and so far so good.

Monica had her foot treated days ago and wrapped, and the medic gave her inserts for long distance walking and told her to walk normally.

Since then her pain is getting less and less. She did get a new blister, where she had had one.

Long walk today. 27 km. There is a bus through the suburbs into Burgos. The discussion is taking place now, take it or not.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Camino, Day 13: a singing day

We did a little over 23 km today. My feet and knees feel shattered. I am literally hobbling aroud in flip flops.

We started out of Santo Domingo this morning with a 6.7 km walk to the next town. Cool and perfect for walking. I got a smooth and steady  pace going and enjoyed the walk. Once my feet settled into the boots, it was just a matter of when to stop to take a photo. Fields of grain all the way with a welcoming church steeple every now and then.

When I got to the next village, Carey was filling her water bottle at the fuente. We chatted and walked into the village. The church door was open, and we stepped inside. A couple who are pilgrims were sitting in the front pew in silence. We had talked about singing "Amazing Grace" but didn't want to disturb that couple.

I said, "Should we?" She said, "maybe softly." Well, Susie, you were with me there, just like in Italy. And you know, I had to do the Negro spiritual version and Carey singing harmony. It was special, and the couple later thanked us.

Monica caught up, and in limped Diane, from Ireland, and Uli, from Germany. We stopped at each village and walked the distances between. And we sang. Hymns, West Side Story, Jolene by Dolley Parton, The Streets of Baltimore, The Eagles, but the highlight for me was singing songs from Jesus Christ Superstar.

Here we are on the Camino pilgrimage route, Monica and Carey saying they love that show. I look up and see this ridge and think of Carl Anderson in the start of the movie, playing Judas, and I start to sing, "My mind is clearer now, at last all to well I can see where we all soon will be. And they join in, "if you strip away, the myth from the man, you will see where we all soon wll be ". . . We continue to build in lyrics and volume until we, well me for sure, looking at that ridge and feeling in the moment at the top of my lungs sings out, "JESUUUUUUS! you've started to believe the things they say of you, you've started to believe this talk of God is true. . . "

It was a moment of power and energy and got us through so many kilometers without feeling the feet at every step! Monica knows every word to the entire rock opera, and though we didn't sing the whole thing, we sang several.

Next to last town, we lost Diane. She was just too tired to go on. We wanted a bathroom and a lady took us into her house, let us use the facilitues, watered us, gave us fresh cherries, and talked our ears off in Spanush, and between us all, we could understand quite a bit of what she said.

Such a great day. The end of our road came in the form of an all servives hostel for €5. Swimming pool. Carey n Monica went in the cold water. My feet went it.

We walked out of Rioja today and into Castillo. Uli and Diane checking out there feet. A 12th century font. And the church where Carey and I sang.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Camino walkers

Monica and I shared a bottle of wine with this young Frenchman who started in Le Puy 2 evenings ago, I couldn't even begin to say if that's correct.

The next day we saw bare footprints on the road before us and I said I was following them as Thai would know the easiest path.

He'd left the hostel before sunrise, and we caught up with him taking a break. We stopped to talk and inquire after his feet and how he was feeling. "Fine," he said with a big smile.

I asked if I could take his photo and he got up happy to be in a photo WITH me. I never meant to have him get up.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Walking today

The walk today was a small (ha) hill then relatively flat. But we have just climbed up 200 meters to a "new town". Brand new with golf course and golf club. We are stopping, another 6-7 km to go. Having a beer and a salad.

What is going on with you folks. We need to hear from home and any words of encouragement you can give.

Love to all.

Camino, Day 13: mid-morning snack - Asofra

Yesterday we walked all day into a cold wind. This morning I saw a 3/4 moon when I walked outside the hostal to follow the Camino. No wind, cool weather, but sunny.

We've alked 5.something into our day . Now stopped for a mid-morning snack. Some snack. We take one for lunch as the next town is quite a ways away.

Camino, Day 12: feet

June 25, Tuesday
Yesterday, I got my first blister!

It's just at the top of the ball of the foot, between the big toe and next one.

I think I got it walking someone else's pace yesterday, a teacher from California. He was fast, and eventually left us in the dust.

Of course it could have been one grain of sand.

Camino, Day 12: man of God

June 25, Tuesday
We are in the municipal hospiteria tonight. We are in top bunks. I am looking at empty bunks below. Ha!

The man that checked us in loves us.

A man has just started singing in the dinner room. It was some prayer, so short. He had a great voice.

We saw a Korean man today that I drew two days ago sitting in the sun  reading in the square in Viana. He had bare feet then, and he had bare feet today when we passed him walking. I asked him how his feet were. He motioned, "Strong."

Monica just talked to him. He has just known God for 5 years, and God told him to walk the Camino, so he is doing it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Camino, Day 11: Lunch at the Lake

As you walk out of Logrono, you climb up a bit and come to a lake. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and people were fishing and lots of young people enjoying the day. The guidebook said this was a good stop for a meal, and it was. The food was really good, even if most of the time we don't know what we are ordering.

Look at the big dollop of mayonnaise on the side of the white asparagus!  The dessert was a cross between a flan and a cheesecake drizzled with chocolate and delicious. We are in the Rioja province now, and this area is known for really great wines. This one was wonderful.

We continued on dragging ourself into Navarette. We were offered info on a new hostel from a teenage girl. We decided to stop there for €9 each for the night. We had the place to ourselves.

We were so shattered that we nevet left at all. Just showere, bread, wine, and bed.

Camino, Day 11: Nobody does it better!

I've always thought that nobody does a bloody Jesus better than the Spanish. This was a special one in Logrono, yesterday.

You had to wait your turn to pray or see this one. I put in a €1 coin and lit up 5 electronic candles. Most walked up to the statute, made the sign of the cross on the top of the frame, then on the glass in front of his head, and then repeated the sign on the bottom of the frame before making the sign on yourself.

Camino, Day 11: Follow the Yellow Brick Road

June 24, yesterday.
A few nights before I started walking the Camino Frances I said to my husband that I was "off to see the Wizard", and would be walking the yellow brick road. It came true today! I felt such joy to find the yellow brick road in Logrono today. And a bit later, I also found the wicked witch, and a couple of her friends.

Camino, Day 9: Keys to the Castle.

As you know, we walked in the direction of the pointy hill all day and came to learn that on top was a castle/fortelaza. First built by the Romans, this location was so good that it was taken by many others. Sancho I was one.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stopped in our tracks yesterday

Wr were on a roll yesterday. Up early, walking early, 10km of 20 by 10am. We got to Viana and stopped for coffee and something to eat in the shadow of a spectacular eglisia, with Caesar Boegia buried outside it's doors.

We took our time here, and as we walked back out of town there was a bank. We stopped. Machine ate my card, so we stayed the night. I found my card later, evidently, I'd never inserted it. Stupid or fate? Maybe a bit of both.