Sunday, June 09, 2019

El Camino de Santiago in the Sunshine

Some of our days hiking, I have wondered why I'm walking this dusty, rocky trail.
But yesterday morning, after a couple of days not hiking, spending time in clinics and emergency rooms (everyone is fine), I felt the joy of the sun on my face and my feet steady on the path.

I saw things I would never see from a car and interacted with people from all over the world as we walked along the path.
Cypress trees and a bell tower
So hiking through a country gives you a different viewpoint. And I highly recommend it. But maybe some shorter hikes. I think 10-12 miles a day would be plenty for me. Instead, we've hiked about 15 miles every day. Those last few miles are killers on my feet.
I try to keep my gaze upward so I don't think about my feet.
The poppies are still in bloom here, though I think they're finished in our part of France
Some highlights from yesterday's 15-mile hike from Estella to Los Arcos. A wine fountain.
Earl had a taste. 
A man at his forge making Santiago crosses and shells. I bought a small metal shell on a leather rope.
Seems like hot work in the Spanish sun
The views continued to be amazing throughout the hike.
Earl soldiered on once the doctor confirmed his leg wasn't broken. I'll never understand men.
We arrived in Los Arcos
The church in Los Arcos
to find out there was a "Running of the bulls." I thought it would be like in Pamplona with the bulls chasing people through the streets.
Instead, they let out one or two bulls at a time in the square and guys tried to get them to run at them. It felt mean to the cows. And, of course, as an American, I was routing for the cows.
They just wanted to go back to their corral at either end of the street.
We got to experience it then climbed over the closing at the Medieval gate to go to our hotel.
So we spent a couple of hours after our hike waiting to see the bulls, and a lot of it was standing.
I began to feel like my calves were sunburnt. When we got to the hotel, I learned that it wasn't sunburn but hikers' rash. It was the worst on my lower legs, but also on my thighs, my back and my stomach, so obviously not sun poisoning, although that's what it looks like.
It has something to do with circulation and heat and walking. I didn't think yesterday was particularly hot. I didn't get sunburned on my arms or neck and I didn't even sweat very much because there was a nice breeze throughout.
But today, with an angry rash, I'm not walking. Instead, I'm searching for a pharmacy that's open to try some antihistamines or whatever the pharmacist suggests.


Kiwi said...

Fabulous photos. The scenery is quite antique. The bend in the path near the cypress tree looks like it could be Italy, rather than Spain. Hope you feel better soon. Good thing all of the doctors and pharmacists are fully experienced in the litany of pilgrim's illnesses.

Vagabonde said...

I have looked at your beautiful pictures from your past posts. You have done a lot of walking! When I used to visit my mom in Paris I could walk from morning to night. But now with my bad ligament in my ankle, walking is not easy and I’m afraid to travel. We don’t realize how walking is important until something happens and we can’t continue. I hope you will find relief soon and can happily resume your walking.

Vagabonde said...

After reading about your hike I was intrigued as to why you would walk so much and why. Then I looked on Wikipedia France and found out about this walk, what they call a pilgrimage. Since you’re living in France now I guess you are fluent? If not you can google translate. Here is what they say “Le pèlerinage de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle ou pèlerinage de Compostelle est un pèlerinage catholique dont le but est d'atteindre le tombeau attribué à l'apôtre saint-Jacques le Majeur, situé dans la crypte de la cathédrale de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle en Calice (Espagne.) C'est un « Chemin semé de nombreuses démonstrations de ferveur, de pénitence, d'hospitalité, d'art et de culture, qui nous parle de manière éloquente des racines spirituelles du Vieux Continent». Well that’s what the French think about it anyway.

I was surprised because I had heard about pilgrims doing this in the Middle Ages but did not realize that it was still happening. I certainly admire your strength and fortitude to do such a walk. I checked in the US all the trails offered to see if one was for “pilgrims” and found one. It is also called El Camino, but Real. It has also a religious bent since it is a walk between 21 California Catholic Missions, and it is 800 miles long. Have you considered that one, or have you walked it already? What intrepid walkers you are. Even growing up in France I had not heard of these walks, apart from history books. Quite interesting.

sillygirl said...

I hope Earl makes a posting after this walk - we like to hear from him, too!

Noreen said...

Ditto Silly girl : )

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