Yes, two weeks onwards and we find ourselves well along with Annemarie approximately half way to Puenta la Reina and myself at about the quarter point of my planned walk. There are four solid feet, no blisters and no new injuries to report. Thankfully things so far have gone pretty well, better since I ditched my original boots. We were talking as we walked today about the point ones’s body leaves it’s ‘normal’ state and becomes able to handle the rigours of the road. It seems to happen a bit differently on each walk and for each person. I have often said that it takes about a week, but I think this time with the focus on Kathy that it didn’t really fully click for me until yesterday. Annemarie has experienced a difficult allergic experience on each of her prior walks and says that she never clicked in, ever. However, I’m happy to report that this time it’s been different. Removal of the diuretic from her blood pressure med, plus a halving of the dose appears to have solved a long time problem. It makes perfect sense. After all, who needs a diuretic when one is going to walk all day and sweat a ton? So this is all good. I think Annemarie will be presenting something about this so I’d better move on!
Secondly, Ken asked what dinner looked like last night in the gîte. It looked like this:)
As you can tell from the first two photos we were up and away before the sunrise. We were hoping to stay in Auch for a possible rest day, but there is an annual film festival happening and most of the beds are taken up. So we decided that if we got into gear early there would be more time to see a bit of the city.
We passed by a really old mill,
and found the early morning sunlight enhancing a small church.
We also pasted a couple of chateaus today, but they weren’t anything like the Loire Valley properties, more like summer homes for those who owned those massive chateau. However, the more prosperous farms looked pretty nice. This one is probably one of those well known square set farms also built in early times for defence.
This one is more typical of the newer farm properties. Actually quite nice.
Of course there were the usual nice views along the way.
There was also this lady who wouldn’t stop following me.
We happened upon the striking town of Montégut and thought it might be a good place to take a break. However, there were no stores or cafes so we walked on.
At some point we saw a road sign that said 6 kms to Auch, so we decided to depart the GR which still had 9 kms and we sorted out the highways into town. A good decision as we arrived in time for a late lunch. If I showed you a photo you would be both envious that we could eat what we ate for lunch, and you’d want one too. So I’ll spare you, but it was super good and involved loads of protein and also I think a cow was allegedly involved:)
As pelerin we get free entry to most church based things and it was no different when we went to see the 113 seat choir stalls complete with 1500carved figures. Gord, you would like this!
This is also the room where we received a stamp in our credentials.
Saint Jacques gets a small acknowledgment here,
but he receives a nice uptick in the Renaissance windows created by Moles. The middle guy.
The inside of the cathedral was pretty good too.
Then it was off to our very humble donativo where we will sleep tonight.
Basic, but with a nice view!
Sitting in a cheap bar where we have wifi to post, and drinks. Anything familiar here Rob? Not sure which one is the chaser?
The right medication:
For the last several walks I have encountered a very unpleasant “allergic reaction” that includes difficulty breathing, hives, swelling, nausea, dizziness, severe pain, purpula and disorientation. On our first Camino I ended up in the emergency room when these symptoms became intense enough to cause serious concern. The doctor at the time identified it as a reaction to a medication, but couldn’t pin it down specifically. This summer due to a recall on my blood pressure medication, I eliminated the diuretic and reduced the blood pressure component. In monitoring my blood pressure it was clear these changes had no negative impacts. It occurred to me that it might be the medication that was triggering the reaction. Now that I’m half way through my walk, this is proving to be true. In all my other walks I had some level of this condition, and two weeks in, I am symptom free! The caregivers in my support group spent one session discussing how important it is to get the right medication or combination of medications, and how frustrating it is when the medication is wrong. This is intensified when the person with Alzheimer’s has difficulty communicating or remembering. It takes a great deal of patience and advocacy on the part of the caregiver to work to get the right combination for the person they care for. From my experience I can attest first hand to the frustration when it’s wrong, and the relief when it’s right.