Today as you will see in a few of my photos there is snow up on the peaks again following the passage of the very damaging storm that passed a couple of days ago. In France there was flooding and damage in many southern areas and we met some British motorcyclists today who were caught out by the storm as well.
There have been quite a few pilgrims arriving into Jaca the past two days on foot, bus and train and they have sort of stacked up there with the poor weather having disrupted the flow. So we were up in decent time and walked out into a really nice foggy morning.
I thought it made for a nice sunrise.
There was some scenery along the way, but overall a very easy stage as there wasn’t much climbing, so we could have walked on. However, there aren’t many places to stay between here and Puenta La Reina, so we need to stage the walking days so we have a place to sleep. We actually booked ahead a few days as places have booked up with the extra peregrinos around, many just walking for a week.
I think we saw this guy somewhere in France, but he was bronze then...it was just outside Pau. He does get around!
We passed through a quite special place along the river where peregrinos have built cairns along the side of the trail for many years.
There was a bit of road side walking today, but at lease we weren’t on the highway as is usually the norm in France. Spain typically provides a small trail beside busy highways for the peregrinos which is always appreciated.
Tonight we are staying in a very small village just off the main route. At this point there are just three of us here for the night. The village is quite quaint and it’s a bit of heaven except for the other pilgrim whose a lawyer from New York and he talks incessantly. It’s been hard to write the blog today:)
The Importance of Respite: when we arrived in Jaca, we were wet and very tired. Geoff said his brain was rebelling against his attempts to remember and use his Spanish. We needed a break, and yet resisted. Two days later, having finished a 27 kilometre walk both still feeling “fresh” we realize what a good thing it was to take a break. Our Spanish is coming back more easily and we are rejuvenated. For those who care for a person with Alzheimer’s the temptation is to carry on without taking a break. The members of my support group have expressed feeling guilty when taking time for themselves; Geoff and I felt a little guilty about taking a break as well. Invariably, however, when caregivers do access some form of respite and have someone else provide care for their person, they feel refreshed. We used the time to do a number of chores, and to take advantage of the comfort of a hotel room (and yes, we slept in a little on our day off). Caregivers may need the time for chores that they just get behind on, or they may take a much needed holiday. It’s often a hard decision to make, but one that, in hindsight, is a wise choice.
Buen Camino! Not too sure about wifi tomorrow...