and up close.
The hospitalero who operated the albergue took a few of us on a short tour of the town, up the tower and into the ancient church. Very simple, but so fortunate to have experiences like these.
Here is a photo I found on a wall of the town 30years ago, and it really is pretty much the same now except that we have flush toilets:)
As we came down for dinner in the bar last night the sunset was well underway. You might have seen the photo I posted in Instagram with my phone, but this is what it looked like across the valley to the east, away from the setting sun.
Given our short stage we took our time waking up and while looking out the window from our room Annemarie suggested that I should get up, go outside and take a photo. I wasn’t really wanting to crawl out of a warm bed for a cold outside experience when I didn’t really need to, but I did. What I found was quite beautiful with fog banks behind town ebbing and flowing past me and down onto the plain. I must have stayed outside for almost a half hour enjoying the lingering fog in the cool of the morning. A few photos.
We said our goodbyes and headed off down the hill and the fog continued its dance. It was really quite special to be in this place at that time. I commented to Annemarie that this is one of the reasons I love to walk distance. The unexpected.
Looking back to our little village.
Swirling, coating the valley below
Wrapping us like a blanket
Quickly pulled away
Bright blue sky in front
Hills fully shrouded behind
Dancing around us like aurora borealis
Starting our day with beauty
We eventually passed a sign post that told us that there was just 800 kms to walk to Santiago. This was reassuring, we thought it a bit further. The distance signage isn’t too reliable at times. This means I’m almost half way there and should reach that moment in Monreal in two days time.
As we crossed the Aragón River we simply had to climb out of the valley to reach Berdun,
As usual, Annemarie was racing ahead to get off the bridge ASAP!
And soon afterwards, Berdun. It reminded us of several hill towns we’d climbed up to in central Sicily this past spring. Our ‘emergency’ shelter.
After a quick shower that barely trickled, we had lunch then explored town. This is our view from our small window balcony. I really hope that they turn off the bells after 10!
The views were quite nice looking both directions up and down the Canal de Berdun. I could explain how the plain was formed, but then you’d likely be asleep quite soon afterwards. Suffice it to say that it’s really, really flat and actually pretty boring to walk along until you have the pleasure of a climb off the plain. Looking back to Jaca (not visible 40 kms in the distance) where we took a rain day.
Looking west, a bit like the Alberta badlands. Puck, the reservoir is left of this photo and we were to have stayed there tonight. Alas we miss out.
We’ve walked all the way down to the highway to have a cold beer, some chips and to post this update. No wifi at our hotel tonight:( The beer and chips are helping to make up for this slight problem and the trudge back up the hill to find dinner.
Little Adjustments: we knew that our planned stop for today was completely booked, but the owner had promised he would fit us in somehow. Then last night we learned he had a group of 50 people coming in for a two day event, and we decided his resources would be stretched beyond the limit. We reviewed our guide for options, and revised our plan. The revised plan means we will bus a short section, but it also means we will be able to walk a variant through a gorge that Geoff had really wanted to walk. These kinds of little adjustments are not uncommon for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. They find there are hints that things they had planned to do that are no longer possible, or perhaps not possible at the moment, and they adjust accordingly. This may mean a large group dinner becomes a small family gathering, or a favourite hobby now requires help. It’s not a matter of stopping completely, but rather finding new ways or making little adjustments to previous ways of doing things.
Some who follow our walks might recognize this poem from our first walk, updated for this walk.
In life, in much of what we do, we make little adjustments
On the Camino this is also true, here are some comments
Our packs might not sit just right
We might have to loosen a strap or pull one tight
A blister might be forming on a heel
Fix it up with a bandaid and better it will feel
A stage might be longer or shorter than we desire
Other pilgrims will have a solution when we inquire
We might have planned to bus through a 'boring' stage
But we choose to walk instead and are glad we did engage
Little adjustments in our thoughts and attitudes too
Help us on those tough days to make it through
This is one of those lessons the Camino wants us to learn
We will continue to be aware of the value of little adjustments when we return
It’s five years later now, and we both remember this rhyme
These lessons have stayed with us, withstood the test of time
A planned stop in a village has not worked out for us
We have experience, we can adjust
Our new plan brings us to highlights we would otherwise have missed
Panoramas and hilltop villages that are sun kissed