La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653

La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653
La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653


PLEASE READ: Our Camino For Alzheimer's Awareness will begin on World Azheimer's Day, September 21, 2018 in Lodève, France about 130 kms west of Arles (underlined on the map above and circled on the route profile at the bottom of the page). We plan to walk together just over 800 kms to Puente la Reina, Spain where Annemarie will determine her next steps. It is, however, Geoff's intention to continue onwards a further 700 kms towards Santiago de Compostela. To put this into perspective, the total distance is about the same as from Victoria to Santa Barbara, California. As usual, we will accept the journey as it unfolds and we are appreciative of any and all support. If you feel moved to contribute to the Alzheimer Society please click on either of the really obvious RED BUTTONS to the right or at the bottom of this page and you will be transferred to the Society's fund raising site. We are paying our own expenses and all money raised will go directly to the Alzheimer Society.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ètape 34: Navarre - Santo Domingo, 21 kms, warmer sun, 21

Chasing La Luna

Shortly after departing Navarre I discovered that I was following the full moon.

It was really quite something to watch it retreat into the west as I continued towards it. Behind me in the east the sun was preparing to make its appearance.

And then it too showed.

Away goes Luna
I chase it across the plain
As el Sol rises

A short walk today as I retrace our 2013 steps. I’ve decided to stay in the same towns until probably Burgos, but I must say, there’s a strong urge to walk on. A few shorter stages won’t hurt and given this is not a destination walk, but rather a purposeful walk it doesn’t really matter where I end up. As long as I have the opportunity to meet others and discuss Alzheimer’s and at the end of each day write a few thoughts then all is well. This morning I was able to discuss the walk with an older fellow from Boston who has lost two close family members to Alzheimer’s. He understands how difficult the disease is for the whole family and profoundly questioned why governments and companies haven’t put more money towards finding a cure as they did with Aides. Of course they are two different situations with Aides pandemic concerns, but his point is well taken. A cure for Alzheimer’s could well lead to a cure for Parkinson’s and visa versa. Food for thought as I walked.

Today there was loads of activity in the vines. It really is time to pick before the weather gets too cold. So all hands on deck to pick by hand and with the help of machines like this one.

It became apparent though that I was transitioning from the grape fields to pasture and other crop lands. I’ll miss those grapes!

These are not stones as I initially thought. Too big for potatoes, but perhaps turnips? A root crop anyway.

If I had to climb, it was a pretty beautiful valley to climb out of! 

Beside the ghost town that supports the ghost golf course.

A bit more climbing, though nothing too onerous.

At the top, Colleen who is again caught up to, and I had a very nice look at Santo Domingo.

Today I gave lunch a skip (having a nice tuna salad mixta as I write) and saw the town before I posted. A few photos from this classic Spanish town on the Camino.

The cathedral.

And a play of light from a stain glass window.

There is a huge gathering in the bar where I’m writing this. Coffee and all types of drinks. Dinner won’t really get underway for another 5 hours and siesta just finished at 16:30. Soon the stores will reopen and the evening activity will begin. Mine will begin here:) 

Two Paradore hotels here, two 2018 Michelin restaurants in the town too. Peter, David and Annemarie eat your hearts out!! Hence the reason I’m saving myself!  The four of us had a few fun meals in these establishments, and while Peter took credit for locating them, I learned this past summer that David was the real source! I should have known as Peter barely knows how to turn his computer on, less so how to Google:)))

Annemarie sent me some other of her valuable Alzheimer’s insights, but I think I’ll save them given I had my breakfast conversation. Time to get organized and then go find some dinner!

Buen Camino!


  1. Liked your pictures of the receding morning moon and then the rising sun. Great timing for a morning walk!! The colors that followed were quite exceptional and might make for a good wall picture on your return. I am always impressed with your pictures of the many churches that are located in what would seem to be smaller towns in rather isolated places - and many of them constructed so many, many years ago !! Glad to see that you have found some good eating places to help restore your slimming figure to a more "robust" state. Hope your breakfast was more of the same...

    Hope the warmer weather holds.


  2. Hey Geoff,

    Those moon photos—amazing. Nicely done.

    I remember that ghost estate very well—the first I’d ever seen. I wonder if Spain’s real estate market has recovered.

    And Santo Domingo de la Calzada, of course. Did you see the rooster? He didn’t come out when I was there.

    Anyway, thanks again for carrying us along with you. Have a great walk tomorrow!