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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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Étape 42: León - Hospital de Órbigo, 33 kms, Cloud then sun, 8

It Must Be Saturday 

I’ve arrived in Hospital where I know a little bar and I’ve managed to find a sandwich and a drink after walking a pretty uneventful stage. First of all, apologies to Rob, we should have started in Astorga! The good news is that there is a La Liga football game on between Athletico Madrid and Leganes which has been back and forth with a nil half time score. The bar has quickly filled up with locals all speaking loudly to be heard above each other. It’s just after 13:00 and the drinks are flowing. It must be Saturday. It’s busy with all ages, even small children present. Oops, three little ones just left with their mother, so it’s a bit quieter. The second half has started and everyone is talking and no one is watching yet. One would expect Athelitico to exert pressure now as they are the better team, but of course it’s unpredictable and they are the visitors today. However, I need to leave and find my place to stay. Things to do!

The light during the stage was pretty flat until just before I arrived into Hospital, so not very many photos. 

About the only traffic was tractors going by. I don’t mind them because the drivers usually give me an encouraging wave and a nod for moving off to the side as they pass. Lots of hunters parked so again, it must be Saturday.

Perhaps this will stir up a memory for you Rob?

In 2016 I was fooled by signage taking us into Villavante as the peregrinos are now diverted through town and over the tracks on a bridge. It adds about 2 kms to a long day and I remembered to walk the old route across the tracks. I suppose safety is the main reason and that’s a good thing.

It’s pretty straight and flat. I’ll get a bit more variety tomorrow and while it’s slower going, it is definitely more interesting

And then I’m there, well here. Pretty much the most exciting part of the stage! Well, except that the sun finally came out.

Because the entrance into Hospital is pretty special.

Medieval bridge. 

And where am I staying tonight? Most of the accommodation in town is closed this late in the season, but I managed to arrange a room at the back of Annemarie’s favourite truck stop!

They cook here too, so no need to walk the half kilometre back into town tonight. Simply rooms at a simple price, but clean and I can’t see any bed bugs.

There’s a little store where I was able to find a beer to take up to my room too! I’ll be warm and fed, and I can’t ask much more than that.

Before Annemarie left Holland she sent me this to add. She should be home today and settling in.

How much do you understand? While Geoff is walking, in some ways I am still on my Camino...a trip to Holland is always a bit of a pilgrimage (back to my roots) for me. I have visited with over 25 family members, and with each I’ve had a discussion about our purpose, and about Alzheimer’s. The language barrier isn’t too significant since most of them speak English, but there are times when discussion is flowing in Dutch, that Imke is sure I have a “lost” look on my face. Someone will ask “how much do you understand?”, and then translate if necessary. It’s a bit of a challenge on both sides; they never really know how much of the conversation I’m following, and I don’t want to interrupt the flow and ask for a translation. I’ve been struck by how this must also be true for people with Alzheimer’s. Even though the conversation is in their  language, the brain no longer processes it as quickly, and they can lose the thread of the conversation. Pausing to ask “do you understand?” can be very helpful, giving an opportunity for them to rejoin the conversation.

Tomorrow I’ll be going in search of chocolate!

Buen Camino! 

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