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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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Étape 46: Cacabelos - Las Herrerias, 28 kms, Heavy Rain, Sun & More Rain, 9

“C’est Camino” (said with a shrug)

I stayed in the oddest place last night, but it was mitigated by the really nice bar I found that served good food while I watched Liverpool have major troubles in the Champions League. It was quite an evening and the regional wines that I was invited to sample proved very palatable indeed! Having arrived at my destination tonight, I now sit in another small bar drinking a cold Estrella Galicia cerveza beside a nice hot fire while I try to pull this post together. 

After a good breakfast in my new favourite bar I headed out to begin my day. I started looking for the sunrise to share as I caught up to a fellow peregrina.

As I was taking this photo I heard her say “Oh my god!”  I looked to see what she was concerned about and saw this coming quickly towards us.

I think she was ready to turn around, so I simply said what my friend Dedier would say to me when things were not looking good on the Via de la Plata, “C’est Camino!”.  And I headed off into the gloom battening down what hatches I had to batten. There weren’t many:(  It came in quickly and the rain came down quite intensely. I decided to stay on the road figuring the trail would be a mess, and once the worst of the storm passed I headed away from the highway. I sort of found a sunrise as well.

Back into the vineyards again!

Apologies for the horrible rainstorm were offered and accepted. I took this photo of two Spanish peregrinos early this morning and they just came into the bar now. I showed them this photo of them and now I have two new friends as I’ve agreed to email it to them. 

Much running water and mud later I arrived at Villafranca. I’d really wanted to stay here this time, but sometimes things don’t always work out. C’est Camino!

Five years ago, Annemarie and I arrived here in a heavy rain and took shelter in the bar in the pinkish building where we had a cup of the very think hot chocolate in an effort to warm up. I remember the lady who ran the place wasn’t very pleased to see two very wet pilgrims arrive. I think it might have been something about the puddles on the floor.

Once I’d had a look the sun...I headed out of town and again up the road. A second road day, but C’est Camino! 

Ken, I received your daily email, and thanks for that. It’s the piece of road just after Villafranca that I think you were referring to where you have to walk on the side of the highway with a big cement barrier keeping you to the left. Yup, I hated too the first time, and I haven’t warmed to it with time. Looking back as I climbed. It’s a long stead climb up to the base of O’Cebreiro where I am tonight. There is no downhill all day, just a steady grind up. This might explain why I’m seeing so many folks that I briefly spoke with as I passed, walking past my door now, some hours later. I walked for a while with a woman from Venezuela who is an economist there and is sort of walking from Leon to Santiago. She is catching the bus when she can and sending her bag ahead each day. We talked about the issues facing her country and the mess that’s developed. I had the same conversation yesterday about Italy with my Venitian friend. I’m feeling pretty fortune to be living in a country like Canada, something that’s easily taken for granted. One of the reasons we travel as we do.

I’ve again caught up to quite a few peregrinos, most of whom I’ve never seen before. Look closely and you’ll see 6 in the next photo, and I must have pasted at least 30others today. Remember this place Annemarie and our first ugly dog experience the next morning?

The dog has been replaced, in numbers too!

As I arrived at my destination early afternoon I was thinking that I might arrive fairly dry, but of courae the rain curse happened. That 1-2 kilometre rain that never fails to find you just before you arrive so that you have to dry out your gear. Sigh. But as you all know by now, “C’est Camino”!

I had a good conversation with Antonio from Germany over lunch. We discussed many subjects from Alzheimer’s to the size of our packs. I was really impressed with what he’s learned in life that applies to the Camino and how he’s putting the pieces together as he walks. He delayed his climb to O’Cebreiro (a two hour climb) so that we could speak together. I hope that our pathes cross again on the Way. 
I’ll be watching Champions League tonight on the tv behind him. Real Madrid vs someone. Should be more fun than sitting on my bed:)

Pushing On: As Geoff nears the end of this Camino, and encounters challenges with weather and isolation, it sometimes feels like he is just pushing through. We have both felt this way at some point on other pilgrimages, but Geoff has told me this time is different; the feeling of just pushing through is more intense. From my discussions with various caregivers - those in my support group and others - I am aware that this feeling of just pushing through is well known to them. While they love the person they are caring for, the person they have known in the past is no longer there, and as a result, the inherent reward of caring for someone you love is not always there. Some days it’s just something that has to be done. It’s a long journey for both Geoff and for caregivers, and the longer the journey, the more days there are to just push through.

Thanks for this Annemarie. I post this last photo for all my Camino amigos, because you all know what this is!! I’ll be there tomorrow. 

1 comment:

  1. Lucky you. Yes, the rain and the mud and all of that, but also friendship and conversation and apparently, in the end, caldo Gallego, my favourite soup.

    C’est Camino. I need to adopt that motto for my PhD work.

    I loved the photos of the rainbow, and the one of the cats as well. I have a soft spot for the little things, as you know. I like dogs, too, but not when they’re trying to tear the seat out of my pants, or just my seat.

    You are so close to the end! A week or less?

    ¡Buen Camino!

    And back to the marking.