Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Low Road and The High Reaches

Monday, July 26

Leaving Burgos, we headed to the nearest shell intersection to join the pilgrim walkers on the Camino de Santiago.  Our starting  point was Tardajos.  Kathy and I walked about 2 kilometres to the next tiny village of Rabe de las Calzadas.  It was a pleasant morning with a breeze pushing at our backs.  We were on a little used road instead of a path and had to dodge the occasional tractor, car, or combine and join the wild red  poppies and various other wildflowers in the ditches.  No walking peregrino passed us nor did we catch up to the pilgrim in front of us.  When we stopped to wait for our support team car, at least 14 other pilgrims were behind us.  They probably started their journey near the French border in various states of preparedness with tennnis shoes or hiking boots, long or short pants, long sleeved shirts, 1 or 2 walking sticks, a big backpack, and, maybe, a small rock in token of their mortal burdens to set down when they reached Santiago de Compostella on the western north coast of Spain about 900 km away.  It is a solemn venture these peregrinos are making with much time for introspection and the possible epiphany. 
It was a different story for our intrepid explorer Austin.  He braved the 4 minute, ear popping, 2600 meter assent via cable car at Fuente de in the Pico de Europa mountins while we pensioners hiked for over 75 minutes up, up, up and descended in 35 minutes.  Jim drove us through beautiful little villages with vertical cliff walls that only allowed the sun to reach them from April to November.

Lows and highs and many twists and turns today brought us at last to the Atlantic coast beach.

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