A Travelogue

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Getting close to Burgos, Spain

I am in Najera about 95 km short of Burgos and Have completed 940 km. Decided to put my knee brace on after I got to the first town, Naverrete, and my knee felt a lot better after that. I am no longer in sequence with my original plan which duplicated my first Camino in Spain. Decided that I wanted to overnight in some other towns and cities rather than just duplicating what I had done before. Rewalking the Camino F

rances has brought back a flood of memories from the first walk.

In addition, I am no longer in touch with the 5 folks with whom I walked much of the French portion. I lost them two days ago and I think that they are about 10-15 km behind me. Undoubtedly I will run into some of them again especially if I decide to take a rest day. Right now I have 2 days in hand for my goal of arriving in Santiago on June 20.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Logrono

Arrived in Logrono about 2 hours ago having completed 900 km.

Feeling a little run own and my left knee (the one that always troubles me) is hurting. Just took some ibuprofen so it shoul be OK by the morning. If things go accoring to plan I expect to be in Santiago on either the 19th or 20th of June.

Friday, May 27, 2011

850 km behind me

I am in Los Arcos. Have completed about 850 km.

All is well. No problems with my feet any more. Did 36 km today and have about 28 to get to Logrono tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memories of the First Camino

I am in Cesur Menor just past Pamplona where Janos and I met Krisztina in 2007. All is well. Just came back from dinneer and a visit to the bar where we had a blast. Photos to come in the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And a few more

A few photos from France

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where ARE the Pyrenees?

Over the Pyrennees

I am in Roncesvalles having gone over the pass Napoleon under ideal conditions in five and a half hours. Took about 35 pictures.

No problem with feet or legs and I suspect that everything is finally good after almost 4 weeks of painful walking. Hopefully the rest will be a breeze. I had forgotten how steep some of the sections were but I must be in vbetter shape than last

time as I knocked 50 minutes off my time from 2007.

They have a brand new albergue here which is absolutely stunning compared to the old barn that I stayed in in 2007.

Appreciate all the work that you guys (mostly Drew and Alethea) are doing. Perhaps I should stay in Europe a bit longer until everything is ship shape?

The bunch of us that have been walking together for most of the trip are all having the "menu del peregrino" for 9€ this evening. Expect that we will have a great time.

I mailed the third letter to you yesterday in St Jean not reaizing that there is a threat of a postal strike in Canada later this week. Not much I can do about it now.

Give my best to everyone.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More photos

Half Way!

I am in St. Jean. I only have 15 minutes on the free machine at the office des pelerins. Reaching the halfway point is a milestone. F

EELS LIKE ALMOST DOWNHILL FROM HERE.

Feet are almost back to normal. Swelling in right foot is totally gone. Should be fine from here unless something else crops up. Tomorrow (Monday) if the weather permits it is over the pass Napoleon to Roncesvalles which is the first stop in Spain.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On the road again

I'm ¨On the Road Again¨!!!

I walked the " 32.8 km from Arthez de Bearn to Navarrenx with minimal problems with my full pack. The two days that I took off were the right thing to do. There was a little bit of soreness over the last 10 klm but it was manageable. I will be in Saint Jean Pied-de-Port where I started my first Camino in 2007, on Sunday. To this point I have completed about 680 km and getting near the half way point.

I have to leave the bandages on my foot for another two days. Today was the first day that I was allowed to have a shower. The walking right now is glorious and I have been able to see the snow-capped Pyreneeses Mountains for several days towards the south.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad feet.

I am in Arzacq-Arraziguet (618 km). Unfortuntely I did not arrive by foot but instead by a van that transported baggage for walkers. Last night at Aire-sur-l'Adour the owner who is a paramedic examined my left foot and found it to be infected.

He cleaned and treated the area and I will be OK. At his recommendtion I decided not to walk today but I will tomorrow withoput my backpack which will be transported. After that I should be OK. It seems that using "Compeed" exacerbated the situation by preventing air from getting to the injured area of my foot. It hurt like hell when he cleaned the wound but that's a good sign that the infected area was being treated. So all will be well in a couple of days.

...and later the same day...

I'm at the tourist office in the same town as before. FOOT IS STILL PRETTY SORE but I expect to be walking in the morning. Won't have a backpack and I will take my time stopping frequently. Saw the snow-capped Pyrenees Mountains yesterday for the first time. EXPECT TO START CLIMBING THEM IN 3 days time; IT WILL TAKE ONE DAY TO GET TO St. Jean Pied de Port and then the second day to go over the pass. APPROACHING THE HALF WAY POINT.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A few more

Random photos taken in France

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Books. Hallelujah!

I found three English books at the gite in Moissac. They are all good books and I took all three with the blessing of the owner, Anne. Damn the weight!!!!

1/3 of the trip is behind me

I am in Lectoure having completed 480 km after 17 stages. Tomorrow I will walk to Condom about 35 km from here. No jokes about Condom.....it was named such long before the modern condom was invented. On the other hand there is a hotel here that is name "Bastard". I have the photo to prove it.

Reaching Condom will put me past the 1/3 point in the walk.

Healht Update:

Right foot is OK despite losing the nail on the toe next to the big one (called Morton's Foot - ed). I suppose that losing it has made be lighter. Still some problems with the left foot, but I think that it is getting better also.

Right knee is a bit sore but drugs are helping...I like drugs!

No problem with the sore throat...seems to have gone away.

Meeting lots of nice people whom I am seeing over and over again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

420 km done

I am in Moissac.

Happened to find a place that has internet but I don't have my notes with me. I think that I am at about 420 km (you can check on the plan that I gave you).

Am having a few more problems with my feet. Another blister on my left foot and I have lost the nail on one of the toes on my right foot. I also expect to lose the nail on one of the small toes on the other foot as well.

I am a little tired but today was only a half day of walking and I will rest the remainder of the day.

Weather is very good but also very hot (31 C s the high here today). I hope it cools off as I have a "é km stage tomorrow. (Editor's note: not sure what that means, probably 30 or 40 km).

Will try to send some more info later today if internet is available.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Blisters getting better, sort of

I am in Montcuq at the end of the 13th stage as per my original plan. Have been unable to access internet for the last 4 days. The owner here has given me permission to use their personal system.

I have completed about 475 km; I am changing my plan for the next stage. I am unable to walk the 40 km to Moissac in one day so I am breaking it into two shorter stages. My feet and my body need a rest and this is one way to do so. So I'm abou 25% complete.

I have a total of 6 blisters....3 on each foot so that I remain in balance. The good news is that they are all getting better and I don't expect any more problems in that department. My right knee is also doing a bit of complaining but it is no worse than the last two Caminos. Lastly I have a bit of a tickle in my throat but the usual remedy (salt water) seems to be helping. The really good news is that my right shoulder problem is improving to the point that my mobility is about 75% of normal;

The weather has been great with only one day of rain so far. It is also getting hotter (mid twenties) which makes an early start each morning critical.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Blisters!

I'm in Conques at the conclusion of day #7. Have completed about 200 km.

Here are the good news and the not so good news.

The weather is and continues to be fantastic. Absolutely ideal with cool mornings and mostly brilliant sunshine during the day. No sign of rain in the forseeable forecast.

The repair to my shoes seems to be holding. No concerns there.

My feet are in terrible shape.

For the first time on one of these Camino walks I have blisters on the balls of both feet, the heel on my right foot and small blisters on a couple of toes including under one nail. Have had the problems for the last four days.

In other news, the walking has been the best ever. Incredible scenery walking through small farms, villages and the occasional small town. The population of Conques where I am staying tonight is 80!!!! Hence, internet has been limited and when available, slow.

I think the problems with my feet stem a bit with the shoes but mostly with the incredibly steep terrain. Huge uphills followed by similar downhills; Some as long as 1000 to 2000 feet in elevation change. The uphills are manageable but the downhills are killing my feet.

I have stayed at three gites with demi pension (dinner and breakfast included). The food has been absolutely fabulous.

Internet is difficult to find. I am in the tourst office in Conques which is dedicated to tourism (though it doesn't seem that there is much tourism here with only 80 residents...)