The French Way – The Pilgrim
From Saint Jean Pied de Port across the Pyrenees, breath taking, yes, I was having trouble trying to breath, very little left to truly admire the most wonderful scenery. The journey was approximately 800 km’s, with all good intentions of creating a blog as I traveled. Four days later arrived in Pamplona, wet and tired from the rain and climbing muddy tracks, clocked off 70 kilometers, and yet no blog, however, there was only another 730 km to go.
The journey had begun, each morning you rose early and set off just on day break, stopping for coffee and croissants at some of the most beautiful quaint old villages. For the average Kiwi it is hard to imagine how old they really are.
Oh yes, what happened to creating the blogs on the “Way”? After a week of walking, eating, sleeping then repeat again, a pilgrim quickly learns about priorities, what is really important in life? a time to reflect, a journey of self discovery, of spirituality, of compassion, kindness of total strangers. The amazing friendships that are created on “The Way”. Can the journey be put into words…. very difficult.
Astorga 500 Km’s from Saint Jean Pied de Port, 25 days into the journey, still no blogs, with weary feet and feeling the weight of the pack, questions were being asked to one self. Should one have stayed for a few more days in Leon? Have a proper rest and shake of the chest infection…. learning to read one’s body, most important. No blogging, however, in the stunning city of Astorga, there was plenty of office work completed. Thus enabling the laptop and other unnecessary items to be parceled up and sent on to Santiago. Taking three kgs off ones back fantastic, a big mountain was looming………….
Office view at Astorga……..
GST completed, PAYE filed, Performance reports edited, emails sorted. Laptop packed and sent off to Santiago, all preparations completed all ready to face the mighty mountain.
Cruz de Ferro standing at 1,505 m (4,940 feet) the highest point of the journey. Due to injury an option of taking a bus from Astorga to Rabanal (1,200 m) was preferred leaving a 5.3 km hike to Foncebadon 2 km below the cross.
The steepness of this part of the journey surely tested the will to go on, average walking time prior to injury, 4 km per hour. Straight up the mountain with a head wind, 5.3 km a mere 2.5 hours to complete….. Shower time, followed by a pilgrims dinner and a well earned sleep for the anticipated excitement of reaching the top……………