June 8, 2007

6/8/07 Sanguesa Spain

"Adventures are only tragedies that didn't happen."
Joan D Vinge in SUMMER QUEEN

Well, in the comfort of my bed in the refugio I can honestly say today was even a little hotter than yesterday and just as hard.

I actually left Monreal at 6AM, my earliest start I think. Everyone was packed and ready to go except Maximus who was still trying to sleep. Ah, the life of a cycling pilgrim. [smile]

Walked through forest of old pines for a good while before entering the farm fields. So I got an hour of walking in before the sun even peaked over the mountains. But even at 7AM it was too hot for a jacket. Plus you could see all the wind turbines on the surrounding ridges were at a dead standstill. Looks like we're in for a hot one folks.

Such a different landscape

I hardly ever see a soul

And actually did pretty good finding my way today using a combination of yellow arrows, Camino pylons, GR marks, boot prints and pure luck. And when I'd start to loose confidence, who should suddenly appear over the next hill but a pilgrim.

Twice though I think spirits helped me. The first was when I saw a Camino pylon in the distance besides the road. But when I got there, there wasn't anything but grass. The other was when I spotted a pilgrim coming down towards me, but then I never saw them again. But both times it gave me confidence and I did eventually find marks that said I was on the right route.

But I did see the occasional cat

After Izco, I had a choice of two routes: One over a remote mountain pass, and the other along the road through a beautiful gorge. At the last second I decided I didn't want to hear the trucks all day, no matter how beautiful the scenery. But I didn't know if there was any water on the other route, so I walked a kilometer back to Izco to fill my water bladder (something I hadn't used the whole trip).

Camino Argones

I don't know what kind it is

Passed about a dozen people going the other way and talked to a few of them. But after that, it was just me and the nature around me. Oh, and that blasted sun too. Another day of getting cooked.

Lots of butterflies along the way. They seemed to fly in front of me like dolphins do to boats. They seemed like a good omen.

Had a bit of a difficult time finding my way down from Rocaforte. It's next to a huge paper mill and I'm sure that's why it was a twisted route, for security reasons. At one point it was so overgrown, the only way I knew it was the Camino was all the grass was matted down in the direction of Santiago.

A 'not so nice' Camino

Finally made it into Sanguesa after crossing the Aragon River. I was extremely lucky to catch the hospitalera before she locked up to go to lunch. I got the 2nd to the last bed.

And low and behold, besides the blisters yesterday, I have two more. And one of those is a big one under my heal, right where all my weight is. I'm not really sure how that's going to affect my walking.

Even at 8PM, it's still stifling hot. I think I saw a thermometer that said 33C (not sure what that is in F, but it sure seems hot). Haven't felt well all afternoon, something like heat stroke. I've eaten and drank lots of water. Hopefully after a good nights sleep I'll feel better.

And I think I'm better prepared for the sun tomorrow. It's a shorter day but with lots of climbing. There is a hostel halfway, so if I want to stop early, I can.

Looking at my timetable, I might be cutting it real close to make Cindy's wedding on the 16th. I sure don't want to miss that. So, we'll see how the walking goes tomorrow.

Church of Santa Maria la Real

The River Aragon