June 9, 2007

6/9/07 Ruestra Spain

"Dying's not the risk - that's the sure thing. The risk is not living."

As I left Sanguesa at 5:55AM the temperature was already 25C. And when the sun finally made his appearance and hour later, he was blazing orange. It's going to be another hot today.


The feet were actually pretty good this morning. I seemed to be making good time. My biggest problem was I had too much water with me, almost 3.5 liters. I'm not sure what I was thinking, especially when I got to the next town a little after 8AM.

I passed 4 or 5 other pilgrims before Undues-de Lerda, and another half dozen after. I stopped for a while to talk with Fernando from Barcelona. And a few minutes later took a break with a Swiss couple. I'm glad I stopped to rest, but I should have spent the time off my feet.

Some Spanish pilgrims head down to Undues

The first half of the day was farm roads, but after Undues, it was a lot of steep climbing on single track trail. Part of the Camino was over the remnants of a Roman road. You can always know it's Roman built because it was made to last, not to be comfortable to walk on. At least not after all these centuries.

An old Roman road

I loved the climbing, and I even had a slight breeze. But once I finally got to the top (a long, long way up), I followed gravel road for the rest of the day.

By the time I started climbing down, my feet were terrible. I seemed to feel every rock through the bottom of my shoes. I ended up taking the bandage off the blisters between my toes because it seemed to be cutting into my foot. I'm not really sure how to do the distances in the following days because of the feet.

My new plan is to stop on Thursday, where ever I'm at that day. Then, take travel by bus, or whatever to Toulouse on Friday. At least that's the plan today. [smile]

All day I had spectacular scenery of the mountains, the tallest always on my left. I can see why the Moors stopped at the Pyrenees. But I was even more surprised to the Yesa Reservoir far below me. After walking through so much farmland, the lake was breathtaking. Unfortunately it was far below me.

Yesa Reservoir

Eventually I reached an abandoned village, or so I thought. This is the town of Ruestra, and it was at one point abandoned. But it is coming back to life thanks to the General Workers Confederation (Confederacion General del Trabajo - CGT). The whole system is an albergue, bar and restaurant. It's an interesting place.

Ruestra up ahead

Is anyone home?

A strange place for a refugio

Apparently the town became abandoned when the dam below was completed in 1959. This despite the fact that the castilo had stood guard over this valley for centuries.

Such an impressive guard over the valley

Met a group of Germans, Bernhard, Friedhelm & Margaret. They had done a lot of the Caminos in Spain, and also had walked all the way from home. They seemed interested in the Shikoku Pilgrimage I told them about.

We all had dinner together along with a couple from Venisuela. But half way through the meal, a thunderstorm rolled through. I wonder what that means for me tomorrow.