Day 7 – Lorca to Los Arcos (18 miles)
( I will post no pictures today. The WiFi connection is so poor, downloads are impossible. I hope to catch you up tomorrow. Sorry you have to miss this beautiful scenery.)
This was my first 18 mile hike with a pack. The pack was supposed to weigh 14 pounds, but, when I weighed it in the Pilgrim Office in St. Jean, it somehow measured 20 pounds. I have no idea how a few vitamins, etc. could do that, but I am carrying a whopper, it seems.
Anyhow, 18 miles was the end of my endurance. I have not gotten a single blister, nor tendonitis, nor shin splints, but still, my feet feel like hamburger. I struggled to go across the street to dinner. I cannot imagine how I am going to make it down the trail tomorrow. But, I know I will. My job is to walk. I think that maybe I’ll shoot for 12 miles tomorrow. We’ll see.
Today’s walk was just stunning. I think I was in the most beautiful place in the world. The land was perfectly rolled into uniform hills and draped in velvet. Flowers were everywhere, and, in the distance, glorious white cliffs with dark hulking mountains in the background. Up close, this was farm country, with waving wheat of many types surrounding us all day.
I think I have mentioned that the local people have embraced pilgrim culture. Well, today we saw it in a special way. As we walked, we saw a bell next to the path. The sign said “ring for good vibrations”. And, of course, we did. As we walked further along, there were creatures made of rocks and small benches to sit on. Then, a table of snacks and a cooler of drinks with a donation sign. All of this, miles from any town. Camino magic.
I am low on energy, but have one last thought for the evening. In the middle of our walk today, we saw a small mule. He was standing completely still in his enclosure and staring at us. We tried to divert his attention, by waving and jumping around, but he stared, unflinching. As we moved away, he finally turned and followed us with his gaze. I think that was our Sam sighting of the day.