A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Sacred And Profane

The next day I felt much, much better. In fact it turned into one of my best walking days. Strange, isn't it? 30 km just flew by. And the forecasted rain stayed away until the last 2 km before Monreal. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Rested and in high spirits, I left Sangüesa at 9.30 am after a breakfast of bacon and egg (well, by this I mean bacon and egg Spanish-style). You can see that I was eating again - no doubt you realised that yesterday's lack of appetite wouldn't last for long! I climbed through almond trees up a short incline to the small village of Rocaforte, with its odd, dome-shaped hill...



This is a view of the attractive, newer part of the village...



And this is the view if you turned 180 degrees in the other direction..! At the time it seemed like one of Dante's visions of hell. But now, immunized by time and distance, and shielded from reality by the aesthetics of frame, lighting and composition, this papermaking factory seems alarmingly beautiful, in a postmodern kind of way...


Or perhaps not! Higher up in the old village perched the squat tower of the church of the Asunción...



... and this is the view from the church over the paper mill's evil-smelling water treatment tanks towards Sangüesa...



I was keen to move on - my feet were 'singing' (as the pilgrim expression goes) - so I descended the hill on the other side of Rocaforte...



... but not without looking back one last time at both ancient and modern...



With this image fresh in my mind, I was glad to reach the Fuente de San Francisco, Saint Francis's spring (the saint is supposed to have stopped here on his way to Santiago). Here the secular (it was now a picnic place and barbecue area) and the divine were married together in a more perfect harmony...


1 comment:

Fiona Robyn said...

Just found your blog via Weaver of Grass - I agree, Robert MacFarlane's book is more beautifully written than Deakin's! Warmest,
Fiona