For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Yellow Coquille

We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time. T. S. ELIOT Four Quartets



So this was the end of the road. The Via Tolosana and the Via Aragonés had been completed. I'd walked 870 km from Arles in French Provence to Puente la Reina in northern Spain. It had taken 46 days - from 7 September to 22 October - at an average daily distance of 19 km, which included 4 rest days in Toulouse, Pau, Jaca and Sangüesa.

In Obanos, just before Puente la Reina, I'd joined the Camino Francés, the most popular and famous pilgrim trail of them all - the trail I'd walked last November/December. I had no desire to carry on and retrace last year's steps to Santiago - mainly because of my aching feet. At the beginning of the trip I did have half a notion to continue to Compostela via a beautiful but much more arduous route along the coast, the Ruta de la Costa. However my feet were not in good enough shape for that. Also my only guide book to this route was inadequate and confusing, and accommodation along the route was limited. Some of the albergues were closed in the winter as well. Perhaps I'll do it another time..?

I think the photo with which I began the account of my journey says it all - so I've reproduced it above. The orchards. The dead tree. The yellow coquille. And the dusty, sandy trail.

Buen Camino!

4 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely - I have enjoyed every mile.

am said...

Buen Camino!

Timecheck said...

Enjoyed traveling with you, both in person and a la blog.

Luiza said...

Thanks again for this wonderful Blog.

I empathize with your feet problems and hope you have worked out what the problem is for future walks.