Day Eight - Charavines to La Cote-Saint-Andre
I took a chance this morning and found a direct route west to the Camino from Charavines rather than having to backtrack, starting my day off right. I detest going backwards and covering the same ground.
Today just got better and better when I was treated to a number of Chateaux, far more than just farmhouses and more like mini-estates with tiny palaces. The Camino walked me right up to their front gates and then along the thick walls surrounding their courtyards, and on through their fields. They are so old and well-established that they are even marked on my maps.
My buffet breakfast and stash of fruit allowed me to skip lunch altogether today and just march on, covering 30 kilometers in 7 hours, and ending up exactly where I had planned.
Well, I’m in the right town at least, but back in yet another hotel. I genuinely tried to stay with other pilgrims, but once I realized I was to be the sole occupant of the Catholic boarding school, I backed out and went for a hotel instead.
Sleeping alone in a huge empty building set on the outskirts of town just wasn’t what I was looking for. Seeing that the last pilgrim who stayed there was on the 17th proved to me once and for all that this section of the Camino is just not well travelled. That same set-up in Spain was always packed to the rafters with pilgrims fighting to get in.
It has become abundantly clear that I will be on my own until I reach Le Puy next week, when I expect the traffic to increase. So rather than getting upset about it, I am trying to relax and enjoy the solitude. I will be surrounded by the hordes soon enough and will miss my privacy and alone time, so I am determined to appreciate it while I can.
I give up. I’ve tried three times and tumblr just eats my post.
I need to go to sleep so I’ll just have to hope for a better day tomorrow.
July Photo a Day
Day Twenty-Four: Water
Finding water on the Camino is really just this easy.
#fmsphotoaday #water #camino #chemindestjacques #walking (at Chateau de Pointiere, France)
I sat down with my guidebook and worked out that I have 210 kilometers more to Le Puy. At my current pace of two days at thirty kilometers and one day at twenty, I will arrive in eight days.
And I will stay in Le Puy for two nights to rest and reward myself and collect a package. So I will start the Camino de Puy on the second of August.
Getting across the remaining 800 kilometers of France will take about one month. Originally, I thought that would be it because I had hoped Boy11 would come back to me for the school year.
But that’s not going to happen. I want it to so badly but I know deep down inside that it won’t.
So there’s no reason to return at the end of August, now is there? Yes, there are logistics to work out. I don’t have enough medication for that long. Hell, I don’t have enough to make it to the end of August even. I have active prescriptions though, so I should be able to work that out.
My dog will survive, one way or another. If I can’t get more contacts, I’ll wear my glasses. My therapist and hairdresser will wait for me. My family will support me, no matter what.
Nope, there’s no reason I can’t go all the way to Santiago de Compostela. From Geneva, that’s only 1860 kilometers. Only.
It has always been in the back of my mind, but now it’s coming to the front.
I’m crazy, right?
Better to have a big ass than to be one.
Day Seven - Charavines
When I awoke this morning, I looked at the time (8:15 already!), then I rolled over and went back to sleep. I didn’t get up until after 10 am.
I finally made it down to the most amazing breakfast buffet, full of fruit, fruit and more fruit, and when the owner of the hotel teased me about my late start, I promptly said, “No walking today,” and asked for a second night.
Then I went back upstairs and slept for most of the day.
I did manage to Skype with Boy11 last night and his dad this morning, and discovered that my son is pretty much enrolled in private school on Maui beginning on August First. Oh, and the divorce papers are ready to be picked up already. Not surprisingly, I enjoyed a good cry after both wonderful conversations.
I’ve since wandered out to the store to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, took a few pictures of Charavines and Lake Paladru, and opened a bottle of wine.
I’m trying to pay attention to what my mind and body need, and staying put today was the right choice. It’s not like I’m in a hurry to get back home to anyone anyway.
July Photo a Day
Day Twenty-Three: Macro
I find the most beautiful flowers on the Camino.
#fmsphotoaday #camino #chemindestjacques #flower #france #rain
Day Six - Les Abrets to Charavines
I woke up in my cozy bed and looked outside in hopes of seeing sun. Alas, there was none. But the rain was minimal and it was time to move on, so I forced myself out of bed.
My included breakfast was typical for France - plain yoghurt, fresh bread, butter and jam, and coffee or tea. Most days I just turn it down, but she was so proud of it when she showed it to me the night before, I couldn’t say no.
So I carved off a slice of gluten-infested bread and stuffed it in my bag, and ate a few spoonfuls of preserves. That way, when she came downstairs to say goodbye, she would think that I had eaten.
I repeated my behavior at lunch when I stopped in Pin at a cafe. The menu lunch was salad, filet mignon, vegetables, rice and dessert. Rather than go hungry or go through a lengthy explanation about my diet, I chose to take the meal. And when the proprietors weren’t looking, I hid two of the three chunks of meat in my jacket pocket.
I tossed it all in the trash on the way out of town, wondering why I cared so much about the feelings of people I don’t know and will never see again.
So, as I studied my map and realized I had another 10k to go in the drizzle across empty fields and through creepy dark forests, I decided to give myself a break. I headed off the Camino to a resort town on Lake Paladru, only 2 kilometers away, with fancy hotels and grocery stores and real restaurants.
I took the first decent place I could find and collapsed. 18.75 kilometers in 4.5 hours was good enough for me.
I am so much admiring your bravery and strength to go on this long walk. I click on your link every day to check up on you, from the safety and comfort of my suburban home. I see your wonderful photos and think “I should do that, but I probably won’t.”
Woman to woman, I think you’re awesome, but I have to say - you have shitty taste in men! Stay dry :)
Mahalo! Right now I certainly agree with you about men. I don’t feel very strong or brave today but I am alive and that will have to do.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Being alone sucks.
I’m trying. I’m trying so hard. But sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and cry until there’s nothing left inside me to hurt.
I miss my boy so much and he’s just fine without me. He’s got his dad and his friends and his computer. I’m the last thing on his mind.
The husband found a younger, happier live-in maid and cook and personal trainer who doesn’t require love or sex. She doesn’t cry and demand attention. He can continue to be the self-absorbed emotionless machine he prefers to be.
Every man I’ve tried to get involved with in this last year has kicked me in the teeth and told me to never talk to him again. All because I had the audacity to care about them when they had lead lumps instead of hearts.
How do they all do it? How are they not in pain and lonely and wishing that they had the ability to care?
How can none of them miss me?
I just don’t get it.
July Photo a Day
Day Twenty-Two: I Wore This!
#fmsphotoaday #camino #chemindestjacques #gpoy (at Beau Rivage Charavines)
Day Five: Saint-Maurice-de-Rotherens to Les Abrets
Today I got wet. Completely and totally wet.
Stuffing my clearly-not-meant-for-this-much-water waterproof shoes with newspaper in hopes they dry out by morning, wet. Pulling every last item out of my backpack to drip dry and filling it up with towels so maybe I can start tomorrow with everything not still damp, wet.
Spending hours trying to navigate dirt lanes with streams running down them, wet. Tromping through long, scratchy rain-soaked grass on the sides of the road instead, wet. Actually being happy for the dark gloomy forests because I could take off my hood for a few seconds, wet.
Having to periodically dump out a few liters of cold water from the inside of my “waterproof” backpack cover, wet.
Missing no less than three tricky turns because I couldn’t see so well in the downpour and adding an extra 10k to my most excellent day unnecessarily, wet. Standing frustrated on the side of the road, soaking my guidebook so that the pages became all warped and stuck together, wet.
Walking 33.25 kilometers in 7 hours 45 minutes without taking any breaks because I just wanted to get it over and done with already, wet.
But, I am determined to find the positives wherever I can.
I still got amazing pictures, despite the weather. And I found a nice room in a private home all to myself, all comfy and cozy and dry, and ended my day eating hot Chinese food for dinner and going to a McDonald’s for wifi.
It rains in France, apparently.
July Photo a Day
Day Twenty-One: Basic
Finding water on the Camino requires a basic understanding of water pumps.
#fmsphotoaday #france #camino #chemindestjacques #water (at Aire De Romagnieu)