Sunday, December 12, 2010

There He Goes Again

As mentioned in my last post here, I've been walking. From France I walked 809 kilometres along the Camino de Santiago. It took 23 long days of walking. I logged the trip with GPS here, but as usual I'll also upload the more, I think, interesting views I had on the trip on-line.

Actually, the photos should have been available to you now. After all, I've been at home for about six weeks now. But they're not ready yet, and now I'm off again! I just told the tap in my bathroom, and this is the expression it made when it heard I was going to Cancún without finishing the gallery from my previous trip first:

If I had two more days before the plane leaves, I would have finished the gallery. Instead a few quick glances at the trail will have to do for now. The full gallery will show up here probably just a few days into 2011.

As I suspected, the pile of photos I gathered along the trail consists mainly of fields, forests and churches. It's really, really difficult to take photos that haven't been taken thousands of times before along the Camino. Here are some of my attempts:

The climb up from the French side of the Pyrenees offered the most stunning views along the entire trail. It's too bad, really, that the best bit of the trip is put right at the start of it. Fortunately, I did not know this, so I just enjoyed the views and figured it was a taste of what was to come. It wasn't, but to be fair, there were a few nice bits of scenery later as well.

Pretty Pretty Roncesvalles
Coming down from the mountains on the border between France and Spain I was met by this cozy forest. Just a few days before, hikers had to be rescued down from the cold and misty mountain by helicopter. Some of the evacuees may well have planned their trips for years. It's not fair that I, who had not planned anything at all, was given this great welcome by the Roncesvalles forest.

The Wide Path to Santiago
A 300 kilometres long boring bit is what awaits you after a few days of beautiful and exciting surroundings at the start of the trail. Here you will often be tortured by the view of several kilometres of trail ahead of you, with no signs of any shade, water, nice views or other refreshing elements at all. People with all kinds of handicaps walk the trail. If I had to walk it with a serious handicap, I think I would have walked as a blind person. Not seeing the trail may be a good thing.

Bovine Breakfast
A week or so before the finishing line, I found this group of cows grazing in an opening in a forest. Other animals than domestic ones are rarely seen. I saw some deer, rabbits, a fox and a dozen squirrels. That's all. There's no need to worry about being eaten by dangerous animals on this trail.

Ancienity Depicted
There's a real danger you'll overdose on churches and religious art on the Camino. If you're eager enough, apparently you can enjoy seeing about 1800 churches along the eight hundred kilometres or so of trail. That's less than 500 metres between the churches, on average. Crazy catholics! Anyway, some of them are really worth stopping for. I liked this one a lot. It's the Cathedral of Léon.

Full Metal Pilgrim
There are more pilgrims than pilgrim sculptures along the trail, but that's just with a narrow margin, I think. I photographed this one outside the Cathedral of Burgos an incredibly early morning with an intense sky above it. The clouds were menacing, making even the sculpture look sort of scary.

There you are. That's all I have for you now. In a month or so you'll get more. I'm pretty sure the final collection will include several insect close-ups, vineyards wearing autumn colours, ancient bridges, cobwebs at sunrise, a butt from a bordello, graffiti, mountains, more mountains and the valleys between them. You might as well preparing mentally for it now.

Until thne I'll be in Mexico most of the time. Or in Belize. Or maybe even in Guatemala. It'll be a great end of a most satisfying year of travel.

Merry Christmas to you all!