All the stages we have walked so far have been tough. The trails are frequently narrow, steep, and rocky (very rocky), and muddy (very muddy). You walk through gorgeous scenery, but all those elevated views means another climb under the belt.
There certainly are times when you are on wider paths or you are walking quiet country roads, but soon thereafter a sign leads you off the road and up a steep hillside. The number of these steep climbs encountered in one day is what grinds you down. Just when you think you are home here comes another climb, and perhaps another after that, and so on. Now this is starting to sound a bit like whining, so I beg forgiveness, and offer a caveat. If you want to enjoy this route, do some training. Hop on the Stairmaster at the gym, and strengthen your legs for lots of vertical. Also simply consider walking shorter stages. If you can routinely crack off a 15 mile day on the Camino Frances, you will be looking for a place to pull over after 10. It is just the nature of the terrain. IMHO I think scheduling more days for this route, including some lay days to rest and recover, makes a lot of sense. So where is this all going. This afternoon after reaching Golinhac (which must be close to the moon for the climbing required to get here) Robin and I checked into a nice Chambre d'Hôte (Bastide) and would have loved to just collapse, but that was not to be. Robin's leg issues were causing concern so just like that a camino angel appeared. Robin has a Facebook friend who has a friend who is a well known rehab specialist who is traveling in France, at this moment, with a group of people walking the chemin. As it turns out we have been shadowing this tour group just by coincidence almost from the beginning. This afternoon we hitched a ride wIth the tour group van and met with the doctor who was staying in a neighboring village. She examined Robin's leg, which is inflamed and swollen, and gave her diagnosis. Robin has simply over stressed her leg and that has caused all the problems. She needs to get off the Chemin, do some exercises she was given, and rest. Our plan is to have Robin go by road to Conques where I'll meet her tomorrow afternoon. We are staying at the Abbaye Sainte Foy. After Conques Robin will travel by car to Figeac where we have a hotel reservation at the Great Western Pont d'Or. She will rest up for three days and we will take it from there. I am going to continue walking. We will know more in a few days. For now we are following the doctor's orders, and are so thankful she was right where we needed her to be. We are also very appreciative of all the help we have received from the a Spanish Steps tour company (especially from Judy, the tour leader and tour company owner. Robin did very well today, but is totally done in. She is sleeping soundly next to me as I finish this post. More tomorrow from Conques.
|I'm watching you.|
|Widest path of the day|
|Estaing for lunch|