Thursday, April 29, 2010

Saint Paul les Dax day II

My shoes are starting to fall apart. I'd thought they'd last all the way to Santiago and beyond. But the wear and tear is simply amazing. More on that elsewhere. Just keep in mind that whatever punishment my equipment is taking, my body is taking as well.

Now, since I actually didn't sleep in the Dax refugio the previous night and thus can sleep there tonight; since I'm getting a late start no matter what since I have to see an optician; since I really do need a little rest... I pack up my equipment and leave before any hospitalero shows up in the morning so that I can arrive again in the afternoon, like, you know, I was never even there.

In some peoples book that's cheating. Not in mine. My vows includes not taking motorised transport and to never send my luggage with one of the many luggage-services along the camino. Ideally I'll try to move closer to Santiago every day, even if that only means to walk 50 meters or 3 kilometers down the road to another refugio. Which is practically possible on most of the Spanish Camino Frances. Not in Dax though unless I want to sleep in a 50€ hotel.

A lot of pilgrims, or touregrinos as the derogatory term goes, will send their luggage or even take the bus or a taxi when they are struggling. I object to such practises. If you had do that you didn't make it to Santiago as a pilgrim. Sorry (but someone had to say it). 

If you stop somewhere, even for ten years, without leaving the creeds of the pilgrim, you did make it. There is a spiritual part to that - I'll write more on that later. And then there is what you might call a sportif part to that: how will you know what your body and mind can do if you take a taxi when it starts to hurt, when you realize you cant walk as many K's a day as you thought? It's more honour in not reaching Santiago, coming home and saying I couldn't do it in 30 days than cheating yourself of the true victory and cheating authentic pilgrims of their deserved honour.

You walk a pilgrimage to get merit, yes? By cheating you de-merit yourself; you dishonour yourself in the eyes of other pilgrims, in the eyes of Jack, Jesus and God.

You make it seem like anybody can do it. That's not the reality of the thing. The reality is that everybody can't do it. So, taking an extra day in Dax, extra days in St. Jean Pied-de-Port and then again in Burgos... did I do it? Or did I dishonour myself in the very eyes of humanity?

This is where I had my coffee. I love the fact that there is a topless lady on the wall.

In Finisterre, relating my experiences to Andrea I would say that I don't care a dolt about animals, but that the mistreatment of trees aches my heart. Sometimes I'll say or write pointed things just to hear what it sounds like and/or to help your mind see a completely different and quite possibly mildly relevant point of view; to wake you up.

I do care about animal wellfare. But trees have a special place in my heart. I'm not even ashamed to say that. I prayed and cried for this one as I watched them kill it. I guess for the view of the tenants in that white building or some other stupid heartless reason.

I don't feel much pride for my country. We're fat from the toil of other nations and from the exploitation of nature. (You would be shocked to know the details of fishfarming or the realities of industrial fishing.) At the same time, when I am far far far away from home... I do feel a strange sort of pride when our harsh and cold nature(s) is used as an argument for selling tried and tested technology like below or even for branding luxury items, design and clothes. 

Back in the refugio I note that there are no toilets inside, thus the pilgrims last night must have known there was another pilgrim there. Plenty of space aswell.

Plantain-leaves [groblad] - perfect stuff to heal blisters, sores and superficial wounds.

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