Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Chapter 7: Just Over that Ridge

A couple of days ago I experienced what was arguably the most testing day thus far on the camino that furthur challenges the first day as the hardest. It was around 93 degrees and the trail provided no shade, the sky no shield from an unrelenting sun. The landscape was less than inspiring for 29 km with wheat fields as far as the eye could see. Each step seemed to progressively sap more and more energy as the day got hotter and hotter. The hardly picturesque landscape was accentuated by taunting ridges that accompanied the better part of the last half of our walk. Approaching the horizon exhausted and in real danger of dehydration we were sure that the town was over the next ridge. To our disappointment it wasn´t. This happened on no fewer than four separate occasions causing inevitable frustration with the camino and with ourselves. When we finally reached town the crew breathed a collective sigh of relief as the frustration eventually turned into a universal sense of accomplishment upon realization that the day was finally over. Witnessing this day transpire is something that I will most certainly never forget as it demonstrated the amazing strength of the human will. Another revelation of the camino...

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