May 12th, 2014: Today was Day 11… And God Rested on the Seventh Day…

By Eric

FROM ALL HIS WORK WHICH HE HAD MADE

And so… did we. Technically, we began blogging on May 2nd, the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. But we did not begin hiking until May 6th, and that makes today, May 12th, the seventh day, since we began this crazy adventure.

And thus begins our second rest period in only seven days of hiking. What is wrong with us? Will we be able to actually hike all the way to Santiago de Compostela, Spain? We have already hitchhiked once (technically twice, if you count the 1-2 minutes we were in the car with Pepito yesterday in order to find our pilgrim’s albergue/gite- after we were literally hobbling at a zombie’s pace.) Have we gotten ourselves in over our heads?

We included on our rules section of our blog, that we could never use public transportation or veer off The Way at any point on our journey, ie: to go to another town in order to visit people or see other things etc. However we did include the possibility of hitchhiking under extreme situations, and letting The Way take care of us as pilgrims. I can control the level of fatigue and physical challenge that I will push myself towards, but I cannot do the same for Shannon.

This is Shannon’s journey as much as it is mine, and in the end, we have to stick together.

It’s one thing for one of us to move forward without the other, as long as it was simply because the other is just moving at a slower pace- but moving forward just the same. But if one of us actually quits, or insists on hitchhiking more often than not, then I imagine it will cause an extremely challenging philosophical scenario down the road. A scenario that will be tough for both of us to swallow.

It’s time for both Shannon and me to have our own versions of a “coming to Jesus moment.”

There is no way we will be able to complete this hike, if we are literally taking a break every two days of hiking. But at the same time, the first few days of hiking have more than devastated our feet and worn us both out to levels we have infrequently experienced.

I hope we use the next two days for what they are – vital periods of time in which to reflect strongly about what it is we actually want, and just what exactly we are able to sacrifice in order to achieve that.

It’s time to muster within ourselves, at its most primitive level, what we were put on this planet to do- breathe, live, and move forward.

And in the end, I hope, dare I say, I expect, that we will indeed move forward.

But in the meantime, we will take some time, yet again, to rest and relax. We will experiment, for the first time, what it means to do laundry in a sink basin. We will poke, cut, and drain these nasty, dag-blasted blisters. We will fill our bellies with the energy we need to begin our hike anew.

And we will search into our souls and upward to the universe, in the hope of quietly finding the peace of mind to help us find the strength of body.

We found the greatest swing on the planet! It is a large, rubberized tube/tire with an extra-strong, spring, bungee cord in the seat, built solidly enough for a person up to (I imagine) at least 350 pounds. In fact, it was so large, we did not even have to take our packs off in order to swing comfortably in it! Heaven!!

We found the greatest swing on the planet! It is a large, rubberized tube/tire with an extra-strong, spring, bungee cord in the seat, built solidly enough for a person up to (I imagine) at least 350 pounds. In fact, it was so large, we did not even have to take our packs off in order to swing comfortably in it! Heaven!!

French food still has not ceased to satisfy. Steak-frites is a standard French meal, and the desserts have all been amazing.

French food still has not ceased to satisfy. Steak-frites is a standard French meal, and the desserts have all been amazing.

We are beginning to see signs of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela- The Way of St. James- more often, especially now that we are slowly getting closer to the Spanish border. We even found a huge loaf of bread in the shape of a “Camino Compostela scallop shell.”

We are beginning to see signs of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela- The Way of St. James- more often, especially now that we are slowly getting closer to the Spanish border. We even found a huge loaf of bread in the shape of a “Camino Compostela scallop shell.”

e-day11-03

Ah Europe, a bastion of quirky shaped hotel rooms, or shall I say, oversized octa/penta/hexagonal sleeping closets!

Doing laundry and work with a very nice view.

Doing laundry and work with a very nice view.

Always appreciate the beauty of a new moon coming out to embrace the world.

Always appreciate the beauty of a new moon coming out to embrace the world.

All in all, Oloron-Sainte-Marie has been a beautiful place in which to rest and gain strength - both in body and in mind.

All in all, Oloron-Sainte-Marie has been a beautiful place in which to rest and gain strength – both in body and in mind.

 

Distance: 4278 Steps/ 2.03 Miles/ 3.26 Kilometers
Location: Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France

Feeling inspired by our journey? Please consider donating to The Passport Party Project. Your contribution will help 10 young girls, get their first passport and go on their first international trip! Go here to donate and find out more.

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