Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Pilgrimage: The Way of St. David

Although sore this evening after a very uppy/downy 6.5 mile walk--supremely gorgeous, good weather--but LOTS of elevation gain and loss. The cliffs were right next to the path, the vistas incredibly beautiful, and the weather cloudy turned to partly sunny--jackets on and off, on and off, and on and off again. 
This morning, I had no pain at all in my heel; I started the walk this morning as an able-footed person, just like my projection of everyone else on the path. I walked with my entire left foot on the ground, rather than placing only the ball of my foot on the ground. This miracle lasted a whole 3 hours. I was totally astonished and completely grateful. The next 3 hours were increasingly uncomfortable, with the last hour just bearable. But those first 3 hours were a miraculous gift. First time pain free since July 8th, but who's counting? ME, THAT's who!!
I realized through some literature that the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is also a pilgrimage. This pilgrimage points toward St. David's, Wales, where the relics of St. David were buried in the local cathedral (see previously posted information from Wikipedia). I am happy to be on another pilgrimage! I was walking just fine, at least from 10am to 2 pm. But until the shift, I felt strong and happy, as I had imagined I would be on El Camino. The terrain today was certainly challenging, Pyrenees-esque!
We got a short ride at the end of the trail--about 3 blocks--but I really needed that reprieve. Our meeting point was a working woolen mill--complete with cute shop of woven products of all kinds and a little cafe with the very best scones (plus clotted cream and berry jam) I have ever eaten. Our host picked us up and drove down the bermed lanes, which he explained as leftovers from farmers' piling excess rocks at the sides of the fields; vegetation moved in, increasing both the density and the height of the piled rocks. Roads were added later, so contemporary lanes are bordered by vegetative berms. Quite lovely, actually (said with a posh Welsh accent, of course!!). We are now in another adorable B&B. The room are 45-degree angled from the main building, so no stairs to climb at the end of the day. The only Internet is in the dining room, so I am sitting with a cup of tea and an ice block for my left foot. I am happy and gratified to be here in this fabulously gorgeous countryside with a fairly-workable foot. Tomorrow's walk is supposed to be much easier than today's, though slightly longer. One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath. . . .

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