Monday, January 26, 2009

An exceptional pilgrimage

With the rain of late, the rivers had long burst their banks before the storm hit. The saturated soil couldn't hold onto the roots when the winds came and those that didn't snap like toothpicks were uprooted at their base. Whole forests tumbled like dominoes, and I was there to see it. All of southwest France and the north of Spain have been hit hard in this exceptional natural disaster.

What else can I do but walk? Electricity and phone lines are strewn about like discarded spaghetti. It'll take weeks if not months to get it all straightened out. The last three pilgrim houses I stayed in had no power, heat, or hot water. I've finally walked to a high point and a larger city that has power - 80 kilometers from where the storm hit hardest, lucky me for having been in the worst of it. Kind people have offered me hot soup and have allowed me to dry my clothes in front of their fireplaces. It hasn't been cold at all... 10° to 14° (=mid 50s). Every day I've had the joy of dry socks and undies, so comfort isn't really a problem. It's a natural disaster here, everyone makes do. There are many silver linings to these clouds, not the least of which is that with all of the downed pine trees, the fresh scent of Christmas is in the air. I find it all very interesting.

After Christmas, I walked through weeks of exceptionally frigid weather, unlike what had been seen in a lifetime. After that, exceptional snowfall - the first snow in a decade. Now the exceptional wind. The flooding has already begun, but I'm just at the foothills of the Pyrenees, so I don't expect that to affect me negatively. What could be next? A few day of exceptional sunshine really wouldn't hurt at this point :-)


Amawalker said...

I was really looking forward to catching up with you Ann-e, but where are you? Still in France, north of Spain?

Compostelle 2008 said...


I hope you do get some wonderful sunshine, especially going over the Pyrenees, the views are so wonderful in clear weather. Don't forget to look behind you every once in a while! I envy you so!

Michèle from Ottawa

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann - you have such a unique and interesting way of relaying natural disasters. :) i'm glad the weather is warm, and you've got warm socks and undies each day. you deserve this. continue to enjoy reading your comments. keep smiling. miss you.

Deanna and McKaylee

mom said...

I'm glad to hear you are safe and warm. The weather even made the nightly news.

If no news is good news, Dad must be having a great time in Hawaii -here we expect snow. take care love Mom