Friday, November 12, 2010
Walking across the Interior
A quick message from cyberspace...
I had no troubles crossing the border on foot, in fact because of the escalating violence in the Juarez underworld, I was alone at the control point... not many are entering Juarez these days. I was quite quickly whisked away to a convent of elderly nuns for my night´s stay. Reminiscent of my days with old women of Ukraine, my name was immediately diminutized - in Spanish ´Anita´ instead of the Russian ´Anushka´- and I was fed a huge meal, constantly having my ribs poked and comments made that I´m too small to walk such a great distance.
It took a while to walk out of the bustling city, but once into the desert, I was rather alone. My options are to walk along the divided highway with it´s noisy tractor trailers and frequent military control points or to walk across the open desert. This I learned rapidly: the desert is made of sand. Sand makes for a herculean task for the calves. I don´t mind walking on the sand, and can add teranchula to the list of wildlife I´ve witnessed, and when my legs scream out, I walk along the road to the frequent and uncomfortable toots of the truckers. I feel like I´m altering the ecosystem with the amount of sand I carry off stuck to the coating of perspiration and sunscreen, but I suppose since I wash it off daily I´m only transfering it a bit southward. It´s a big desert - nearly the size of Germany - so how much damage can one little pilgrim do by shifting the sands a bit?
Pueblos are few and far between. I´m trying to cap a day at 50 kms but have to work with what´s available. I don´t wish to sleep out in the desert - spiders and other creatures of the night - so when I approached an isolated ranch (one where I could see women´s and baby´s clothes hanging on the line to dry) I simply asked if I could be accommodated. No problema. Cool.
Back in Las Cruces, photos were taken with a few of the folks who received me with open hearts. I´m really quite pink from the sunglass line to the neck of my tee shirt and on my arms and hands, except for the straps from my walking sticks. Goofy. The winter pilgrim look of the season.