6. Molly and Bruce

To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory meet.

Yesterday I learned that an American called Ted was so exhausted from the heat and from being poorly that he had to  call for help at the bottom of the big hill.  It was so steep and he just felt that there was nothing left to get him up there.  He is an experienced walker and was fully prepared but he was ill and it was just too much.

The local police found him and drove him to town.  He saw a doctor and it was decided that he maybe picked up a bug in Sevilla… he was a bit feverish and really not well.  He was resting up in town for a couple of days before continuing. It’s comforting to know that if you call for help… it comes.

As it happens today on the trail we ran into Ted.  He was still feeling a bit under the weather but wanted to move on.  I let him have some of my pepto bismol and electrolyte tablets… I hope these help… and I hope you feel better soon Ted.

Back to last night, after doing my chores we went in search of food and drink for tomorrow and a bank… I needed some cash.  I stopped to ask in a bar and probably after seeing the confused look on my face, the dear chap said he’d drive me.  Imagine my horror as this lovely man limped towards his walking crutches and struggled down the steps to his car… where he hauled out a heavy bag and offered us a seat.  Irish Michael was drinking a vino outside the bar and watched the proceedings from his seat… he looked at me and grinned and asked “have you  know conscience… making that poor man drive”  he has a very naughty twinkle in his eye and I would imagine he would be great company… but alas we won’t see him again as he is walking a 38 km day tomorrow… such is the camino.  The bank though was maybe 2 minutes away and this lovely man dropped us at the door and offered to wait.. the kindness of strangers is always just so amazing.  These lovely folks never seem to tire of us pilgrims.

We then had dinner with two professors from San Sebastian university.  We’ve been walking together on and off from day one… passing each other and saying hello.   They are lovely people and every day they say come have a beer with us.  Last night we did.  And then we had dinner.  I love that on the camino you can meet someone for just a short time but you end up feeling like you’ve known them for ages.  Our new friends were leaving today… they had walked from Cadiz… but we exchanged email addresses and they said we should visit them… and I might!

I slept ok but the town cockerel crowed well before dawn and so I was awake from  5.30am.  Maggie was ill last night. She has been under par for a couple of days but last night she was poorly… and she has blisters that are troubling her… and yet she keeps on walking… true Aussie grit!

We had breakfast in the village centre.. later than planned but today we thought was an easy day.  The sun was up as we walked past a giant storks nest… now home to many many smaller birds… we passed the bull ring and headed back into the national park.

A very nice old chap pointed us in the right direction… even his dog barked to gain our attention.

It wasn’t long before we met the first of today’s wildlife.  Barking dogs first but they were on chains so not a problem. Next came piggies… lots and lots of piggies. Then there were sheep with lambs… then goats… and then more pigs.


As we passed through the last pig farm Maggie shouted “one is chasing us”  we looked back and she was right… he was!  We picked up our pace and put some distance between us but he ran after us again… and again.  Maggie shouts “I’m going to the trees” I imagined the poor girl climbing it, pack and all, with a pig snorting at her feet below.  We all ran to join Maggie in the trees… and it was then Branden realised that actually the pig was running to the water… so we moved out of the way and the poor startled little pig ran past and joined his friends in the watering hole… and Maggie returned from the trees.  We called this incident The Running of the Pigs… and laughed about it… a lot… for the rest of the walk.

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So on we walked on and on.  Gosh it’s hot and this is not a flat path.  I had imagined our first few days would be a gentle introduction to Andalusia but not at all… it’s pretty bumpy.  At one point Maggie asked if she was leaving  shoe prints or hoof prints as she felt she was turning into a mountain goat… we giggled and carried on climbing.

Up and up we wandered under our umbrellas.  I told Maggie that I loved mine and I was going to call her Molly.  We decided that Maggie’s was more butch so probably a boy… she named him Bruce.  I decided that this was perfect and if they had babies they would be Brollys. .. I think it was the heat but we talked for ages about the adventures that Bruce and Molly could share on Camino.

It was probably just as well that we arrived in town… after a long and uninspiring 4kms along a track that Maggie named the longest road in Christendom!

We’re in the albergue… showered, eaten and the washing is on the line… we walked a little under 19km today and it really is hot… sooo looking forward to a little cloud.

P.s. please feel free to send me poems or a quote that you feel I could use… Gerry sent me today’s.

And can someone tell us why the tree trunks are painted white here?

Finally… you can click on the photos to open an image gallery… and see the photos better.

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5 thoughts on “6. Molly and Bruce

  1. Same in Dordogne : chalk and lime mix to deter insects and protect the bark – I add 3 parts to one of old engine oil which keeps it moist and sticky. The walnut trees along your road ( D44 to Neuvic ) have it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The white paint has various possible explanations, according to a quick search:
    – Prevent cracking and splitting of tender new bark
    – Protect young citrus plants from the sun, when their bark is still thin. Eventually the canopy of the leaves means that the white paint is unnecessary but some people will continue to paint them because they like the way it looks.
    – Calcium hydroxide paint can deter certain ants

    Trying to figure out agricultural practices is one of the interesting things to do on the camino!

    Liked by 1 person

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