Spent the day yesterday walking St. Michael'sWay from Lelant via Carbis Bay back down to Penzance. Twelve plus miles of beautiful country. This path runs north-south across the narrowest part of Cornwall. It is said that pilgrims on their way to Santiago would walk the 12 miles across Cornwall rather than sail around the treacherous waters off of Lands End. They would then get picked up by a boat that took them to the north coast of Spain so that they could then walk the Camino Norte into Santiago.
I felt very connected to these pilgrims as I walked yesterday. I could imagine and feel them as they debarked off their boats from Ireland, Wales, or Scotland to walk the beautiful and wild countryside. The bay was wide open, with long and wide stretches of beach. There is an estuary there into some salt marshes and it would have made for a safe and protected landing spot.
I walked along the beach above the dunes and cliffs for a few miles before heading inland. The view was stunning. I was taken in by its beauty and expanse.
Getting through Carbis Bay was a more challenging than I expected. I lost the path and signs for St. Michael's Way so I had to ask for help, and use my inner honing device to get to the top of the hill above town. Once I did, I found the path, and walked through farms and along wooded paths for quite a ways until I walked around an old settlement on a hill.
I spent the day walking along country lanes, along hedgerows in fields and even followed a diagonal path across a potatoe field. I even saw a few other pilgrims. A young man was walking the same direction as me, working with an electronice device that picked up GPS signals left by other walkers. In the middle of a field, I met and talked with a young couple who were walking to St. Ives.
Other than that, I had the day to myself. My first day of walking by myself. I walked (obviously!), sang, talked outloud, chanted, prayed, thought and then just walked. I actually loved being by myself and experiencing myself and my tapping into my resources, especially when I became a little turned around, or missed a sign.
Felt great and got into Penzance around 4pm, with enough energy and time to shower, change and run to the bus station to catch the last bus to Porthcurno to meet Karen and Tony for a wonderful production of Antony and Cleopatra at the Minack Theater.
A very full day and late night. Woke up to pouring rain, so have been taking my time to get more organized and give my legs a rest.
I have developed "walker's legs" again - red splotches all over my calf muscles - I must walk hard on my feet and heels! Doesn't hurt yet, but must not be so hard on myself and take good care of myself...and look for some compression socks to support my legs.
The rain and thunder has stopped. Off for the first leg of the Mary Michael Way. Only walking 6 or so miles today then will catch a bus back into Penzance, and take the bus back out there tomorrow. Letting myself ease into the journey.