This is hard. Harder than I imagined.
I hit the wall. Of course I knew I would, but it came earlier than expected. Day eight. Bam! I was out for the count.
We hadn’t planned to take a day off this early. We thought we could make it to Burgos, about Day 12. But the wall came sooner and had other plans.
Clearly I trained for this. You all know I did. But it’s still hard. I made a mistake having a pedicure in Portugal. I needed those calluses. What was I thinking? My toes have blistered and I’m painfully rebuilding those hard-
Yesterday on Day 8 we planned a long day, 18 miles. We started before daylight and I felt good. For miles I felt great. It was a cool and sunny day. The scenery was spectacular. All was well until after lunch. We ate lunch in the town of Viana at mile 13. We had five miles to go to Logrona. The temperature suddenly soared. I was melting.
Each step began to feel like I was walking on a bed of nails or coals. Excruciating. I had to keep going. I felt I might cry. I should have stopped. It was almost like hypothermia because I don’t think I was thinking clearly. I plodded along at a excruciatingly slow pace.
Finally I plopped down and took a look at my feet. They were the size of footballs! Straining to bust out of my shoes. I peeled my socks down and found blistered heat rash all around my ankles.
I should have seen this coming. I’ve had this happen before. I should have worn the cotton socks instead of the wool. Shoulda coulda woulda.
I removed the wool socks and hobbled on the final mile to our night’s accommodations. A disappointing Albergue. Cheap and exactly worth what we paid for it. Since we were arriving late only top bunks available. Arne dragged me up and I collapsed.
I actually slept pretty well because I was so tired,
but I think we have agreed we don’t want to stay in anymore Albergues if we can help it. Some Camino “purist” will say you aren’t really doing the Camino unless you are sleeping in Albergues with other pilgrims. These same “purists” also say you shouldn’t be carrying your phone with you. Yeah right. Like THAT is gonna happen.
My Camino. My Way.
There are many people who only stay in Albergues because that is what they can afford. Since the Camino is so crowded right now many people are having trouble finding beds. So we are trying to look ahead and book 4-5 days. We talked to a man last night who was planning to take a bus today because he could not find an Albergue available in the next 80km.
So as I nurse my wounds I also count my blessings;
- I am lucky to have both resources and time enough to be flexible with my accommodations.
- We can take days off – really many days as we have lots of time.
- I am in pretty good shape and now have a better feel for my limitations.
- I am walking with my best friend and the man I love.
- He loves me back.
So after the disappointing top bunk we are now in a lovely little boutique hotel taking two whole days to rest, read, sleep and drink wine.
Eighteen miles on Monday. But it’s a new day and the wall will have to wait.