Thursday, October 22 – Day 43
I woke up at 7, aching all over. In general, the beds here in Spain are much harder than the beds in France. But I was finally able to make the room completely dark, so I actually slept very well. I don’t think I woke up until 5, which is pretty amazing. And the pillow was so, so comfortable.
But I lay there in pain. If the bed had been more comfortable I probably would have wanted to stay a whole other day. I generally hurt all over, even when I’m not in the middle of walking 1000 miles. Some days are just better than others. Today was a bad day.
I think I managed to take all of my possessions with me, and I went to the shop on the corner to get some breakfast. I had seen a pastaleria, which is like a boulangerie, but I think more like a patisserie, to get some kind of bread product. I got some huge chocolate covered thing for 1.7 E, and a tiny little rooster something for 1.5 E. That’s probably why they make it 1.5 E; they know the tourists will pay for a chicken pastry, just because.
The chicken thing had a little bit of filling of some kind. The chocolate thing was delicious. I felt properly fueled for the day.
But I was dragging, mentally and physically. I’m just tired. The weeks of walking are starting to wear on me.
The day was gray and cloudy again, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to rain at all.
The first town I came to was Grañon and I was making pretty good time. I stopped at a bar to get some juice and use the bathroom. There was a church there that was open, but it was so, so dark inside you couldn’t see anything. They didn’t even have any lighting options.
I stopped in the pharmacy to get some ibuprofen. 4.30 E for 20 pills of 400 mg. I really should have brought more. I had way too much tylenol and not enough ibuprofen. I actually threw about 4/5th of the tylenol away today. It would be nice if I could take 4 tylenol and turn them into 1 ibuprofen, or something.
On my way out of town, I passed a cute little old man who wished me a Buen Camino. The little old men are always happy to say that. I could see the next town down a long, straight road, so I headed off. I got to the town and there were two options. Go through, or go around. I didn’t see an arrow, but the map looked like it ran on the outside, so I went around. I thought it was a bit odd, though, because the road seemed to go a bit further from the town than it seemed on the map. I met up with another road and pulled my google maps out. Turns out I was in a little town called Villarta, which is not on the Camino.
I was completely baffled. I have absolutely no idea how I did it, but I had walked a good 3k off path. I suddenly wasn’t making good time anymore. I know I was on the right path out of the city, but for some reason I turned when I wasn’t supposed to. But I don’t even remember another option. I thought I was following the road in the only direction it could go. Obviously I wasn’t paying attention, because I was not on the Camino.
I looked at my map to try to figure out how to get back. In order to get back on the Camino I would have to backtrack, but not completely to Grañon. I looked to see if I could make my way to Belorado another way, and it did look like it was possible. I decided not to risk it, though, especially since I don’t speak the language. I decided it would be better to get back on the right path, and in the long right it still might be faster than going an unknown way.
Not exactly how I wanted to spend my morning. But I did get to see a little detour that most people on the Camino probably don’t. Although, I bet some do. And look! There actually are trees in Spain, they just don’t let the pilgrims see them up close.
I went through a few small towns today, but the path mostly followed along the highway. Every once in a while a trucker would honk and wave.
I passed a field of cauliflower. They must have a machine that harvests them, because it didn’t seem to do a very good job. I saw lots of cauliflowers that got missed, or cut in half, or just the tops sliced off, or the sides, etc. It seems very wasteful.
I ran into Martina and we walked together for a bit. It was fun to talk to someone else from Le Puy. She is from Germany, but is fluent in English and French, and she also studied Latin.
I told her I that I think it’s funny now, how naive I was at the beginning. I probably actually thought I would skip my way through the 1000 miles. I didn’t realize how much it would actually hurt to do this, or how much the extra weight of the pack would matter. Silly me.
We sat for a bit on a bench in a town about 6k from Belorado. She shared her clementine with me. I went on ahead and she rested a bit more. The sun snuck out at some point. It is amazing how cold it can be when cloudy and how hot it can be when sunny. It seems like a lot of temperature variation throughout the day.
I was really glad it was a short day, and even with my detour it still only took 6 hours to get to Belorado.
I checked into a combo albergue/hotel/restaurant in the hotel. I think tomorrow I’ll be in an albergue, so I didn’t want to risk two nights in a row.
I got my stuff together to put in the washing machine, and it just sat there, apparently not working. I went to get the man and he said it was ok, but I said, “no agua” and “no *spinning motion*” The door was locked, though, so the time had to all run out before I could open the door and try another machine.
When I came back, though, it was spinning. I’m curious to see if it’s wet, or if only the spin cycle works. I’ll find out in a few minutes.
The bed here is much, much softer, and I almost wonder if it’s too soft. I will find out soon enough!
I still have a month and one day to go, and right now that seems like a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen during that time, but I’m definitely starting to look forward to going home. 12 weeks of traveling and walking is a long time. I certainly don’t regret any of it, though.
Well apparently the washer worked. Maybe it just took 20 minutes to fill.
Dinner started at 6 and I didn’t want to wait any longer than that. I was very temped to try something different, like the garlic soup, but I was starving, so I went with spaghetti for the first course because I knew it would be a lot. It was actually very good. Second course was pork and fries, also very good, and the dessert was ice cream. And the bread was really good. Best bread I’ve had in Spain so far. It wasn’t dry and tasted really bready. Yeast? I don’t know what makes bread taste bready.
Now I’m all caught up, and I’m going to curl up in bed and enjoy the next 11 hours!!
I hope the soft bed works better than the hard one!
Oh, Korean menu! Fun! I like the rooster pastry.
Does the jooooouuuuuurney seem loooooong… you can do it! You are awesome and amazing. Amazingly awesome.
Congratulations on getting caught up! That’s a major accomplishment. I hope the rest of the walk goes really well and has lots of great food and soft-enought beds. 🙂
Now I am all caught up with you too. I am feeling like such a wuss for having had such a cushy, leafy, pretty, fresh-food time during “our” portion of the way. You are hard core now, feeling all the workings of your body, braving the language barrier, the shrunken daylight hours, the bigger cities, etc.
BTW, I remember when I was walking I discovered that if I pushed into the ground a certain way with each foot as I moved ahead, my stride lengthened by at least 25-30%. And I remember thinking, “that’s saving my feet from a significant amount of painful throbbing at the end of each day”. (Still, I needed to pop some advil occasionally.) Your long stride surely serves you well. What works for you, huh.
I’ve thought about you saying that several times and when I start hobbling a bit near the end of the day I just try to change the way I walk. It does help.
You have walked so far already. It is incredible. I am sorry about the pains.