Day 8: I broke down on so many levels today. I was up before anyone this morning and all I could think about is how Matty was doing back home. I am waiting to hear about a full time position and it isn’t looking good. On top of that we have to move in May and again in July. It is all fine with me but Matty is struggling. It breaks me down. I want to take action and find a new apartment and email to find out about the jobs. In other words, I want to fix his anxiety. As I mentioned before I started this is I need to let go of the guilt of fixing other people’s problems. It took everything I had not to take action and it brought me to tears. Then we got to coffee and I realized there was no way I was going to make the 20 miles. And as the guys sat there drinking coffee, I made the choice to go back and have my bag sent forward. At first I felt weak and ashamed. Like I was not a real pilgrim because I couldn’t carry my bag today. Then Philip joined in because his shoulders we’re causing him issues. I don’t know at the time if he was doing it out of support to make me feel better or if he really wanted to do it. Ramon also joined in. I had not expressed my feelings of weakness till later. Then Philip thanked me for being strong enough to ask for help. So as we walked away I thought about it… How perfect is it that here I am dealing with the feeling of carrying the weight of the world and being exhausted emotionally trying to help everyone else and physically today I had to ask for help because I could not longer carry the weight?! Today was a real struggle. Emotionally and physically. I knew this trip would push me in both ways. I broke today but I walked my 20 miles, mostly alone so I could think about my emotions. I saw a new life too. In more ways than one. My own life emotionally and watched a lamb be born. Picture included of the mom tending to the baby. By the end of the day I didn’t want to be social and do the whole dinner. The guys were also exhausted, in fact Ramon fell asleep within 10 mins of being back at the room and Philip fell asleep reading his book. We went for doner kebabs, the European version of fast food and called it a night by 8pm. Ready for a new day and hope for healing.
*Warning* gross feet pics included
Total time walking: 8 hours
Total distance: 21 miles
Total money spent: 32 (another 9 at the pharmacy)
Day 9: I walked again today. If you can call it that. The winds were so strong and I hobbled along but I made it. I took a video so you could hear the winds. I needed a short day as I lay here with my feet up, so swollen. Since I cut back my mileage, we lost Eric today. However, Philipp and Ramon are so patient with me they are hanging back. Ramon even took care of getting my bag sent ahead so I could get a head start. It is a holiday so there are loads of people walking the Camino. Last night we couldn’t find a place to stay very easy. It is crowded with Spanish people that are skipping along. Yesterday I met a guy in holiday living in Spain but he is from Argentina. I got a 30 minute lecture on how Americans suck and I should try new foods blah blah blah… This guy didn’t know me and just started talking, and kept talking. Told me I was slow and skipped off I told my pack he is the one person I have met on the Camino I never care to see again. Yet somehow he showed up at our albergue last night, slept in the same room and snored all night. It was funny though because he wouldn’t acknowledge me. Pretty sure he was embarrassed. Then today the same dude pranced along next to me again telling me I needed to go on past where I said I would go. Umm how about NO. Just take your happy none hurt, American bashing self and go. I love US jokes as well as the next but a 30 minute lecture was a bit much. Definitely needed to go and I am hoping today he went on. I went to shower today and multiple girls were putting on a full face of makeup. We want our quiet path back. The one where we know everyone and we don’t have to fight for a bed. Especially since someone 3 times my age can take me out of a race for a bed right now. Since it was a short day I got to take a 2 1/2 hour nap. My body needs it so much. If I make it till Monday, we have agreed to get a hotel and spend 2 nights. A much needed and we’ll deserved rest. So that is my short term goal. To walk into Burgos on Monday and stay with the wolf pack. Tonight I found a gin bar and we treated ourselves to some great drinks. In walking around town, everyone looks at and talks about the fact I am in flip flops since it is cold. A few feel bad for me. Grandma loves it because she can beat me across the cross walks. 3 more days and I get a well derved rest. That keeps me going, as well as the wolf pack and all the sweet comments and messages I am receiving from my wonderful friends/family back home cheering me on. My heart is full!
Time walking: 5 hours
Total distance: 15.4 miles
Total money spent: 57 euro
Day 10: I am not sure how but every day I wake up and go. I am frustrated about my body. From day one going through knee deep snow I have not been well since. I hobbled along today. It started off with rain and strong wind like yesterday. The temperature was around 32. It was so cold and windy at first but eventually it stopped raining and the sun appeared but the wind was still fierce. Today I had a random guy stop and ask me what was wrong. Although I know it looks like my feet, it is my knee that hurts the most. I had a knee brace on and this guy (German guy named Tel) asked if he could tape my knee to help. A random stranger that talked to me for a total of 15 minutes took the time to help me while I sat on a bale of hay. It really is moments like this that make the journey a magical experience. I asked him where he learned about this, thinking he worked in sports medicine or something and he was a 60+ year old man that learned it on YouTube. We met up with Eric for lunch but he went on further today. We booked a 4 person room in the alburgue so I hope to get more sleep tonight. Last night it was impossible in a room of 26. Hot and everyone moving around and the snoring was so loud. Upon arrival I worked on my dissertation some then shower, laundry and dinner. By 8 pm Inwas laying in bed. We made a booking for a hotel 2 days from now with a bath. We will be taking a rest day too. That is what I am walking for now. The short term goal of making it to a hot bath. As you will see in the photos, it is a updated pic of my feet. Although it looks worse, it is healing. I did some research last night and I think I had an allergic reaction to the plaster (bandaid for blisters). Now my feet itch and burn. The blisters are healed but the Compeed left a chemical burn or something of the sort. I put some prescriptions on it tonight so let’s hope they are better in the AM. Other than my body not cooperating, things are going well. I started a new book called “The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships”. For all my ladies, I highly recommend. I listened to 5 chapters today and I think the information is helpful. I struggle with anger and I love what I have gained. I am sure it is a book I will listen to many times in order to grasp the concepts. It isn’t a book with steps, it just teaches the meaning and why we should listen and ways to manage. Really helps with self awareness and why we react the way we do and how to make changes and use anger to our advantage for positive change.
Total time walking 7 hours
Total distance: 16.1 miles
Money spent: 50 euro
Day 11: We started a bit later than usual. Last night I got a good night’s sleep which was a first for me. The discomfort is getting better so sleeping is a bit easier. Plus there was only 4 of us in the room. Just the night before there was 26 people in a room which made it impossible to sleep. Today we hiked up a mountain which made for a long day. At lunch it was the 3 of us but by the end we had invited 3 others to join us. 2 of them ended up at the alburgue where we are sleeping tonight. I walked down the mountain with Hazy, a young adult from Hungary. He is 21 and learned a lot about life already. He suffers from addictive personality and is out here to heal. We had a lot of the same views on what life is about. He has a lot to overcome but his story is really amazing. His budget is 15 a day. He liked the Wolfpack so much he decided to cut his day short and stay. He spent 10 of his budget on the accommodation so that says so much about the people I am with. I also met up with Til, he is actually staying in the same room. This is the guy that put tape on my knee. It is small gestures like this that mean the world while being out here. Everyone is feeling something. Knees, back, shoulders, and the big one feet. Tomorrow I get up and walk, once I finish my day, I get a rest. I am so excited. It is a reward I have been looking forward to for days. I don’t know if I will leave the hotel room except to eat, of course. I amaze myself every day and have the amazing people out here with me to thank. It is days like today that put this all into perspective. Hard but ultra rewarding with good company. Tomorrow I move forward with so much to look forward to, like a bath!
Total distance: 19.6
Total time: 8 hours
Total money spent: 36 euro
Day 12: The day started like most. The weather was good. The path was not however. Rocks. At this point I pay attention to the type of trail I am walking because my feet are so sensitive. I like the pavement or dirt most. Rocks and I are just not getting along at this point. When it came to a option of what way to take: longer more scenic or shorter through the industrial area, I picked the shorter route. Still did 15 miles today though. I knew once I made it through the day, I would be in for a treat. A bath!! That kept me going. Well that and a McDonald’s ice cream. I told Ramon as we were walking, you can take the girl out of the USA but you can’t take the USA out of the girl. My excuse was that I woke up with a bit of a sore throat and the ice cream was to soothe it but really I just wanted some ice cream and oreos. As we were walking Hazy came running up to us. He had spent his morning trying to catch up to us. We left before he did and he took the more scenic route. He asked around for us and when he learned we took the short route, he had some ground to make up. It was nice to get a chat with him before he carried on another 12+ miles for the day. Stopped at the pharmacy for some more supplies. They sell 600mg of ibuprofen here in Spain. Ramon calls that my m&ms. When we were about 500 yards from the hotel we saw a taco place! My face lit up and I knew where I would be going for my next meal. It was a great motivation to finish out the walk to the hotel. Eric also came to the hotel and so that means the 4 of us are back together but it seems only for the night. Tomorrow Eric is headed forward while we stay behind for our rest day. Looking forward to a day of school work and multiple baths. I plan to do the least amount of physical work possible tomorrow. I am over walking, for now.
Total time: 6 hours
Total distance: 15.2
Money Spent: 55
Day 13: Rest day! I woke up early like most days, probably around 5am. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I sent out a few e-mails and worked on my school. Eric moved on this morning but my energy was so low I didn’t go see him at coffee. We will meet up with him later in the trip as we get stronger and can do better distances. I did take a mid morning nap and bath. Went back for another taco around one! Upon return, I found the Boomerang family in the lobby of our hotel. They said the wind was horrible today and there was rain and sleet too. I would say we picked a good day to skip. My body is shutting down. I am running a slight fever and my lymph nodes are swollen. I could tell yesterday I was getting something that started with a sore throat. Matty wasn’t available today which made me really sad because I just wanted some comforting. I had a dissertation meeting this evening with my adviser and she did not go through my stuff even though I turned it in 2 weeks ago. She was blown away by the fact I had worked on Chapter 3 already. Philipp sent me a message that they were going to dinner while I was on my call. When I read it after my call, I had another break down. I wanted so bad to go but knew it was best I stay put in bed. Physically I just want my body to do what I want. However, I know I am probably pushing myself too hard and might need to slow down. Funny how life reminds of that at times. I think since Philipp messaged me, I assumed I was free and clear to have a good cry. That was not the case. Ramon came back to the room to check on me and show me the cathedral stamp. These 2 guys really are my Camino angels. He let me rant, comforted me that it was going to be ok, then offered to bring me back some food. I knew they were going to eat steak and as much as I would LOVE a good steak, I don’t have the appetite to eat, so I declined. He wasn’t having it and told me I had to eat something since my only food today was a taco. I agreed to his suggestion of a soup. He left for dinner and I pulled myself together and managed to take another bath. It is 8pm and I am in bed with hope that tomorrow I wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world.
This picture was taken a few days ago by Eric but I took no pictures today so I thought I would share the wolfpack.
Day 14: Wind, cold, & rain. That is how I would describe the walk today. But the wolfpack is on the move. I got to walk by the Burgos cathedral this morning on our way out of town. I thought I missed it from laying in the hotel room but there it was in all the glory. I look at these things and I can’t help but to feel, what a huge waste of money. What that thing must have cost at the time and for the expense of what? It is crazy to think about and just gets me going. I definitely don’t like going in them. Creepy. Anyway, more headwinds only this time it was much colder and with added bits of rain. We got the job done though and arrived pretty early due to the short distance. I was reunited with walking with my bag. The last few days I had it shipped forward so I could recover. However today, I took it on our adventure. Not sure if it was a good idea with the wind. My pace was strong though. But I came down with a mild cold. The sore throat and mild fever should have been a warning yesterday. I did make it to dinner this evening which was nice. Now it is almost 9 and I am in bed. Last night I got about 10 hours of sleep so I am hoping for good results tonight as well.
Bad news today… I got an email from my boss saying I wouldn’t get a full time position next school year. Their needs are accounting and lawyers. I graduate this year so not sure what is going to happen now. I need a few days to process the disappointment.
Total time: 4.5 hours
Total distance: 13 miles
Money spent: 26 euro