Day 15: The weather today was great so we knew we needed to take advantage of it and cover some distance. We stopped by an outdoor bar that Eric told us about because he stopped the day before. The bar owner was friendly and gave us watermelon which was delish. The walk was uneventful but I did start a new book called Rejection Proof. I thought it was appropriate learning the recent disappointment of getting the full time job. Very easy book and interesting. That is a whole new bag of issues I get to process and sort through. Do I stay and support Matt another year, teach part time and travel? Do I move back to US and start a new career? I have no idea where to even start with that. I will give myself a week or so before trying to decide. I felt physically strong today till we climbed. After the huge up/down, my Achilles was shot. As you see in the pic, it was 18% grade. I still had 5 miles to walk after so I ended up pretty slow at the end. I can tell you, carrying the weight in the pack, makes those types of things much more difficult with injuries. We are told there are 3 phases. 1 physical 2 emotional 3 spiritual. I am still in 1 with my body not cooperating with me. However, I got it done and the wolfpack was waiting for me in the village to sort out where we will be staying for the night. We found an alburgue that has single beds which I like versus bunk beds. It is much easier to get in/out of. The guys have been giving me the lower bunk which makes me feel guilty. So I like when it is single beds. Tomorrow I think we will cover a lot of ground also. The good weather makes it hard not to take advantage of because we don’t know when that might change.
Total distance: 21 miles
Total time: 8 hours
Money spent: 25
Day 16: Today we walked, and walked, and walked. The villages were so far apart we didn’t get lunch. I walked alone today and I stopped in a park to check my feet, 3 new blisters. Can a girl get a break?? Furthest distance so far. At least the weather was good. I called Matty and he had to walk “with” me the last few miles as encouragement. That with no lunch because there was no where to stop, today had me cussing at the 20 tractors I passed. Blisters, cow shit smells, and long distances, that is how I sum up today. However, the guys text me they got a private room for the 3 of us and a BATH. I had a few miles left so that was encouraging. At dinner we ate the normal menu which is 3 courses. I had soup, beef, and cheesecake. Pretty sure it is the best thing since being here but I was starving. The guys had the same and ordered burger and fries too!! Pretty sure I could have finished one off but it doesn’t exactly fit into the plan to lose weight while here. I am still hungry and bitter about today. Blisters and no lunch, really??? I expect a good nights sleep since it is the 3 of us versus a room of a dozen or more. Tomorrow it is forcasted to rain. Again, can a girl get a break??? For today, I hate walking.
Total time: 9 hours
Total distance: 22.9
Money spent: 39 euro
Day 17: Rain & Rain today. We started off the morning with some rain. We left a bit later than usual because of the rain. I had breakfast this morning because I was still hungry from the day before. Usually I just have fruit for breakfast. Today I had what is called tortilla which is egg and potatoes and also had hot chocolate.The guys found a “don’t mess with Texas” sticker but the don’t was taken off. They made sure to take a pic and send to me. 😁🇨🇱 We put on the rain gear and walked 10+ miles before we hit the next village where we stopped for lunch. Then we walked on, in the rain. It seems as we get closer to the end of the day, my body wants to shut down. When we had 2 miles left, my Achilles got so tight. However, my feet are getting better as noted in the pics. It was a long day but a better than expected day. Ended with a nice group dinner.
Rain/snow is in the near future forecast, so a bus might be in order for me….
Time walked: 6 hours
Money spent: 42 euro
Day 18: I did not bus forward, I took the “train” forward. For a few reasons. The next few days are to be shit as far as weather. Plus….. I met this guy Mark, on the plane flying here. He has a son that lives in Leon. So I messaged him. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he is available only for today. I decide to train forward. Forget the bus. I thought I would be so against it but this point I need a rest. So I am taking what I think is best for me. So, I took the train and who do I meet? Neil….. An amazing treat. A few drinks later…. Just what I needed for a few days. I still walked 12.8 miles today. I walked around Leon which was a wonderful city. I will wait here for the guys. When I told them I would move forward, I think they were surprised but supportive. I already miss them. I got a room to myself. I think Eric will be here tomorrow in Leon. The other 2 the day after. So I am taking a reset for now. At least that is what I am calling it. Reset to my Camino in hopes for a better experience moving forward. I just couldn’t see myself continuing down the crazy path I was on. For today, I had a great time with Neil going around the city.
Distance Walked: 12.83
Money: at least 65
Day 19: Rest day. I spent the day recovering. I went out about noon to hunt down some ribs but the place was closed. I couldn’t find anywhere that was open serving food. They start lunch at 2 and dinner at 8. I did eventually find something to eat. I came back and took a 2 hour nap. About 5 minutes after I woke up, I got a knock on the door. Eric!!!!!! I missed him as part of our Camino family the last few days. We spent the evening together and even went for pizza. Matt says I am a true Italian now. The Italian’s go to other countries eat Italian food then complain about it. Matt also let me know that if we decide to stay with UMUC another year, it is likely we will move back to the UK for that year. Decisions to be made soon…. Plenty of rest today and another rest day tomorrow. Ramon and Philipp should arrive in the afternoon.
Money spent: 45 euro
Day 20: They found me! Today Romon and Philipp made it to Leon. Eric left late this morning and before I knew it the guys were here. Eric walked a short day today and the guys a fast day. I would like to think because they missed me. It is likely they just wanted out of the rain and a partial rest day. Who knows. But they made it and a day without them, that is enough. We saw plenty of other pilgrams today. We met a new one who got bit by a dog!! Who knew?!?! I had 2 dogs chase me at one point and bark but they never did bite. I would probably end up being not so nice. Tonight I am on a top bunk. I enjoy the top and it is nice not to worry about how I will get down with my blisters. Just ready to be a person in charge of their body. We will see….. I will go tomorrow and enjoy after all this rest.
Money : 65 euros
Day 21: Three weeks down and another blister!! I feel like every rest changes the way I walk because one thing starts feeling better and then more blisters occur and start the cycle all over again. Today I walked part of the way with a guy named Neil. He is from the US but living in Japan for 30+ years. So of course we had a good chat. He stopped in the village before I stopped so I walked the last 7 miles alone. It was so long and flat. Of you look hard enough in the picture, you can see mountains ahead. Philipp and Ramon went on even further so for the day, I lost my Camino family. They caught up to Eric though. Maybe I will see then tomorrow but who knows? At this point, I feel defeated. My body hurts and I don’t know what to do to help heal. I am not winning the battle, that’s for sure. It scares me that we have more mountains coming up in a few days because of the snow and the forecast. I am struggling to stay afloat at this point and I only have about 2 weeks left to the finish. This is a true test of my will and determination because with everything going on physically and emotionally, something has to give. I don’t even enjoy socializing and prefer to be in bed resting and that is very much not me, as y’all know. I knew the battles would be hard but I never imagined this much physical pain. Every day I learn about more and more people having to quit. Fortunately, my injuries are not threatening just makes it extremely painful to keep moving forward. For now I am just thankful for no infections & no debilitating injuries. Said it before but…not sure how I will make it another day let alone weeks. At least today we had sunshine.
Distance: 21.08 miles
Time: 8 hours
Money spent: 28 euro