These two days were so wet I couldn’t take any photos without fear of ruining my phone. It has been a bit rough.
Morning started great. I woke up early, felt great and got out at a crazy 7am for coffee and a chocolate croissant. It was cool but dry and perfect for starting our walk. A lot of people have some pretty tough injuries (blisters, strains, knee pain)and I am lucky I am healthy.
We walked for a couple of hours, heading from Najerra to Santa Domingo. It is about 21 km or about 13 miles I think. The walking has gotten easier and I knew I could do this walk today. Only problem was that it started pouring for the rest of the day. Very cold and wet all day and no end in sight. I kept telling myself that it is so much better than that first day, which it was , but honestly it was still bone chilling.
We had a little break at the 16 km Mark and I got coffee, wine and sandwiches. I was prolonging my time in the warm cafe by eating and drinking a lot and I was able to change my clothing to a drier layer. Our waterproof clothes and boots cannot handle this type of biblical deluge and my second pair of clothing (the only clothes I have) quickly got soaked during the last three miles to town.
Colin reminded me that this part of the walk is about as long as our usual walk on the bike path at home and I tried to hold onto that thought. But this three miles seemed like forever.
We finally got to a warm albergue and I am typing this here in my sleeping bag at 2:30 pm. I can’t imagine ever leaving this bed. I have already told Colin that I don’t care about dinner and will just eat whatever I find in my backpack. Now that says something. Not being able to fathom leaving safety to get food.
Man, those original pilgrims were tough they didn’t have an albergue a for safe haven (although a lot of them did die on route I recall).
Well why am I doing this? It wasn’t a huge goal of mine. In fact I had never heard of it until a few months ago. I know I am a pretty tough person so I don’t really feel I have any thing to prove. Well now I guess I am completing it because I made the commitment to do it and I know I am meant to learn something. But today I am really not sure what that is. I will let you know if something profound comes to me after this pretty challenging day.
Good things about the day:
* We got here quickly.
* I feel strong.
* This place has warm showers and a lot of really nice people who seem to be a lot more cheerful than I am (hope it rubs off)
* Our friend Yogi walked into the hostel 5 mins after us and it was nice to see him even though I am grumpy.
* We saw a lot of people we met on our first day of the Camino. Nice to catch up.
* I am actually very lucky and I made a choice to do this so I plan to turn my attitude around.
Well after I wrote that I stayed in bed for an hour and listened to a meditation track. I felt a lot better and came down to make some powdered soup. When I got to the large kitchen of this really wonderful albergue there was a group of people who had just cooked a huge amount of amazing food. One of them was a woman from South Africa that we met on our shuttle from Biarritz to St Jean de pied. They had decided they were too cold and wet so they took a taxi the last 5 miles, got dry and warm and cooked a large meal. They offered us some plates and it was just heaven to come down to that nurturing. So a pretty rough day (the second hardest of the walk so far) turned into a wonderful day. The sun also came out so by 5 pm we were able to get our clothes dried at a laundromat, eat and get out to buy some wine for €3.
Maybe being able to experience and remember that I love meeting people and forming connections is one lesson from today.
Too wet (and cold) to take any pictures today.
Next day (day 11) was cold, damp and on off rainy but not the kind of biblical rain from yesterday. However we were still completely wet and very cold – bone chilling cold.
For some me reason I was sad and emotional all day. Thinking about why I am not on the beach. My goal is more joy and this is not joyful. I walked slowly again but somehow we got here to this town (Belorado) early while others came gradually throughout the day. Today I felt a bit sick and nauseous and realized I had only eaten some bread and a pear all day, having walked the last 10 miles or so after my breakfast. An apple and 1/2 a snicker bar later I felt a bit better but still went straight to my bed.
This albergue seemed like it may be the most likely bed bug carrier so far but I was too tired to care. I rested in bed for an hour until I felt I could move again and then went out to find food. Luckily we made it to a restaurant that offered a full pilgrim meal. We shared salad and paella as the first course and each had chicken and fries for our second. A full bottle of wine came with our meal and today we drank it all. We decided we needed to splurge so opted for paying about €3 for a large bottle of agua and drank that as well.
It is actually supposed to snow tomorrow and Colin suggested we consider taking a bus to Borgus. We shall see what tomorrow brings.
After our large dinner I went to bed and stayed there from 5 pm onwards. Fell asleep around 7 and didn’t get up until the morning. Not my finest day.