Ventosa to Azofra 17.4 km Day 13 Walking with a spring in my step

I was actually as surprised as you will likely be when I tell you my beloved would not carry my pack again. Yes I know, we all thought it was the beginning of something big, however he awoke with a sore back as well as sore feet. He did however agree to take a couple items in his pack to the next town and at that town (Najera) we visited the post office (again) to post some more off to Santiago.

I did the unthinkable and ripped one of my guidebooks in half, keeping only from where we are now onwards and sending the rest in the box. My love of books made this a heartbreaking decision. Furthermore my sleeping bag went (after much internal debate as it only weighs 400gms and I feel the cold even in summer in Brisbane but I have a liner and most of the Albergues have blankets – if not there are always the Pensions and Hotels), I sent a shirt, a few nick nacks that werent being used, a quasi jacket (which I wore alot in the Pyrenees and I hope not to need again before Santiago as I have a few layers I can use) and husbands skechers, and rainjacket (as he has a poncho to cover both him and his pack). After all this we weighed our bags on the post office scales and with water and some snacks I am still carrying 9.5 kg and husband is carrying just under 11kg with his breathing stuff and big foot thongs taking most of the weight. In total the 11 kg I thought I was carrying originally must have been around 13 which is far too much with my light frame (lol) and must have played havoc with my feet and ankles – sneaking those few things in before leaving clearly was not the right thing – oh well we live and learn.

As we were leaving Ventos two old ladies came toddling out of a street with a pram. I bid them good day as you do (buenos dias) and thought I would keep going past them. As it turned out they were speed demons! I laughed and said “muy rapido” and they had a laugh too – I asked if I could take their photo and they kindly obliged.

I thought I was actually speeding up – maybe they were just super fast old ladies!

Anyway it seems somewhere around here we actually passed to 200km mark and hence I was now walking with a spring in my step! Husband however was feeling the pain of carrying a few of my extras

We stopped for a few minutes at the top of one of those annoyingly huge hills and a lady and a man passed us looking at my feet. I was sure I looked deformed in some way. I had been walking for days like someone who had something seriously wrong with them and the lady started to talk “I have passed you a few times and I always look at your feet” Here it comes I thought she’s a doctor or something and going to tell me I have a serious problem and need to stop walking as I am injuring myself and disturbing her whenever she sees me walk but then she said ” and I want you to know I love your pink socks – they brighten my day and make me smile every time I see them!” Well I’ll be a monkeys uncle – I am not disturbing people as I thought – I’m brightening their day! Thank heavens for that. I didnt even bring them to wear everyday – they were my special occasion socks but as it turns out they are the best in the heat so I wash them every night. They are dual layer Wrightsocks that I bought online and I actually have fluorescent green ones at home as well – I could have been brightening peoples nights as well.

Just before Najera we stopped at what looked like a man made bee hive. It was apparently where Roland of Charmalgen fame threw a stone that killed a monster related to Goliath or something. I dont know where these stories come from but it provided a cool seat in the shade and some reading graffiti  for a few minutes.

It was a little while along this track where husband found us the perfect water hole to soak our feet. It really made a significant difference to spend 15 minutes in clear running water in the heat of the day – I only wish there had been more of these places since Pamplona where the masseur had recommended it!

   By the time we had lunch and sat in the post office sorting our packs it was past two oclock and quite late in the day to be heading off again – but we had only done about 10 km and we didnt actually feel too bad – a couple of New Zealanders questioned our sanity when we said we were going to Azofra – but the hostel here was full, our packs were lighter, our feet werent too bad and we wanted to feel a sense of some sort of achievement – so off we went into the heat of the day.

As luck would have it a storm was brewing in the distance – the dark clouds of mordor were still following us. This meant the sun was covered a bit and we had some cool breezes to help us along.

It was at this point that I had set up my iphone to play myself some Spanish lessons as I walked. I accidently hit some random music choice and on came Robert Palmer, then a host of others bopping me along the path – the only non boppy song was Pat Boone singing “April Love” (not quite sure how he got in there but for some reason I could not skip past and it annoyed the heck out of me). All in all it was quite a pleasant walk and when we hit Azofra it was the first time I can actually say I bopped into town without people staring and asking if I was all right – I was listening to Jet singing “Are you gonna be my girl” and literally bouncing along.

Again as luck would have it the Pension with double rooms was full so we hit the Municipal Albergue. I say this was lucky because Husband hit the gate first and yelled back “you are gonna love this place”. Yep I walked in and an American said “You are really gonna love this place”. People sat with their feet in the most inviting foot pool I have ever seen – I wanted to put my swimmers on and jump in whole! Then we checked in and every room was a double room with twin beds and a little balcony – all for 7 euros a night each!. Our room was on the top floor and only one other person was there all night – we virtually had our own bathroom as well! Fantastico!

I sat in the pool before dinner with a couple and then after dinner again – this was an opportunity to compare blisters – especially with a couple of young American girls. I have to say my feet looked magnificent by comparison. I only have one reasonably small blister now that I have kept under control with numerous surgeries and the 20 euro padded thingy. I was astonished these girls could even walk. Another lady told me she was going to lose two toe nails because of what was happening to hers as she walked. I couldnt help but wonder exactly how they walked. I had been in agony without the blisters. The deep ache in my foot bones had maybe prevented more blisters – because I couldnt walk far or fast. I had also listened to my Mexican yoda and took my shoes off at every opportunity – so maybe I had saved myself at the expense of speed. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Buen camino.


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