Leaving Sahagun was a pleasure because a) it was probably my least favourite stopover on the Camino and b) the Real Camino track was both well maintained and almost entirely covered in shade for the whole 19 km. It was also quiet and easy as it followed a local road parallel to a freeway but far enough away that we were not be bothered by the noise, nor by any traffic. I would go so far as to say it was the best section yet for walkers (probably for bikes and donkeys also).
My heel sadly started hurting again as we left town and I hypothesized that maybe the Skechers I had worn into town last night were actually more comfortable than these new ASICS. I then had an epiphany and tightened the shoe laces a bit to try and support the arch. I had kept them loose to try and not annoy the blisters or cause unnecesary swelling but now the heel problem may have been caused by a lack of arch support. If its not one thing – its another! (dont forget the heel problem then causes a muscle problem and so on).
I also popped a 600mg Ibuprofen (which I am loath to do as they play havoc with my stomach) but anyway something seemed to work and we hit the 10k mark with barely a break. I wasn’t hobbling like someone who had survived a major accident and I wasnt actually in any pain. I also never had every second person asking if I needed help!
We followed the signs to El Sueve and had a great hamburger and break before heading off for the final 8km for the day. I actually think the tightening of the shoe laces was the major factor as the shoes last night were a little more supportive and the pain had disappeared also. I’ll give that another try without drugs tonight!
As we passed out of town my beloved wondered whether we would see any people we had started with. I politely pointed out that they had likely finished and flown home by now unless they had a donkey or an injury!
This next little town was like a deserted set from a movie. If people live in these places they must never come out to play. There are many little facades without houses behind them, but, for the most part, the houses do seem to be cared for with plants and curtains on their windows. Maybe they have all gone to Paris and Munich to get work!
Shirley had sent me an email suggesting I skip this town but our bags had been sent and we were not yet ready for a total of 31km hiking to make the next town. The hostel La Laguna wasnt too bad. A mad italian who spoke no English nor Spanish greeted us, showed us to our room and filled us with information. We had no idea what this information was of course, but Vincent washed our clothes (for 4 euros) and laughed with me every time I walked by. We went back to check out the two restaurants in town and saw the Japanese man we had met two nights ago, the german girl who was dealing with an injury when we met her two nights ago and had slowed down to our speed from 37km hikes, and, I could see the Spanish ladies from the hill after Castrojets over at the other hostel. Oh and we visited the only other two shops, the supermercado and the farmacia (yep no strapping tape there either).
Had a peaceful afternoon and rested out on the lawn watching the clothes flap in the wind and listening to a 69 year old American say 20km was far enough at his age – frankly its far enough at any age!
I went to get the washing off the line after dinner and a swear I heard an Irishman telling some women that he doesn’t usually drink at home (he’d been sitting there all afternoon drinking). I know you might think I was going insane or that I must’ve misheard – but I swear that is what he said!
I stopped for a minute on the way past the Irishman to chat with a Camino virgin (as I was told by the Irishman). This Canadian lady had actually just started today from Sahagun it seems and, strangely enough, she had sore feet. I shared a fraction of my stories of foot pain through my travels and a German lady began to tell me how to fix things. I didnt want to say what I was thinking but – lady, unless you are a mexican yoda or are on first name terms with your foot surgeon, your knee surgeon, the physiotherapist, the podiatrist and the manager of the most expensive shoe shop in town, I’m not sure you are qualified to advise me on whether goretex or leather are the cause of my problems!
I think the most disturbing sight of this day was the foot I observed across the way at dinner. If you have a weak stomach do not scroll down. I am not sure exactly what is happening on the side of her foot (apart from the thread through the blister trick) and my beloved told me this photo is xrated and maybe should not be shared. I thought you might be interested in knowing though that I am not Robinson Crusoe with foot pain as this lady clearly has a serious problem – she sadly missed the information session from my mexican yoda – these sort of busted blisters make mine look like nothing more than a sweat pimple!
I headed to bed wondering if Pepe was out there somewhere nearing Santiago, pain free with feet up in a bar somewhere drying his socks out.
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