Yep you guessed it – another early start after a pleasant night in a cupboard listening to the Brazilian snoring champions! Life is good!
The positive of our albergue was that the hospitalario was up making coffee and breakfasts (read bread!) at 5. Also to cheer me up, while I was sipping coffee in the courtyard, I spotted the singing Germans laughing and doing each other’s hair in the kitchen.
My feet were not good. The blister on the sole of my foot was where the ball meets the toes. It was hard to make comfortable. I had taped it and stuffed some wool around it but it didnt feel right. This meant I was walking extremely slowly and in pain every step until the rhythm kicked in. Whilst achieving a rhythm one also walks differently and can cause other problems while trying not to irritate the existing problem.
A French lady had told me about the rhythm kicking in. Once you find the movement that doesnt hurt so much you can actually build up a bit of speed. It did take a few stops to adjust this morning and didnt kick in for a while. The Fräulein was very kind and waited and helped at each stop.
Eventually we got going and the Oracle caught up again. Anyone could catch me today!
We ended a long stretch into Religos and there were the singing germans feet up and broken from the day. “No singing today!” I was told. They saw my face and saw my feet go straight up. “We are thinking of catching a taxi – do you want to share one?”
“I couldn’t, I didnt catch a taxi last time and my injury was far more serious”. What was I saying? What is it that makes one endure such unbearable pain and torture? Madness? Camino psychosis?
Who knows, but let me say that last 6kms into Mansilla almost broke me! The Fräulein and the Oracle headed off and we caught up a couple of times under the lone tree and concrete pile that was there. It was hot, it was long, it was miserable.
As I walked into town I was unable to speak, I followed the signs, and headed straight for the municipal. The Sommelier was outside showered and smiling. I couldn’t talk and headed straight in to reception. The hospitelario looked at me in horror ” What happened?” “Nothing, the camino, I am in pain!” “Necesito cama Baja!” “No problem, I have somewhere for you both!”
She stamped our pilgrim passports, registered our names, took our E5 each and led us upstairs to our own twin room with ensuite! What a lady! I lay on the bed feet up the wall for a while until I could drag myself into the shower. I lay back down again and rubbed voltaren in feet, put compression socks on and put my legs back up the wall. I sculled a hydration drink and felt some sense of normality come back.
We went downstairs and went out to grab a bite and the Singing Germans passed by and they too had made a miraculous recovery.
The sommelier led us down to another beautiful river but it was much colder than Carrión and he was the only one brave enough to immerse his entire body. The water was magnificent on my feet though and I walked back to the albergue feeling revived. I must have looked revived too – the hospitalario was shocked at my recovery! Apparently after a shower and a rest one can appear to have transformed back into Wonder Woman! Trust me I still felt exhausted. The Fräulein and I took advantage of the donativo massage and I admired the hospitalarios medical kit for helping pilgrims with blisters. I didnt need it as I tend my own – but it seems some people walk on until there blisters are beyond repair!
Thanks again to the unending talents of the Sommelier we had another home cooked meal in the albergue. A couple of basque girls joined us so I had a bit of a practice with my Spanish as we enjoyed a turkey dish with the best salad on the Camino, with good wine too of course – for a grand total of E4 each! Muchas Gracias to the Sommelier xx What a guy!