I slept horribly last night in the posh Parador. Not because I was having guilt pangs. I was in serious pain due to a tripping incident in the lobby after I talked with Ray. On the floor there was a transition from wood to concrete and the two materials were flush on the left side but apparently some architect thought a sweeping curved rise that gradually went from level to a 3 inch difference would be a good idea. In the US this would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.
I went to the right hand side, didn’t pick my foot up enough and tripped and went flying. I caught myself, but caused serious pain to my left hip which already had a little pain from the pack the day before.
I could barely walk back to the room. I did some extensive stretching hoping that would help. But, as I lay in bed, I couldn’t help but think how this would impact my walk to Belorado. With the pain I had just rolling over, I wouldn’t be going far today.
Luckily Angela was there to strategize with me in the morning and I decided to send my pack ahead to Belorado, my original planned destination for today, and if I found I couldn’t go on, I would catch a bus or call a cab (no, these options haven’t always been available to pilgrims since to beginning of the Camino in the early years (800 AD) but they are now and if need be, I would use them).
Interestingly, when we were in the coffee shop before our walk got underway, Angela and I met a father-daughter pair from South Dakota who were killing time waiting for a bus. Their heavy packs were causing problems for them and they just wanted to get to Belorado to purge them and send some stuff home.
The daughter admitted that early in the Camino she looked down her nose at pilgrims who shipped their bags ahead. Now, she was shipping herself and her bags and she had no remorse. They explained the bus they were going to take goes on to Burgos and stops at every town I would be passing through today. I felt better and knew there would be options should I find it tough to continue on.
The beauty of today’s stage is that it was 23k with 5 villages between my starting and ending points giving an opportunity to rest and hop on the bus if necessary; but I completed the full walk on my own two feet.
I will admit to going into the church in Granon (the first town) and having a 10 minute mini-breakdown.
Not being a regular church goer I didn’t feel it fair to pray for strength to finish today’s walk, but I channeled positive thoughts and continued on my way. Things got better after that.
It wasn’t a pretty day. The sky was overcast and most of the day we walked along the highway with huge trucks and speedy cars buzzing by.
The fields had mostly been plowed under other than a few random sunflower fields where the seed heads are taking their final bow. I assume they will be harvested for oil.
There were some very large fields of sunflowers so they weren’t just planted for aesthetics.
After leaving Santo Domingo Angela picked up her pace and I couldn’t keep up. That is fine. Everyone needs to goes at their own pace on the Camino.
It is always sad to see a friend walking off ahead of you because you know you may never see that person again.
Early today we crossed from the Rioja to Castilla y Leon which I think is the largest region in Spain.
I stopped in the second Village Redecilla Del Camino for a coffee, Aquarius and chocolate croissant.
I bumped into Ye who has been nursing some problems with his ankle.
And the town even had a vending version of a pharmacy with an impressive array of items in it!
Here are some other sights from the town.
The tractor came flying through town. It is one of the trucks used to transport grapes from the vineyard to the winery.
While my knee felt worse as the day wore on, my hip felt better. And I could control the pain in my knee with stretching every 45 minutes or so.
Checkout the haybale stash coming into view. It is huge. I am just fascinated with them.
Yes, those are earbuds I have in. My ability to get through today was largely thanks to NPR’s podcast, “How I built this.” Today I learned about the inception of Cisco Systems, Method cleaning products, Instagram, and New Belgium Brewing Company. Thanks Nancy Turner for turning me onto it!
Another member of my motivation team today was Ray who sent regular motivational texts and tidbits about the towns I was walking into. I set him up with find friends on the iPhone so he has been able to track me real-time through my Camino.
It is very hard to see, but way way off in the distance you can see little specs of pilgrims. It is daunting when you see that and know you need to get there eventually!
I had been ahead and behind a pair of Asian women for the past 2 days. We would say hi, but I hadn’t talked with them. This afternoon they had stopped briefly ahead of me and one of the started walking toward me with something in her hand. I thought it was a camera and she wanted me to take a picture of her and her friend.
In fact, she was bringing me a cookie. I can’t tell you how that touched me. Later as we were coming to our destination for the day We were walking side by side and I introduced myself. They were actually a mother daughter pair; Ju-hee the 29 year old daughter and her mother, Han. They are from South Korea and Ju-hee speaks excellent English. She owns an importing business and does importing from Japan and China.
Stanley and Essa from Singapore were nearby most of the day as well so as we came into town we snapped a selfie.
The place I reserved for tonight is great. I chose to have the pilgrim menu and it was the best meal yet. The wine was delicious (most the wine we have had has been quite young) and the dinner superb.
I was anti social today after arriving. It was around 4 and I don’t know anyone who has walked from 8 to 4 during the day who would want to go out on the town. Not me for sure.
Tomorrow is a short day so I can set myself up for a big climb on Wednesday morning. I have to figure out how I will do it; send my pack ahead or carry it. I will figure it out tomorrow.
Here are a few more pictures from today.
What started out as a scary day turned out pretty well and I had a great sense of accomplishment. I just needed to consider all of my options and make the best choice. I had lots of options. Options are good. It is when you don’t have options that hopelessness sets in.