Camino Diary Entry #12
Emails home from the Camino
Estella here we come
#12 Soon after the racing of highway traffic and we are back among the barley crops. We thought initially there was barley for Africa, but some hours later we have decided there was enough for China as well!
We took a much needed stop at Villatuerta. Cold drinks were required. I ordered what has become my ‘daily Ale’ and Gwyn ordered lemonade. Beside herself with excitement she watched ‘Manuel’ lean over and pull out a whole fresh lemon. Into the machine it went and hey presto! Lemonade! The outcome was so good that very soon there she is lining up and ordering fresh orange juice! 4 oranges later, and she is enjoying every last drop.
We stepped back out into the sunshine and I remarked to Gwyn that I was feeling pretty good really. A quick retort of ‘so you should be, we’ve only taken 4 steps!’ put me back in my place!
This time there were not even any leftover ice blocks to shove in the back of her knee bandages! Yesterday, it was the only way to keep cool. By tonight, walking behind Gwyneth to head out for the daily vino supply at the supermercado, it’s like waiting at the pedestrian crossing! With her knee bands removed and several days of serious sun, Gwyneth’s legs are most impressive poles of dark and white stripes !
3.5 kms short of Estella, we meet Sue from Arizona. Her pack is well over 10 kgs and she left Puente la Reina at 7 am! A school nurse, she has quit her job willing to take whatever the Camino throws at her. Heck, if the Camino stops throwing wine we are outta here!
We sympathized with the weight of her pack and staying in the refuges etc. She is really struggling at the end of her long day. Then she tells us she will be 70 in a couple of weeks! Got to take your hat off to her!
It is now bed time again. Our feet are still in ok shape. I resorted to trying the good old sanitary pads in the bottom of the shoes again today. (Can’t see the point of carrying them if I don’t use them).Feet feeling good , I think the secret is to change the pad half way through the day!!! The combo of pads, airline socks and then the wool followed by Injingi toe socks on top of the vaselined feet once they have been wiped in teatree oil – may just be the ticket! Gwyneth will try a change of boot again tomorrow. One cannot afford to get cocky about the state of the body! It can change in an instant!
Talk by day is sparse. Talk by night even more so! We amble for hours, too preoccupied to say anything. The wild flowers are delightful, the massive armies of huge ants are working flat out, the birds sound pretty (although we are yet to eyeball any of them!).
Mostly, we just walk! A small breeze can get us quite revved up with an exclamation of ‘Wow! A breeze!” and when the clouds gathered above us briefly, there was almost a celebration!
The only pilgrims we have so far identified as even less sane than ourselves would have to be those on bicycles. Mostly French and Portugese (why are we not surprised?). Admittedly their kit is far more fetching than the walking Pilgrims – but someone needs to tell them that ‘commando’ is not cool if your shorts are threadbare! How they are getting up those mountains in this heat is amazing.
Clearly it is time for sleep now. I am about to be asphyxiated on the Tiger balm Gwyneth is self administering! We have clocked up 115.5 kms today and we still have a few to go.
Tomorrow, well, I guess we might get up and go for a walk…….