Monday, April 11, 2011

Najera































Jessica and I were joking around about being penguins, rather than pilgrims, given that our feet are no longer under our conscious control, but rather very flipper-like. Jessica said, "Yeah, I used to be able to move my feet inside my shoes, but not any more." Today she took the bus.. We set out this morning from Logrono but her heel is very painful, and she turned back after fifteen minutes or so. I took her back through the streets of Logrono to the hostel again. One of the Korean girls was coming out, she has blisters too and took the bus from Los Arcos to Logrono, and she had a map to the bus station. And so I left Jessica there and walked off alone. Tina had gone on ahead to catch some other people, Clare from England and Martha from Ireland, when it was apparent that Jess and I were turning back.


I walked 30k by myself. Every now and then someone would catch me up, and we would exchange pleasantries and discuss our feet - I've met a lot of the people who are doing this stretch - I think there's about thirty-five of us or so. The discussion would pull me along, like a small car in a large truck's slipstream, for a while, and then I fall back to my own rhythm. I really hope for my feet to quit hurting so much. Poor old feet. They really do become the focal point of everything. How much do they hurt? What's that stupid blister doing? Do I have any hotspots? So much for spiritual enlightenment, I am firmly enmeshed in the state of my feet.


Chocolate helps. I've taken to carrying a large bar in my shoulder bag with the map, and when I start to falter I chomp down big hunks of it. So far I've had Fruit and Nut, white chocolate, and a lovely bar with bits of toffee in it. That one went fast. This morning, when I was walking out of Logrono, I stopped at a bar for breakfast and had the largest croissant I've ever seen in my life. Accompanied by cafe con leche (like a non-foamy latte) it cost me 2 euros.

At lunch time I followed two German guys into a food store, along the road, and purchased a large orange, a loaf of bread, a jar of jam, a bag of chips and a bottle of Fanta limon. (My favourite from when I used to come to Spain as a kid). In the semi-drizzle of noon-time, I sat by the side of the road by a vineyard and ate it. About half an hour later, I came down into a valley and found a little rest stop, with a picnic shelter with benches on it. One of the Dutch guys I've talked to before was sitting out by the road, so I felt safe, and I went into the picnic shelter, took my boots off, settled down with my head on my backpack, and went fast asleep. I don't know how long I slept, but I do know I wouldn't have been able to do the last ten kilometers without a nap...