July 16: After that absolutely mind blowing experience at the church yesterday (it really moved me a lot more than I thought), I was in a fairly good place mentally, my body above my feet continues to impress the hell out of me, but my feet… they were becoming the real burden here. My left foot was the worst due to a large key fob size blister on the ball of my foot, dead centre under my toes. several small blisters were also evident on my toes, little one especially. The heel spurs I permanently have on both feet had also been aggravated into blisters… You get the picture.
Yes, I have tried everything, I broke in the hiking boots, have proper wicking socks, was vaselining my feet like I do on marathons, taping the friction spots, cushioning around the blisters, I even cut away an intend in my shoe insert to relieve the pressure on my worst blister. Alas, it was not good, and I knew it would be a long slow day today. It’s the combination of: my weight plus the pack (30 lbs or so), the rough terrain, the heat, the sweat, the moisture, and the Kms day after day that finally take their toll. Hence my decision to suffer alone, at my speed, for whatever I could do.
Oh, and did I mention that the high today without cloud would be a humid 38 degrees walking a stretch of Spain called the desert. haha, love it folks! this stretch has only two stopping options; Logrono about 10 Kms out, or Naverrete about 12 Kms further or 22 in all. My start after breakfast was also delayed a few minutes as I walked back to get my walking stick I had forgotten, lol.
As my first solo walking day of the whole trip, I finally cracked out the ipad and flipped on some tunes. Yes, for fans of the movie “The Way”, these include a fair share of James Taylor! I think the tunes really got me through it. When I arrived at Logrono, I was really torn as I felt great otherwise, and was happy to get some more distance in, but my fee were singing a different tune. So I thought about it, but frankly this was no small town, it was a city, and it just didn’t “feel” right. Too big, too far from the experience, so I decided to travel on.
Well I made it to Naverrete, just, in the heat and pain, at around 1:45. Another 22 Kms in the bag, but I was toast. After inspecting my feet and realizing that I needed to do something about them it began to dawn on me that I needed some medical attention and a rest day. My hostel was new and clean and bright with great beds and while I was having the in house meal (simple pasta and salad), I asked my host “Angel”, no really, that’s his name, if I would be able to stay a second day if needed. Of course was his reply although it is well known that this is generally not allowed, and then he promptly arranged for his dad to transport me to the local hospital to doctor my feet. Wow!!!
The doctor’s jaw dropped about 5 feet when he looked at the big blister which had now lost the skin (yuck), and the promptly called his nurses in to see also. We all had a good laugh about that until he started to clean and bandage it. Can you say “OUCH”. haha. It’s all good though, although a one day of rest was ordered!
And so, here I sit in Naverrete, blogging with my spare time with my feet bandaged and elevated and trying not to think about my fellow Perigrinos passing me by as I write. Very hard my friends, very hard.
FYI: unless I get another rest day, I may not Blog for a while. It’s hard to fit in and I find I am so mentally spent after a day on the trail, that I am not very entertaining in my posts (as in the last two on Day 14 & 15…
We’ll see! In the meantime, I am also adding blog style commentary to my numerous pictures I post on Instagram that also automatically populate Twitter & Facebook. Feel free to follow me there. Facebook name is: Scott J Patterson
Cheers all: Beun Camino =D
PS I’m only 170 Kms into this hike, just 630 Kms to go, lol