Today I set off from the Albergue a little before 8am. I had a nice breakfast and thanked the hosts before setting off. I made the 6.5 miles to Logroño in good time. I was feeling refreshed and that today would be a good day. My muscles felt great and the pack felt great on my back. The only thing that was bothering me was were the blisters on my feet. I took care of them before I left, but some of the pilgrims were giving me tips when they saw me treating them.
I continued through the city and ended up walking with some young men from the US for a while. We talked about various topics from religion to US politics and military, and then we prayed together. It was a wonderful experience. We had lunch at a cafe and then I continued on for what would end up to be a very long day of walking.
This stage of the Camino is already a long one at nearly 18miles. Add in the 6.5 from Viana and I went a total of 24.5 miles today. Towards the end of today’s walk, there is a stretch of around 9 miles of nothing. No cafe, no water, no Albergue and barely a place to sit to rest from the sun. My feet hurt like heck but I continued on.
I found out a few days ago that a friend from home was walking the Camino and that he was going to be in Nájera, and thank God he was! I got to the Alberge and got settled in. I took off my boots and socks and then got cleaned up. I washed my feet, but my left foot still hurt like heck. I met up with my friend and we walked to mass. While we were walking he suggested that I ask a nurse at the Albergue to take a look at my foot. During mass, I had to sit down because at this point my foot was throbbing in pain.
I hobbled my way back to the Alberge and saw the nurse, who said that I should go to the clinic. Great. More walking. Fortunately, my friend was there, is fluent in Spanish, and accompanied me there and back. Fortunately, my huge blister was treated. Unfortunately, there was a wound underneath it and I need to be off my feet for three days. No walking the Camino, no distance walked for three days.
It is actually a setback that I prepared for. I knew that there would be the possibility for injury, especially at the pace that I gave myself for completing the Camino. Four weeks was all that I could take off of work, and the recommended time is 33 days or more + travel. I was trying to do it too fast, but I had set myself on this goal. So my plan now, is to take the recommended time of rest, but to also take a bus ahead to a more realistic place to complete the Camino in time. I am a little disappointed in this detour and setback, but I also see it as a lesson in humility and an exercise in being flexible. A lot of things have not gone as I planned on this trip, but I am still going to make it an incredible trip. This trip is about so much more than myself.