Tuesday, 23 August 2011

It's starting to get surreal: day 4

I thought we were leaving the madness behind when we left Pamplona- a city where they race bulls through the narrow cobbled streets for fun- but we are all starting to get a bit delirious with the heat, the task ahead, the pain. Today a girl who is having problems with her feet decided to strap sanitary towels to the soles of her new sandals because they were no less lacerating than the boots that she left behind in Pamplona. An Italian guy who began the pilgrimage earmarked as the group eye candy has, after injuring his knee on day one, destroyed his feet on day two and giving himself grade 1 sunburn (becausa heya I ama italiano I no needa di suncream!) is now walking round with a massive eye patch after scratching his eye with something during the night. It should be noted he also plans to do the whole pilgrimage in 20 days (it's a push at 32) to get back for a wedding... At this rate he'll be lucky if he's alive! Leona's feet are freaking me out now. She has no skin left on the ball of her left foot. I watch her thread an iodine soaked needle and and string through them and I feel light headed. My feet are starting to blister too but only slightly due to new shoes but my toes are singing with relief that they are no longer being sardined into the boots. If I had blisters like hers I'd be in a&e.
Tonight we met Michael, who did the whole camino last year and is doing it again this year with his father, George, of 70 odd. They are walking to raise money for prostrate cancer, which George survived. Michael lost 6 toenails last time he did it and he is happy if he only loses 4 this time. His argument is there is no celebration without sacrifice. I can't argue with him. On some level I feel 100 times more alive after a day of torturous walking.

Leona reckons we all have to have some kind of cross to bare. Pilgrim veterans say the first two weeks are physical torture and the second are emotional. Death or cake? Mmm I think I'll have death please!

We all have to have something driving us to keep going. I'm just not sure we know exactly what that is sometimes.

Today I did 25km in six hours including inclines and declines. A few of the competitive types in the group got a little irked that slow coach Tania got to the next stage before them. Tortoise and hare baby!
Whatever the speed or the cross we are carrying, one thing I would say is I feel protected... Blessed?? Like the big man upstairs is looking after us all. In my time of need someone is always their on the road...like today when I was thinking about eating the 'blueberries' that I found by the side of the sunflower fields. A Spanish couple arrived at the scene just in time to tell me they were potentially something a little more sinister. So the walking wounded brigade continue tomorrow, god willing to the next stage. I'm going to continue to chant and pray my way through the pain, heat and tiredness. It definitely worked for me this time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Pamplona to puerta de la reina

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