Today everything went well. My feet didn’t hurt and walking was beautiful. The past few days have been beautiful and exciting and disappointing and disheartening all at the same time.
Beautiful and exciting because we are getting ever closer to our goal and disappointing and disheartening because we were looking forward to good news from home and it really wasn’t. (My brother is sick and his condition is not getting any better).
So I started looking back at the places we stayed and the distance we have covered so far.
Day 1: Orrison, new and exciting.
Day 2: Roncesvalles, over the Pyrenees.
Day 3: Zubiri, finally down the hill.
Day 4: Pamplona, Basque Wedding and the start of blister hell.
Day 6: Uterga, made it past the first landmark, Alto del Perdon
Day 7: Lorca, Hot day! Ran out of water at the base if a really BIG hill.
Day 8: Villamayor de Mojardin, village beneath a castle on the hill.
Day 9: Torres del Rio, first sign of the Templars.
Day 10: Logroño, found a Michaelangelo painting stashed in a church.
Day 11: Navarrete, also called “Sardinia”. Packed like sardines into an albergue.
Day 12: Najera, Party town, didn’t really get to sleep at all. Still partying when we left in the morning. Day 8 of blister hell.
Day 13: Santo Domingo de la Calzada, there is a live chicken that lives in the church! Walked through Ciriñuela (also called “Se Vende” means for sale in Spanish) a brand new town, golf course, maintained pool, school. Completely deserted.
Day 14: Belorado, I don’t remember what happened in Belorado sometimes things blurr together.
Day 15: Villafranca Montes de Oca: beautiful hostel lobby, thought we were in for a treat, turns out it was just a normal hostel.
Day 16 & 17: Beautiful city! El Cid and impressive Cathedral. Still in blister hell.
Day 18: Hornillos del Comino, weird town. Ended up sleeping in the town hall. Huddled around an electric campfire.
Day 19: Castrojeriz, walked through the remains of the Convento de San Antón.
Day 20: Boadilla del Camino, this is the day I decided I’d had enough with the blisters. Going to take the bus. Stayed in a beautiful oasis.
Day 21: Villalcàzar de Sirga. Couldn’t take a bus so I shipped my pack, walked 15 kms and then took a taxi. Another beautiful Templar Church.
Day 22: Calzadilla de la Cueza. Weird little empty town. Gave in and took a taxi here. Dad still wanted to walk.
Day 23: Sahagún. Took another taxi. Dad still walking.
Day 24 & 25: León. Took the train. Decided that the blisters had slowed us down too much and decided to skip part of the Meseta. Bought some sandals. Saw Gaudi architecture for the first time. In person!
Day 26: Astorga, took the bus. Still blistered but healing.
Day 27: Rabanal del Camino. After 23 days of dealing with blisters, it was a blister free day and my feet were happy.
Day 28: Riego de Ambros. Steep up hill to the Cruz de Ferro then steep downhill. Ended up in a little town with one hostel, one restaurant and one shop. Hostel was quiet the restaurant and shop was closed because the owner was sick. Has a great communal meal.
Day 29: Ponferrada, Really interesting Templar Castle. One of the worst Albergues on the trip.
Day 30: Villafranca del Bierzo. Medieval town beside a river.
Day 31: Ruitelán. Being serenaded by the cook as he makes dinner.
So now we are into the last 150 kms stay tuned for the conclusion.