A Travellerspoint blog

Disaster strikes in Belorado

Oh well --- one of those things that happens --

two days ago -- on that horrible stony (more stony than normal -- if that is possible ?? -- why does NO ONE write anywhere about the stones? Here everyone agrees that is the hardest thing about the camino ----- but on that day made worse because of the gale force winds off the snow capped mountains that bump you all over the show) I got shin splints in my right leg -- not at the top under the knee, but at the bottom end of the tibia where all the calf muscles --- yes!! I actually do have those! and we never knew, did we? -- come together and are attached to the bone -- well, those tendons have started tearing loose from the bone and inflammation set in and the pain -- well, I challenge any pilgrim to tell me there can be worse! ---

I think I mentioned yesterday? that I passed -- or should I say limped past a most amazing man -- Valero -- from Italy -- he started in St Jean Pied de Port FIVE days ago!! and is already here -- he walks between 40 and 50 kilometers a day -- incredible! and he walks in sandals! no socks -- just sandals. I commented on this and he said only the first three days were bad, but his blisters are OK now -- his heels look like something out of a horror picture, but as I have young and sensitive readers of this message, I will not go into details -- and he said to me "at least I have not had tendinitis -- that is far worse!" Perhaps he was just kind -- but then, having the problem, I think perhaps not.

Anyway, went to the doctor this morning --- wonderful medical service wherever you go -- for free if you are a pilgrim -- and she shook her head, prescirbed anti-inflammatories and pain killers and a special elastic thingy to go around my leg and said three to four days rest. Must be kidding. I will go dotty (I know -- no comments from the peanut gallery, please.....)

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Thank goodness --- or St Iago -- or both -- I happen to have found a fantastic refuge last night where Juan is totally happy for me to stay as long as it takes. (most refuges will not let you stay unless the doctor confirms that if you continue you will die along the way in the next four hours and a cart will have to come fetch you and take you to the morgue and the hospilalero will have to fill out a thousand forms for the Spanish bureaucracy because he was the last to see you alive).

Yesterday, when I limped badly -- leaning very heavily on my two sticks, John and Jill (first day out for Jill -- as madam does not get up early, and on this trip you have to, so she has been riding comfortably on my back all this way, while John has been doing all the hard work of pushing and balancing and keeping company... --- thanks guys, the bestest gift those turned out to be!)) I tried at the first village to get a bit of rest and sympathy in a refuge and they would not let me in as they were renovating --- an occupational hazard in winter on the pilgrim's´s route -- and the next village had no refuge and the third, 12 kilometers further up the hill, had one --- a wonderfully weird hippy new age kind of place where the incense smelt suspicioully like kif and the warmth came from two a huge iron stoves in the corner, and they warmly welcomed me in and let me sleep for a couple of hours, then offered me a steaming bowl of lentils and wine and were quite upset when I said I felt better and could keep going for another few hours.

So here I am --- all the others have left --- Markus the Finnish boy, the two Spanish boys who admonished me to stay as long as possible as the one, David had tendinitis on the third day and they had to stop for five days before he could walk again --- and a young Japànese watch maker from Tokyo - Tashi - and this incredible guy Rene from the Czech republic -- who has walked the camino from Le Puy to Santiago along the northern route, then down -- in reverse to Seville, then across to Portugal and up the Portuguese camino and now the Franceses camino -- in reverse--- back to the Czech republic. He is 34 --- walks in just normal clothes and normal trainers -- albeit his fifth pair -- but fabulous guy. (He was in the bunk next to mine last night and hardly snores -- so extra brownie points for that!!) --- have I written about the snoring? Next time --- I am contemplating writing a symphony using the snores of pilgrims on the camino!!

Last night the hospilalero Juan -- a former chef -- made us all a feast --- chicken soup, white beans and tripe (Terence, you have not tasted tripe until you taste the tripe in this region!), pork chops, fried eggs kindly donated by a dozen chickens in the back garden,, big potatoes cooked in their skins and served with a vinegar and oil and herb dressing, chicken pieces in a wonderful sauce (not the same chickens) , fruit salad and of course wine --- the best la Rioja (Marc and Sacha --- you will HAVE to come and see where your favourtie wine comes from!)-- the area through which I have been walking these last four days and am now leaving. Fabulous!

Tonight Juan and I are going to work together to prepare the meal for the pilgrims that arrive today --- as long as he does not ask me to kill one of the cute little Flopsy´s or Mopsy´s -- or even the mentioned Henny Penny in the back garden for the pot -- I am hoping Thorsten and Akira and Kamil will pitch up today -- they were behind me because of Thorsten´s knee and Akira´s leg -- it would be great to see them again!

So -- I have just been asked will I go back to France?
Go back to France? -- just because this silly ageing body of mine cannot keep up with my young agile mind (lol)???

NO! I suppose it is difficult for anyone who has not done this pilgrimage to understand what it does to you --
but there is no way one stops -- I shall wait the one or two or even three days required to get my leg stand-on-able again and I shall continue on the way --- fortunately I have calculated stop and rest days in my plan --- and I am still on track even if I stop for three days here -- which I hope will not be the case. I have seen now that unless there is something seriously stopping you from walking, one does not stop just for fun or sightseeing --- just does not work that way. So the day's rest I had planned turned out to be a good thing for such emergencies such as this one. But as as soon as I can, I continue on the Road under the stars.

This is just the most amazing experience --- I know I say that every day -- but it continues to be the most wonderful thing I have done -- and I so wish you could all experience what I do every day as well --- even just one day of it is enough to change your life.

And before I go --- thank you thank you thank you all for the emails and text messages every day --- it is really great to wake up and find all these encouraging messages! Terrie --- yours are very special -- every morning first thing! you are amazing! Thank you my friend!

I don´t have my phone on ring so I don´t know when calls or messages come in -- when you walk the last thing you want is a ringing phone, and when you get to the refuge at night, ringing phones are enough to be thrown out on the street! But I have my phone with me all the way and do not always feel the vibration in my pocket -- but I get the messages and appreciate them so much. It is sometimes hard to remember there is a world out there somewhere -- other than the contrails of the planes on the clear days and the occasional times when the way goes close to big routes, but I carry my loved ones in my pocket with me all the way.

Buen Camino my friends -- hamba kahle

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Posted by Lalinde 06:01 Comments (0)

Ten days done!

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Today was a beautiful walk -- gently and easy and so amazing in the thick mist -- could sometimes not see too far --- quite wonderful to walk inside a cloud!

But my right leg became so painful that I just wanted to sit down. Tried to stop in one of the villages but they were renovating and would not let me stay. So I sat outside and cried a little bit and then picked myself up again and walked to that little place that does not have a name.

There the people -- real "new age" people with incense and whale song music -- like something out of the hippy 60's -- they let me in and let me take a bed to sleep for an hour and offered me lunch of fabulous thick lentil soup with sausage bits in, and a chair by the fire --- absolutely fantastic!

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So after a few hours I decided to go on --- discovered my neurofen tablets in my bag -- enough to knock you out -- and walked without too much pain to Belorado --- the man here, Juan, at Cuatro something is wonderful --- and hey! there is a man here at the refugio tonight who started on 1 November 2007 and has walked the Northern camino, then the Portuguese camino and now the Franceses backwards - on his way back home to the Czech republic!! How amazing is that! --- wish we could understand each other!

I may rest a bit tomorrow --- really donñ´t want to but if my leg does not get better I will be in trouble. Damn old body!!!!

I saw Marina today but no idea where she ended up tonight --- she was going to Belorado but is not here. Also saw Barabara and Loanna --- they are in Belorado tonight but probably in a hotel. The two Spanish boys are here tonight -- David and Tonio, and also the Finnish boy Markus.

lots of love and buen camino until I see you all again!

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Posted by Lalinde 05:57 Comments (0)

And a note to my 2 fellow pilgrims

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Dear Akira-san and Son of Thor ---

problemo!!

I am in Logrono --- as the refuge in Vania was closed and I could not find anyone who could open it --- I tried calling and spoke to different people who all tried, but we could not get the man. The hotel -- very smart hotel! --- offered me a room for 167 for the night for the five of us --- as I knew Marina and Kamil and Barbara and Loanna (I met them on the road this morning --- they also slept in Los Arcos last night!!) were somewhere behind me --- but I could not commit as I did not know if they would afford so much. So all I could do was continue --- another almost three hours --- the last bit into Logrono is very long!!

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Now -- the refuge here is very nice --- excellent. BUT they will not let me stay a second night and I had promised you food for tomorrow night --- so I am going to cook something and leave it in the fridge for you guys for tomorrow night --- so p`lease do come to the refuge tomorrow (Sunday) and get the food out of the fridge and warm it up for you --- and I hope you enjoy!

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You will just have to get a loaf of bread to have with it --- and fry eggs to eat with it ---the little shop is across the road --- not sure whether it will be open as it is Sunday-- hopè so!

I shall not go far tomorrow --- really need a rest for a half day at least! ---- so I am sure you guys will catch up with me again --- I hope so!!

lots of love
and Buen Camino ---
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Posted by Lalinde 05:54 Comments (0)

Day nine and still going....

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well -- not exactly today

--- I am taking a day off --

have booked into a little hotel -- not much more "luxurious" than the dormitories of the refuges, but a BATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I am going to lie in that BATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all day long.

Mainly my feet that need a break --- makes me wonder whether I should not just take a slow bus to Santiago and get two people with 70kg sledger hammers to constantly beat the soles of my feet about two beats per second non stop for 11 hours two days in a row --- same effect!! Every little bone inside feels as if it is pulp -- these stony paths are what is the worst -- feet are never level at any time -- and yesterday the gusting winds straight off the snow capped mountains to the south of me (what are they??) did not make it any easier to find the flatter spots to step on --- blew me all over the show! I know I have lost weight but did not realise that much!!

Anyway -- first day of rest --- probably not such a good idea as it breaks the momentum, but I shall force myself!
Thinking of you all and wishing you could experience this as well --- it is just so incredibly wonderful!

lots of love and
buen camino

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Posted by Lalinde 05:52 Comments (0)

A short note to home

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another day and another wonderful experience.

I slept in Los Arcos last night and meant to sleep in Viana tonight --- about 22km -- and then only 11 tomorrow to Lagrouna (??? is that where I am -- not sure! -- something like that! tired brain!!) but then the refuge in Viana which is supposed to be open all year, was closed -- so I had to push on and do the rest -- so 32 kilometers today --- a tough one!

I had meant to rest every four or five days for a day but somehow it doesn´t work like that --- one is so tired in the evening when you stop that all you want to do is sleep -- but in the morning you wake up and get dressed and put your ruck sack on and get going --- some kind of momentum and rhythm that you cannot easily break. And like tonight I did ask the old monks who run the refuge whether I could stay two nights and have a rest day tomorrow, but they asked if it is for medical reasons and I said no, so they said, no you have to go on. Walk the camino!

So --- I think I might book into a hotel somewhere tomorrow night -- otherwise I am afraid -- and I never thought I would say this! -- I will be one day ahead of the others and that would be very sad. But I shall see --- somewhere we would have parted ways anyway by a day or two --- it is just so nice knowing they are either ahead or behind and one is not totally alone. Also, there are more and more other pilgrims now on the road --- coming from other directions, other routes --- southern spain, northern spain, and people starting much further along the way and I must say I have been so spoilt with the company up to now -- we feel like a little family when we all arrive at different times at the refuges -- it has been very special -- and I have not seen any other pilgrim that I feel I want to get to know better...

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Anyway --- you asked what does one do when you arrive of an evening --- well, you take your ruck sack off first of all!!!, you then pay your €3 or 4 or 5 or 6 for the night and get your stamp in your pilgrims passport. You are then taken to the dormitory and shown your bed for the night --- or if you are lucky and come first, you can choose your own. I pick the bottom bunk always --- definitely no energy to get on the top bunk! -- and one reasonably near a heater --- if there is a heater in the dorm!

Then I take my shoes off (and put them outside the dorm if possible!) and socks and rub my feet --- aching feet--- unload my moneybag and camera around my waist, take stuff out of pockets like phones and maps and notebook (my camera´s card --- TWO gigabytes!! was full today!!! AAAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! Cannot take pics and won´t get to a place where to download on cd for another several days!!!!!!!!!!!!) and then head for the showers and if possible and no one objects I stand under the hot water (so far hot water everywhere) for at least half an hour! wonderful! I then wash all the clothes I wore for the day and either go hang them over an available heater of if lucky, put them in a coin operated dryer --- I only have one change of underwear so if I want to change every day, I wash every day --- I am totally drenched by the first hour and all day --- not a very good state of affairs --- but it is around 0´´C in the mornings and evenings, and doesn´t go much higher than about 10 during the day -- and the wind blowing a lot of time is straight off the arctic.

Then it is quickly out to look for a food shop for something for dinner and also (something that weighs nothing!) for the following day for breakfast and for along the way, back to the refuge, make something to eat, chat a little and go to bed and sleep! In bed most nights around nine -- and fast asleep straightaway.

so that for the pva every night --- and now must go -- another time more about how this is THE way to keep the spirit alive, my sweetest Pierre!

Better go and take my clothes out the dryer --- and off to bed. Thanks for the little texts and messages and calls --- much much appreciated. Marc -- sent you a text today -- just check on all your phones in case I did not send it to the right phone!

Lots and lots of love

ww xx
buen camino!

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Posted by Lalinde 05:44 Comments (0)

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