Tuesday, 28 May 2013


I left Logronos and flew to Madrid.  I can't walk much even though I have been off of my feet for a week.  I buy a couple of fridge magnets at the airport and then sit to wait for my next flight.  I fly out of Madrid and get to London.  I'm in terminal 5 and I'm uncomfortable in what I'm wearing so I buy a long summer dress so it's more like wearing pajamas on the plane.  The next flight will be 9 hours and I need comfort at this point.  The flight from London home was the worst.  My back was so bad and I had packed the robaxacet in my back pack and not in my purse.  That was silly.  I can't sleep on the plane because my back and feet hurt so much.  I can't get comfortable at all.  I order wine and pray that it relieves some of the pain.  It doesn't really but it makes the flight a little more bearable.  I finally arrive home to a friendly face.  Thank you for picking me up.  I'm so grateful to be back.     Right now I am going to have to say, there will be no more adventures or trips for a long while.  I'm just so happy to be home!!!

Thank you for following my journey!!!!!

Estella to Los Arcos

On my way to Los Arcos and I get a bit lost trying to find the path of the Camino but I ask someone and they point out the way.  No one speaks English so I'm trying to understand Spanish and for the most part I am.  If you just say Camino, any one can point you in the right direction which is very good.  I find myself walking through forests today all by myself.  I get a weird feeling and think to myself that if something were to happen to me here, there would be no one to find me.  Pretty creepy feeling.  I'm told later that I took the hard path of the Camino, of course that is the story of my life. I wondered why I hadn't passed any one today but apparently there was a much easier path and everyone else found that one.  I was right about the fact that I was completely alone on the path I had taken and that creepy feeling was justified.  I phone my sister Laurie and cry.  She doesn't answer.  I just need a friendly voice.  I get to a town where there should have been food but no, everything is closed.  I am really hating this.  Being this hungry and cold and exhausted and in pain is just too much for me.  I just want to go home.  I need to go home.  I arrive in Los Arcos.  I find a place for tea and a pizza.  At least I'm not as hungry but damn it's so cold here.  I'm told there is an airport in Logrono.  I catch a taxi and head to Logrono.  I get into a pensione for the night.  It's a dump but it's a bed.  I need to see a doctor about my feet.  This stabbing pain that goes from the bottoms of my feet into my legs is terrible.  The one toe has a blister that has come up under my toe nail is really bad.  The other blisters are bad too but that one is a killer.  I ask where to find a doctor. I go to a farmacie and they are able to help.  My toe is really bad and I'm told to keep it bandaged and stay off of my feet for at least three days.  I need to find out about flights.  I want to go home.  I have no one to support me here.  I'm so emotionally drained, not to mention physically.  I need to recuperate and ho home.  I feel like I'm failing everyone but I've spoken to my sister and she agrees that I should come home.  I've texted with my daughter Shelby and she wants me home for my fiftieth birthday.  If Shelby and her husband Erik ever do the Camino, I have the option of picking up in Los Arcos again and having someone to do it with. Right now, I've had enough and I don't think I ever need to do something that is this hard on my body again.  I wish I could say it was a fun vacation but I can't.  I just want my feet not to hurt any more and the pain in my back to get better.  I want to sleep in my own bed and I want to see my dogs.  I miss the comforts of home like being able to eat when I want.  If any one wants to really understand what each day was like on the Camino, you need to walk up and down the grouse grind for six or seven hours a day carrying 20 pounds on your back and do that every day until you are up to two hundred kilometers.  See how you feel after that and let me know if and when you are ready to quit.  There was no way I could keep going with the pain I am in and this was my journey to find out about myself.  I learned a lot.  I'm more than I every thought I was.  I'm braver just because I tried and I'm stronger because of how far I actually went. I'm not going to think worse of myself because I am coming home.  I'm going to think more of myself because I did more than I ever thought I could.  I'm happy with that.  This won't be my last adventure but it will be the last time I take off on an adventure alone.  I love ME for the fact that I tried. 

Puente la Reina to Estella

As I put my shoes on over my blistered feet, I realize how hard it is going to be today.  Each step is painful and I keep telling myself that it will get easier.  The town of Puente la Reina is very quaint.  I love the narrow streets with the peoples washing hanging outside their windows and the little shops all along the streets.  I've come to my first hill and already I'm feeling the pain in my feet and my neck and back.  I'm trying to shake it off but it is just getting worse.  It's only 19 km to go.  I just have to get there.  I didn't realize how cold it was going to be here at this time of year and the rain is driving me crazy.  Not only am I cold, but I'm sweating and if I stop, it just makes me even colder, and if I stop and start, it hurts my feet even more.  I want to just sit down, take off the back pack and my shoes and never put them on again.  I never guessed this would be so grueling and I think the lack of sleep is taking it's toll of me.  The being cold all the time doesn't help and neither is the fact that I'm hungry.  I have never felt like this in my life.  This is taking a toll on my me and my health.  I'm a wreck.  It starts to down pour and then hail the size of golf balls about an hour outside Estella.  I'm so fricken cold.  I just want to get into a place with a bed and warm up.  I get a place to stay and I crawl into bed for a bit.  I just need warmth.  I also need food.  It's hard here because everything is closed from 2-5.  You can get wine but no food.  At five, when things open again, you can get some tapas but no meals until seven.  I just want to eat before it's too late and I want to go to bed.  I can't warm up and it's crazy.  I can't walk far to find food.  I can't keep my eyes open and I just need sleep.  I find myself in a fairly big square not far from where I am staying I find a store that's open and I buy a jacket and talk to Marny.  Thank God.  I needed a friendly voice at this point.  I find a restaurant after buying a jacket and ask about food.  I get wine and a mushroom tapas and a tuna tapas.  At six thirty the waiter comes over to tell me that the cook has shown up early and will make me some dinner.  I order seafood paella and another glass of wine.  I'm full and really tired.  I head back to my room.  I'm exhausted and I finally sleep for about four hours.  That's probably the longest I have slept since Paris.  I get up in the morning and have a meltdown as I try to put my shoes on.  I'm an absolute wreck.  I'm heading to Los Arcos today.  Only 21 km of pain and agony.  I can't do this, I need to go home.  My body is so wracked with pain that it brings tears to my eyes.  I manage to find a place for a cup of tea and a croissant.  It was a good thing that I found a place to at least get that because the town I expected to stop in for lunch was completely closed up so 21 km on nothing more than a croissant.  Probably not the best idea but not much I could do about that.  Maybe Los Arcos will be better. 

Pamplona to Puente la Reina

It's cloudy as I leave Pamplona and very cold.  It doesn't take me very long before I meet up with Jan.  She is from Florida and we walk and talk for about half an hour.  Very interesting person.  She tells me that everyone finds some kind of romance on the Camino and told me about her plane ride over here.  I just smiled.  Jan has to stop so I continue on.  It starts to rain a bit and I'm happy for the coolness on my face as I am part way up the first hill.  I get into a little town and I have to get my rain jacket out.  Now for the next hill.  The rain has made huge mud puddles and not just any kind of mud but Gumbo as my mom would say.  It's the kind of mud that almost sucks the shoes right off of my feel and its slippery and you end up with so much on you shoes that you feel like you feet weigh an extra 20 pounds.  You can only scrape this kind of mud off.  Yuck.  I finally reach the top of the hill and its a huge long line of wind turbines all across the top of the mountain.  Very windy and noisy but beautiful just the same.  The downhill slope is not muddy, thank goodness, just rocky and steep.  I get to another town and find a little place to get a piece of chocolate torte and a glass of wine.  It's so cold out right now and the wine warms me from the inside.  I talk to a few people and met a man on crutches who is still walking the Camino.  There is also an old man walking here with his donkey.  The funny things you see along this path.  I reach Puente la Reina and find a bed.  I shower to try to warm up and grab a sandwich and a glass of wine in the restaurant.  I meet some other people and I end up having dinner with them.  For the first time on this journey, I have had a nourishing dinner and I am actually full.  I am just shocked at how emotional I am right now .  I head to bed.  I cry for a bit and fall asleep.  I get up and shower, find some breakfast and I have time to write for a bit before leaving for Estella.  It's a beautiful morning out there but cold.

Extra day in Pamplona

The undergarments are washed and outside on the balcony in the sun to dry.  The rest of the washing was sent out and will come back tonight.  I feel like me again.  Now if I could just find some hair conditioner I would be set.  The one thing I want to do when I finish this walk is get a pedicure and lay by a pool in the sunshine.  The pedicure will be most important.  Just to not have to pull my hair back and to wear makeup again will be so good.  It really is the little things in life that I'm thank ful for.
I wander around outside and find a market to buy some bread and cheese and wine and yogurt.  I find a store that sells hair conditioner.  I'm so excited.  I come back to the hotel and sit in th sunshine and have a picnic lunch.
I never realized how emotional this walk would make me and now I'm thinking that if anyone asked, I would recommend bringing a friend with you.  Someone who knows how grueling this is and who understands how exhausted you are every day and how you can't sleep at night which makes you feel even worse the next day.  Some days are six to seven hours of walking and lots and lots of hills.  I can write about it, and email about it and talk on the phone about it but until the person you are telling is actually here doing this, they will never really understand.  No matter how tired I am, I still get up every day and put on my socks and shoes over my blisters and keep going.  I honestly don't know if I can finish this but I know in my heart, right now that I have to keep going.  This adventure will and has brought up every time I've never felt good enough and every time someone has told me that I'm not good enough.  I expected to exorcise some demons while I was here but I never expected all of the buried feelings to rise to the surface all at once.  I want to be strong, I want to know I can do this, I want to be good enough.  I want to feel amazing.  Every step brings new emotions forward and being here and being completely and utterly alone doesn't help with all of the emotions.  If I decide to quit tomorrow and come home, it will not be because I am letting anyone down or myself.  I have nothing to prove but I have to know in my heart if that's the right decision for me.  I'm so glad for this time to chase these ghosts out of my life for good. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Zubiri to Pamplona

Before I leave Zubiri, I am standing in the shower praying.  When I get to Pamplona, I want to find a room with a private bath and a hairdryer.  Also for a wifi connection that works.  I need to feel some sort of normality.  I think because I have been so exhausted that If I can just do my hair and my makeup I will feel like me again.  I find a place for breakfast and I enjoy yet another sandwich and tea.  It´s not much but at least I have something.  My water bottle is filled and I leave Zubiri behind.  It´s a beautiful sunny day and it doesn´t take me long before I have to stop and remove my jacket.  I take a deep breath and enjoy the warmth on my skin.  My back pack seems heavier to me today and my whole body seems out of whack.  I trip over rocks and I just feel clumsy.  I must be getting hungry.  I find a great little outdoor cafe where they are serving warm frittatas and tea.  I sit in the sunshine, thankful that I can take my back pack off for a little while.  It isn´t long and I have a lady from Abbotsford sitting next to me and a gentleman named Sean who is 81 and from England.  This is his third time doing the Camino and let me tell you he was a very interesting person to talk to.  He doesn´t look a day over 65.  I finish my lunch and I´m off again.  Everything smells like lilacs and orange blossoms except when you pass a farm.  I walked a long way along a river, so I got some cool breezes which I was thankful for,especially on the hills.  I finally reach Pamplona and I walk down the streets where they do the running of the bulls.  It´s very exciting to be here.  I think I find it especially cool because I never thought I would be here.  I´m very grateful.  It´s after three and I find a hotel with everything that I have prayed for.  I´m going to stay and take a day off tomorrow.  If you saw the size of the blisters on my feet today you would understand why I need to take a day off.  It´s very lonely being here by myself but it´s so nice to pass the same people day after day and they remember you.  I manage to take my sore body and jump in the shower and I feel somewhat better and now it´s time for a glass of wine.  I don´t eat which is stupid and about ten oclock I finally order in some room service and a bottle of wine.  I can hardly pick up the fork to eat I am that tired.  I don´t even finish one glass of wine.  Now that´s gotta tell you how tired I really am.  LOL  I did sleep off and on for most of the night.  I think I slept more than any other night I´ve been walking.  One phone call from you and I´m feeling much perkier than I have.  Feeling less home sick now. 

Burgette to Zubiri

I´ve showered and had my passport stamped and I am on my way.  I meet a girl from Quebec along the road who tells me that the turn off for the Camino was back by the bank and we have missed it.  We head back together and talk for a while.  I´m glad for the company.  She has a sore leg and will be slow so she tells me that she will see me along the way and off I go.  I get to the next town and I sit down for some toast and a cup of tea.  I find the trail again and walk on.  Its raining today and very cold. I can´t seem to warm up.  I know that it will pass very quickly when I get to the next hill.  Today is a lot easier than yesterday that´s for sure.  I walk until I get hungry and I find a little eatery where others who are walking the camino are sitting.  No one talks to me and I really don´t think I´m up to talking.  I have a baguette and cheese and a glass of wine.  There are four or five ferrel cats running around looking for bits of food and I finally take pity on one of them and give him a bit of my cheese.  As the other cats come running up to get some, the one that I have fed has now made it known that he is the only one getting my cheese.  Too funny.  I watch the cats for a while and I am really enjoying my wine but I must get going.  Every step brings me closer to my goal and closer to coming home.  I´m homesick by this point and I´ve thought about just coming home.  I must keep walking.  I stopped to talk to two couples from Oregon.  I´ve passed them before so they were curious about where I was from.  I´m in great shape apparently.  I think that´s cause I walk fast and I´m constantly passing people.  The couples I met were hoping to meet me in Zubiri but that won´t happen. Once I can secure a room, I will find something to eat and hopefully some wine and I will stay in my room.  I´m just exhausted by the end of the day and I just want to lie down.  I know I should get out and see things but I´m just tired.  Hopefully this will get easier and I will see more and more.  I liked my room in Zubiri but it was really close to the church who´s bells toll every hour on the hour all night long.  I don´t get much sleep.  Today should be fairly level with not too many hills.  I´m hoping for not too many hills.