And now a word from the Beautiful and Amazing Cris:
On the 11th day of the pilgrimage I had no blisters and almost no pain other than exaustion. One day I even pushed us to go an extra 12k in order to arrive in Viana, which promised to be more charming than Torres del Rio, our original destination.
With the exception of our triumphant exit from Pamplona, all our days in the camino have been drenched with rain and cold. Yesterday was no exception, and I will admit that beyond any physical hurt, I was struggling with lack of motivation to continue. After walking over 200km, I felt extremelly exausted and saw my spirit collapse.
Along with it, the arches of my feet started colapsing as well. I had felt pain there earlier on the journey, but yesterday it became really really painful. I am not typically a slow walker, but I just could not keep up with the rest of the group. Every step became an exercise in patience and suffering. I was miserable, tired, wet, the wind was blowing hard, I felt my lips dry up dehydrated.
At some point I just wanted to give up, really bad. Beyond giving up on the whole camino plan, I also wanted to give up on making to the next pueblo. I wanted to sit down and cry.
Somehow I found the strength to continue, but with each step, I asked the divine for help – I just couldnt handle this much pain on my own.
The divine never ceases to respond, sometimes in unexpected ways. When I finally made it to the next small pueblo, I came accross a welcoming group of expatriate Brazilians.
They couldn’t quite understand the whole deal with the pilgrimage, and why on earth we were choosing to travel by foot. In any case, one of them noticed I wasnt doing well and offered to drive me to the closest albergue at Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 7k away.
I was torn for a moment there – am I bailing on the camino thing? Is it allowed to enter a vehicle while boasting the pilgrim status? Should I endure hours of pain and make it there on my own?
I followed my instinct and accepted the help. I had prayed for it, so it felt right to take it in whatever form it came. As I arrived at the albergue, I was told by the hospitaleros that a foot specialist was due at the albergue within the hour! He massaged my feet, taped them, and created a temporary insole support for my shoes. I stopped limping almost immediately.
Today I entered every church on the way to thank for the help I had so gracefully received in a time of real desperation. Another small miracle granted by the Camino.
And now some pictures:
On the road again:
Happy as a clam?
If it snows, get more coffee:
Yes, it snowed today. It snowed in Spain:
But we made it to Belorado (which looks like Mexico):