Friday, September 3, 2010

Of Blisters, Bikes and Horses

First, thanks for all the e-mails and blog comments urging me on, you don't even begin to know how much they help.

Logroño is indeed a wonderful city, here are some last thoughts about our stay there. . .

I hooked up with Trine, Michelle and Marcel from Potsdam, Germany on a search for some new shoes to help Michelle continue despite her growing blister problems. We found some on sale that might fit the bill, we'll see. Michelle now even has a blister on her hand from her walking poles, yikes!

We tried to have some cañas and tapas at the Taberna Laurel on Calle Laurel but it was closed. We found sustenance in another nice Spanish restaurant.

BLISTERS: These are Public Enemy Number 1 on the Camino. Once we get into the albergue, out come the syringes that you can buy in the apothecary shops and the draining begins followed by injections of antibiotics back into the blisters. It is getting worse every night.

Some are resorting to medical pain killing cocktails that would make a young Gracie Slick blush. No thanks, I'll pass.

I am lucky, only one blister and it has had no negative effect on my ability to walk. I think this is because I have worn my Timberland low cut boots for seven months traipsing around Sweden. Also, the lack of a car has forced me to do a lot of walking, so my muscles are OK in this regard.

Finally, I feel that my lack of pain is at least in part due to my 40 year self-imposed couch potato status. As a result, my tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joints are probably still above the 90% level on the original manufacture's specifications.

Additionally, I'm a fat guy by nature. That means that I have enough stored energy in me to supply all the power needs to a city the size of Bilbao for about a week.

It helps to have something in the reserve tank!

Some of my mates are not so lucky and most took a bus today either all or part of the way. One, Ulf, is cashing in his chips. How he got this far with his Achilles blister is beyond me, very painful looking.

As far as bikes are concerned, there are many on the Camino riding mountain bikes. I know it is hard going up the hills, but it is starting to irritate me when they zoom past me coasting downhill.

The third method of doing the Camino is on horseback. I have yet to see one of these pilgrims.

Logroño to Nájera
29.4 km/18.3 miles
6 hours and 32 minutes

Total Mileage Walked
193.3 km/120.2 miles
Total Time Walked
52 hours and 56 minutes

Distance to Santiago de Compostela
605.3 km/376.1 miles

Out the door at 6:50 a.m., it promised to be a warm day and I wanted to beat the heat as best as possible.

I thought a lot today as I passed beautiful red clay vineyards, about my Grandfather's sense of humor, my Grandmother's inner strength and spirituality and my Father's sense of honor and dignity. I wish I had more of each of these qualities in me, they always inspired me.

I thought also about my Dad's love of reading and how much he valued education. He would have been so proud to watch Andy, Mike and their cousin, Lauren, all graduate from college. It would have meant so much to him to have known that his three grandchildren all received their B.A.s.

I talked to a Camino character today, Marcelino the Peregrino. Great guy who loves the Camino and passes out free food to pilgrims. I offered to give him a donation but he said it would have to be at least 275,000 Euros, not one cent less. We agreed to leave it as a kind hearted gesture on his part.


A short Stage 9 tomorrow thank goodness, a walk of only 21.0 km/13.0 miles.

Did I really just say only and 13.0 miles in the same sentence?



itzbfitz said...

You are a quarter of the way to your goal, my friend. Felicidades! The Camino on horseback sounds like a plan. I'll go with you, me on a Lipizzaner and you on a Clydsdale. It would be much like our tandem kayaking adventure in Labadee.

itzbfitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steveswindle said...

In MY do in fact have all three of those relatives' traits in you. I'll tell you a little story of something you said to me one day at football practice at TOHS that will show this. We can share the story over a coldie at our favorite sports grill!!

I have been thinking about something as I follow this....could there be a coaching job in Espana for you in the near future? Man, would that be a dream?
I would love to go to Barcelona...we hosted a foreign exchange student from there and I think to live in that city for a bit would be a great adventure....just as you are on a great adventure.

It is also good to know that your body structure is so well preserved....guess I am screwed, haha!!!

Tomorrow while you are strolling along the hills of Spain.....think of us here and wish us luck. First games of the season tomorrow for us, my youngest plays at home at Rio at noon and then Joey plays in flipping Lancaster at 5PM. It's gonna be HOT!!
Josh had a scrimmage today vs. Agoura away.....he is a Freshman at Cam High now and playing wide receiver.
I'm so excited I can't stand it.

Bueno Suerte!!!

Laurie said...

Sorry you didn't get to go to our Tarverna Laurel, but I am sure you had something wonderful to eat somewhere else! Ah, the memories!

Anonymous said...

George, You are now Mountain Man Gump! Now in the 2nd Qt, by half time you may be walking like an Angel on a Cloud, due to a mysterious feeling of relative weightlessness. No portable scale to report this reality daily? Great job, and Keep on Truckin! Paul Petrich